Is your business aware of the changes to Companies House?

On 4 March 2024, new regulations came into force affecting UK-registered businesses that file with Companies House.

The implementation of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act last year marks an increased focus on corporate compliance and fraud prevention.

Understanding the impact these changes could have on your business is vital.

Expansion of powers

Under the new regulations, Companies House is granted greater investigative and enforcement powers.

The Act also allows Companies House to share data on businesses with Government departments and law enforcement agencies.

Companies House also gains increased authority to scrutinise data, including rigorous checks on company names and essential information.

This aims to bolster efforts against financial crime and maintain regulatory standards.

Better quality of communication and data

As part of the Government’s aim to improve the data held on UK-registered companies, businesses are now required to register at an ‘appropriate’ office address.

This means that PO Box addresses are no longer acceptable, as documents sent to your company are expected to be received in person.

Right to privacy

If you have personal data held by Companies House within historic documents, you have the right to request that information be hidden and kept private. This falls under the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act.

A plan to prevent private information from public view is due to be set out by the Government to build on this.

New confirmation statement requirements

Companies now have new obligations concerning their confirmation statements, including:

  • Providing a registered email address for communication with Companies House, required upon registration or with your first confirmation statement post-4 March if already registered.
  • Submitting a statement of lawful purpose, affirming the company’s formation for lawful activities, and confirming future activities’ legality on annual confirmation statements.

Fee structure

From 1 May 2024, Companies House will revise its fee structure.

This adjustment aims to sustain the effective operation of Companies House and the integrity of its services.

Filing your accounts

A gradual shift towards digital account filing through compliant software has been introduced.

This is similar to the approach taken by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) with Making Tax Digital, expected to unfold over two or three years.

Changes to limited partnerships

Limited partnerships need to submit additional information through an authorised secretarial agent.

Requirements for identity verification

New requirements for identity verification for individuals involved in establishing, managing, owning, or controlling a company have been introduced.

This means direct verification with Companies House through its official service is necessary.

Aiming to protect legitimate businesses, this system plans to crack down on fraudulent activity.

More transparency

New registration requirements include providing additional shareholder information, such as:

  • Full names of individual or corporate members and their firms
  • A one-off comprehensive list of shareholders

Restrictions are placed on the use of corporate directors, allowing only UK corporate entities with ‘legal personality’ to be appointed.

These initiatives aim to improve corporate governance and ensure business integrity. While adapting may take time, it’s vital to act promptly to ease the transition.

Regularly updating your data is essential to remain compliant with the new regulations.

Preparation is key – gather all necessary information early to avoid last-minute hurdles.

For guidance on Companies House compliance and company registration, contact our team today.

Posted in blog, Business, Business Advice, HMRC, Legislation, Making Tax Digital, SME's.