What is money laundering

Notaries have always made an important contribution to combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism by reliably checking and documenting the identity of those involved, by keeping notarial documents for many years and by filing tax reports to the tax offices. In cooperation with the land registry and the commercial register, the notarial activity leads to a high degree of transparency. Many potential perpetrators are thus deterred in advance from undertaking transactions that require notarization.

In addition, notaries are obliged under the Money Laundering Act. You are therefore subject to specific obligations to identify those involved and to report suspected cases. In real estate transactions, you must check the consistency of the beneficial owners of the companies involved using documentation of the ownership and control structure. If the documentation required for this is not presented, the certification must be rejected. A certification ban also applies if a foreign company wishes to acquire a property located in Germany and is not entered in the transparency register. Intransparent parties involved are thus kept out of the notarization process from the outset and prevented from purchasing real estate. In addition, the Money Laundering Act stipulates that notaries report certain particularly money laundering-relevant facts in the real estate sector to the Central Office for Financial Transaction Investigations as standard. In the real estate sector in particular, notarial activity is therefore an important pillar in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.