DEFINITION of 'Actual Owner'
A person or entity that receives the benefit of ownership. Being the actual owner, the asset is under the person's or entity's name and they are entitled to any advantage from that. The actual owner can be hard to determine at times if there are multiple people or entities involved. Also known as a beneficial owner.
BREAKING DOWN 'Actual Owner'
For example, the actual owner of a corporation would own over 50% of the company. However, it can get more complex when dealing with shell corporations and trusts. There can be significant tax advantages by increasing the complexity of ownership.