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Company Secretarial

Companies House reforms – Change is coming

Companies House reforms – Change is coming
Barbara Hughes

By Barbara Hughes

25 Jan 2024

As part of a series of planned reforms – introduced to disrupt economic crime and abuse of the register – Companies House are bringing in wide-ranging changes following the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act becoming law.

Companies House have now set up a dedicated website covering the implications of the reforms which you can view here.

We recommend all clients visit the website and so that they can gain an understanding of the changes – which will affect all companies and LLPs going forward.

Changes will mean that Companies House have more effective investigation and enforcement powers – including new powers to scrutinise, question and reject filings – with the aim of improving transparency and the accuracy of information held. They’ll have new powers to remove information that is inaccurate and to query company names that are misleading.

Particular changes to note:

Registration of a company email address

During 2024 (provisionally from March onwards) all companies will be required (as part of their Confirmation Statement CS01 filing, or on incorporation) to register an email address with Companies House.

The email address will not be on the public records and will be used for communications from Companies House.

If we provide statutory compliance services to your company, further communications will be sent to you directly in due course.  Clients who take care of their own statutory work will be responsible for registering an email address – if you require further assistance, please contact stat@geraldedelman.com or your engagement partner.

More broadly, if you are using your own registered office address, you can no longer use a PO Box and you must ensure any documents delivered to the address will come to your attention and can be acknowledged as delivered.

Statement to confirm the activities of a company are lawful

During 2024 (provisionally from March onwards) all companies will be required (as part of their Confirmation Statement CS01 filing, or on incorporation) to confirm that their intended future activities are lawful.

We will ask all statutory clients (when we issue their CS01 form, or on our Company Formation Questionnaire) to confirm that this statement can be made.

Clients who take care of their own statutory work will be responsible for registering the statement as part of their own CS01 filing.

Identity verification for new and existing directors and PSCs

Once the necessary software developments are in place at Companies House, new processes are coming into effect whereby all directors, LLP members and PSCs will need to verify their identity.

This will either be:

  • by clients verifying themselves directly with Companies House or
  • for statutory clients, we (as an Authorised Agent) can confirm this on your behalf – subject to the necessary checks having been undertaken by us.

Initially this will cover new company incorporations, new appointments and the registration of a new PSC – when identity will need to be verified – before the new company is to be formed or the changes registered.

A transitional period will then be introduced in which the identity of all existing directors, members and PSCs will need to be verified.

Timeframes for these significant changes are less certain here and we’ll pass on more information as soon as it is available.

In preparation, we will be undertaking further AML/KYC checks where information is not currently held – so our Compliance Team may be in touch.

Companies House fees

Companies House have indicated that all of their fees will increase in 2024.  No figures have been confirmed yet. These increases and the costs of additional compliance will be incorporated within our service fees which will be confirmed as soon as we have more information.

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