KYC AML Guide: the Clock shows the average reeding time of the blog09 min Read


KYC AML Guide: the Clock shows the average reeding time of the blogSeptember 6, 2023

KYC Requirements: A compliance guide for Corporate Actors

In the complex and ever-evolving landscape of financial regulations, staying on the right side of compliance is paramount for corporate entities. From multinational conglomerates to small businesses, understanding and effectively implementing Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements is not just a regulatory obligation but a critical step toward maintaining transparency, trust, and integrity in the business world.Today we shall discuss an important notion of KYC requirements for corporate firms.

Belal Mahmoud

KYC Product Consultant

Who are the corporate actors?

Corporate Actors are defined as the members of a formal organization who are directly involved in the decision-making process and have a real membership. They often pose to represent the interest of their organization, but in reality, they might also misrepresent these interests. Also, they may be involved in personal agendas and can pursue their independent interests. Apparently, their decisions will result in the formation of rule regimes. Fulfilling these requirements is mandatory for everyone in the system at different levels. Non-compliance to KYC AML results in heavy sanctions and fines. Regardless of these notions, there are multiple corporate actors who are non-compliant with KYC/AML.

Corrupt Corporate Actors

It’s not that all corporate players are non-compliant. It’s the corrupt ones who try to outwit the system. They do it to carry out their illicit activities. Moreover, their dirty money remains in circulation through Money Laundering and cannot be tracked. Still, many legal and compliant corporate actors feel reluctant to fulfill the KYC requirements. Research has shown that 32% of corporate actors have security and trust issues during the KYC process.

Link to the AML process

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) is one of the main motives of the KYC process. Non-compliance to AML means involvement in Money Laundering or unawareness of the compliance regulations. Similarly, statistics show that last year $7.7 billion of fines were imposed on globally recognized entities for poor KYC/AML processes.

Risks of Non-compliance with KYC/AML

Mainly, the risk of fraud and money laundering is a serious threat to the system. But for the corporate actors, there is serious danger of legal action against them. It can be arrests, punishments, fines, and imprisonment too. These are all the risks of non-compliance with KYC/AML. Thus, to get the KYC/AML rightly done, one needs to know and fulfill the KYC requirements.

How the corrupt corporate actors have outwitted the system

Recently, many incidents of fraud and money laundering have proved that there are loopholes in the present KYC/AML system. Below is just a sneak peek of what’s happening in reality:

  • In the period 2017-2018, fiscal losses topped $ 400 million due to fraud alone.
  • Out of 3 million fraud cases, 15% were identity theft. Previously, identity theft decreased from 2015-2018.
  • This proves that manual KYC is not enough for foolproof security.

Issues faced by the corporate actors in KYC

Consequently, the complex system and unawareness of the system make it difficult for corporate actors to stay compliant. As a result of which, they try to bypass the system even if they are not criminals. Below is the chart that shows the main reasons why they are unwilling to fulfill the KYC requirements.

Main Issues Faced by Corporate Actors in fulfilling KYC Requirements

In Summary, the issues faced by corporate firms are justified. Hence, the KYC and AML system needs to improve and become more seamless. Proactively, eKYC has resolved many of these issues for many corporate actors. Therefore, corporate firms are now preferring to shift to eKYC and explore digital solutions toward compliance.

What are the basic KYC requirements?

The main requirements of KYC are listed below:

  • ID card verification
  • Face Verification
  • Biometric Verification
  • Document Verification

The main documents required for this verification are a passport, driving license, and utility bill.

KYC documents for corporate actors in the UK

Firstly, In the UK, corporations need to have a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation. This Certificate comes directly from the company’s house. Alternatively, the original certificate of incorporation might be required, or a copy of it. Moreover, read the following list of documents as KYC requirements for non-UK firms.

  • Officially approved evidence of a registered address
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • A legitimate duplicate of the mandatory papers encompassing the establishment and name alteration of a firm, such as the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • Certificate of Good Standing. Alternatively, the Legal Validity from a qualified lawyer.
  • Separate Certified Registers of Shareholders, Members & Directors

Requirements of Reports and Accounts

Primarily, the corporate actors (firms) operating for more than 18 months must provide a copy of updated reports and accounts. Also, these shall be audited where required by the regulators in the UK. Moreover, if the UBO (Ultimate Beneficial Ownership) is through series of entities, it is mandatory to submit documentary evidence.

KYC Requirements for Identification of Owners or Controllers

Mainly, 2 documents are required for the identification of real-life persons who control the business entity.

  1. Proof of Identity

    1. A full UK or foreign passport that has the Machine-readable zone
    2. A full UK or foreign photo card driving license
    3. A photo card national identity card that has the Machine-readable zone
  2. Proof of address

    1. A UK photo card driving license with the residential address (if not already used for ID proof).
    2. Bank credit card or statement from a UK or foreign bank (within the last 3 months, not from the internet).
    3. A UK mortgage statement from the last 12 months (not from the internet).
    4. Current year’s UK council tax bill.
    5. Utility company letter/bill (less than 3 months old, except water bills which must be current). Confirms service and cannot be from the internet; mobile phone bills not accepted.
    6. A UK TV license letter or Direct Debit schedule (less than 12 months old) confirming name, address, and license.
    7. Voters roll search.

Furthermore, it is important for the corporate actors that the following people are allowed to certify the documents:

  • Home England employees – Only for UK-issued documents and only when the original is sighted.
  • A qualified lawyer or attorney – registered with the national professional body.
  • A qualified accountant registered with the relevant national professional body.’
  • A notary publisher, a member of the judiciary, or a senior civil servant
  • A serving police officer
  • Designated senior staff of a bank
  • British Embassy consulate or a high commission officer
  • A licensed conveyancer
  • An employee of the UK Post Office
  • Legal Executive registered with the chartered institute.


KYC requirements are necessary for compliance with KYC and AML regulations. Corporate actors should stay compliant with the legal requirements in order to avoid serious legal actions. Ultimately, it will protect their own interest and help them grow legally. Since there are no shortcuts in life and business owners should avoid Fincrime at all times. Otherwise, the regulators are bound to hold them accountable and find the money launderers. If the illicit money trails link back to criminal activity, they might also get punished severely. So, to avoid all this, compliance with KYC and AML is not only beneficial but also a secure approach toward regulating your business. Also, eKYC and blockchain have helped customers and other users to get their KYC done seamlessly.


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Belal Mahmoud
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Belal possess over 8 years experience in the KYC Identity Verification industry. He has consulted KYC solutions for over 20 new economy companies at DIFC and ADGM while ensuring a seamless technical integration and helped in jurisdictional compliance audits.