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Beneficial Ownership Data Standard (BODS)

Documentation Status

The Beneficial Ownership Data Standard provides a specification for modelling and publishing information on the beneficial ownership and control of companies.

It has been created by OpenOwnership, and is provided under an open license for re-use.

You can find the latest version of the schema and documentation for review at

We welcome feedback on the standard through this project's issue tracker.


Please direct any correspondence to

Technical documentation


The frontend uses docson JavaScript library to visualise the JSON schema. BODS uses a specific patched fork of docson (which is different from the patched fork used by other standards). This is included in the data-standard repo rather than as part of the Sphinx theme because it is necessary regardless of which theme is used to build the docs. See data-standard-sphinx-theme#36 for the particulars of the patches. The situation with the various branches and patches of docson is in need of serious improvement.

Meanwhile, to include the appropriate version of docson JS after you clone this repo, you need to run:

git submodule init
git submodule update

Build the docs locally

Please see


Translation consists of generating strings to be translated from the English docs, pushing them to Transifex, fetching translations back from Transifex, and then you can build the docs in the other languages you need.

To run the steps in the translation workflow, you need to install this repo and its dependencies in your local environment.

$ pip install -r requirements.txt

You also need to make sure you have gettext and pybabel installed in whatever environment you're running this in:

$ apt-get install gettext
$ apt-get install python-babel
$ apt-get install itstool

And you need to get a Transifex API key, make sure you have access to the BODS project on Transifex. There are full instructions for setting up and configuring your local machine for the translation workflow in the bods-dev-handbook.

Run the following commands from the root directory unless otherwise specified (eg. sometimes it's less complicated to run them from docs).

When you change text in the docs you need to do the following so that they can be translated:

  1. cd docs
  2. Run make gettext to extract translatable English strings from the docs.

If you modified the schema also:

  • Run pybabel extract -F babel_bods_schema.cfg . -o docs/_build/gettext/schema.pot to extract translatable English strings from the schema.

If you modified the codelists also:

  • Run pybabel extract -F babel_bods_codelist.cfg . -o docs/_build/gettext/codelist.pot to extract translatable English strings from the codelists.

If you modified an SVG diagram also:

  • Run itstool -i svg-its-rules.xml -o docs/_build/gettext/svg.pot docs/_assets/*.svg to extract translatable English strings from the SVGs.

If you added, deleted or renamed files or you want to use a different Transifex project, run (from root, ie. cd ../):

rm -f .tx/config
sphinx-intl create-txconfig
sphinx-intl update-txconfig-resources --pot-dir docs/_build/gettext --locale-dir docs/locale --transifex-project-name bods-v01

(Replacing bods-v01 with a different Transifex project name if necessary.)

And then:

  1. Run tx push -s to push to Transifex.

Now the files are ready to be translated in Transifex.

  1. To fetch new translations when they're done, you need to run tx pull -a to fetch all, or tx pull -l ru to fetch a particular language.

  2. Commit the new or updated .po files in docs/locale, using a separate commit from your edits to the source (RST, JSON or CSV) files.

  3. Build translated SVGs for each language using itstool, and commit these (because we can't easily install itstool on readthedocs):

pybabel compile --use-fuzzy -d docs/locale -D svg
itstool -m docs/locale/ru/LC_MESSAGES/ -o docs/_build_svgs/ru docs/_assets/*.svg

To build another language locally to preview it (pass the language code you want)..

$ cd docs
$ sphinx-build -b html -D language=ru . _build/html/ru


An open standard for representing beneficial ownership and control




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