About / Intro


This website contains the draft specification of the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard (version 0.1) plus support for its use. The Standard provides a structured template for describing beneficial ownership as machine-readable data.


Money laundering, tax evasion and obscure chains of ownership are transnational problems that require a transnational solution. Civil society, government and business can all benefit from greater transparency around beneficial ownership.

The Beneficial Ownership Data Standard enables this transparency by providing a solid conceptual and practical framework for collecting and publishing beneficial ownership data, resulting in data that is interoperable, more easily reused, and of higher quality.

The Standard is being developed under the guidance of a working group co-chaired by OpenOwnership. More details about the organisation are available at www.openownership.org.

Current status of the standard

Timeline of standard development. End of 2016: rapid prototype. 2017, Q2: release of BODS Beta-1. 2017, Q3: initital pilots. 2018, Q3: release of BODS Beta-2. 2019: release of BODS v1.0.

This is v0.1 of the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard. The data model has been updated and additional codelist information added since Beta-1.

Implementers should be aware that future changes are anticipated, before a version 1.0 release. However, from this v0.1 release onwards, any structural changes or major definitional changes will only take place following consultation. A clear changelog will be provided, and the documentation of previous versions maintained in archive form.

The schema contains a structure, fields and codelists but does not yet enforce validation constraints on most fields.

Get involved

All changes to the standard draft, documentation and specification take place via GitHub at https://github.com/openownership/data-standard/.

Suggestions for changes can be made via the project issue tracker.

If you would like to be involved in the development and review of the Standard, see the Governance page.

Partners and funders

The initial development of the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard was funded by OpenOwnership as part of a UK Department for International Development funded project. OpenOwnership is led by a steering group of the world’s leading transparency organizations including Transparency International, OpenCorporates, One, the Open Contracting Partnership, Global Witness and The B Team.

The specification and documentation have been developed by Open Data Services Co-operative and OpenCorporates. Read the credits for full details of the Standard’s developers.

License and contributor agreement

Schema contents of the Open Ownership Register are Copyright 2016 World Wide Web Foundation on behalf of the Open Ownership Register Steering Group.

The schema is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

Contributors are required to accept the contributor agreement.


For more details about OpenOwnership, please contact its coordinator, Zosia Sztykowski