About / Intro


This website contains the specification of version 0.4 of the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard (BODS) and support for its use.

BODS is an open standard for collecting, sharing and using high-quality, machine-readable data on beneficial ownership.


Collecting, storing, and making beneficial ownership information available as structured and interoperable data improves its functionality. It reduces the cost of producing, using, and maintaining the information, and has a greater chance of meeting beneficial ownership transparency policy goals such as exposing transnational networks of illicit financial flows or supporting effective and timely due diligence.

BODS enables beneficial ownership transparency by providing a conceptual and practical framework for collecting and publishing beneficial ownership data, resulting in data that is interoperable and high quality.

BODS is developed by Open Ownership, a non-profit organisation focused on beneficial ownership transparency, in partnership with Open Data Services.

An open data standard working group of data experts, beneficial ownership specialists and other interested parties also provides advice and helps guide the development of BODS.

Current status of the standard

This is v0.4 of the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard. Changes are documented in the changelog, and the documentation of previous versions is maintained in archive form.

Implementers should be aware that future changes are anticipated before a version 1.0 release. However, from the v0.1 release onwards, any structural changes or major definitional changes will only take place following consultation.

The schema contains a structure, fields and codelists. Where possible, validation constraints are included within the JSON schema. Constraints that cannot be integrated into the schema can be checked using the Data Review Tool. See Conformance and validation for more information.

Get involved

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

A feature tracker is available on GitHub which documents all new BODS features being researched, proposed or implemented.

Anyone can submit a feature request or bug report, contribute to feature development tickets, or make implementation proposals. 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 BODS was funded by Open Ownership as part of a UK Department for International Development (DfID) funded project and its development continues to be funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

Open Ownership is a non-profit organisation driving the global shift towards transparency and accountability in corporate ownership and control. It’s managed by an executive team who are overseen by a Steering Group made up of leading transparency and accountability organisations.

In order to focus on its mission, Open Ownership is fiscally sponsored by Global Impact. Fiscal sponsorship is a common mechanism in the non-profit sector that enables organisations to launch new programmes without needing to complete the full process of establishing a new legal entity.

The specification and documentation of BODS have been developed by Open Ownership, Open Data Services and OpenCorporates. Read the credits for full details of the people who have helped develop BODS.

License and contributor agreement

Schema content of the Open Ownership Register is published under the GNU Affero General Public License v3.0.

The BODS schema is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0. Stakeholders can use the software for any purpose, to distribute it, to modify it, and to distribute modified versions of the software. Contributors are required to accept the contributor agreement.


To contact the data standard support team at Open Ownership, please email support@openownership.org.