The Prime Minister will say the "cloak of secrecy" around company ownership has resulted in "questionable practice and downright illegality".
Mr Cameron, who made tax transparency a key theme of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, will urge other world leaders to build on the commitments made at Lough Erne. He will promise a "relentless" pursuit of businesses which break the rules and claim it will be easier for firms and developing countries to see who they are really dealing with.
Speaking at the Open Government Partnership summit in London, he is expected to say: "For too long a small minority have hidden their business dealings behind a complicated web of shell companies - and this cloak of secrecy has fuelled all manner of questionable practice and downright illegality.
"So that's why we need to shine a spotlight on who owns what and where money is really flowing."
Roger Barker, director of corporate governance and professional standards at the Institute of Directors, said: "The IoD welcomes the Government's decision to create a register of beneficial ownership for UK companies. From a governance perspective, it is right that the true owners of companies should be transparent both to the company itself and the wider business community."
Gavin Hayman, director of anti-corruption campaigners Global Witness, said: "Anonymous shell companies are the global getaway cars for crime, corruption and tax evasion. Full credit should go to the Prime Minister and the Business Secretary (Vince Cable) for acting to take away the keys."