The Value of Public Data: Uncovering Ultimate Beneficial Ownership of Offshore Companies

From government agencies tracking criminal networks to financial institutions performing due diligence, ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) discovery remains a pressing challenge for investigators around the world. While many jurisdictions are transparent, with up-to-date corporate registries accessible for free or for a small fee, other jurisdictions are opaque, with corporate registries that provide minimal ownership information, or at times none at all.

Knowledge of what public data exists and how to creatively use that data can assist investigators in uncovering details about entities registered in notorious offshore and secrecy jurisdictions. In this guide, we describe five strategies for using public records to help unmask the natural persons that own and control companies in offshore jurisdictions. 

The Five Strategies:

  • Understanding the data landscape in the offshore jurisdiction itself
  • Using foreign-filed documents to glean ‘back door’ insight into offshore companies
  • Leveraging search engines and creative search queries to cast a wide net
  • Complementing corporate records with other forms of official datasets
  • Combining search strategies with automation


About Sayari:

Sayari provides data intelligence platforms to power the fight against financial crime, increase corporate transparency in high-risk places, and support critical national security mission sets. The top global financial institutions, Fortune 100 corporations, financial crime regulators, and enforcement agencies in 35 countries trust Sayari every day.

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