Changes at Companies House
Companies House have issued an update on their first implementation of changes brought about by The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act. We have copied in the relevant comments made in a recent blog post.
Companies House are aiming to introduce the first set of changes on 4 March 2024. The introduction of these changes needs secondary legislation and so this date is still dependent on parliamentary timetables. It will not be earlier than 4 March 2024.
The changes include:
- greater powers to query information and request supporting evidence;
- stronger checks on company names;
- new rules for registered office addresses;
- a requirement for all companies to supply a registered email address;
- a requirement for all companies to confirm they are forming the company for a lawful purpose when they incorporate, and to confirm its intended future activities will be lawful on their confirmation statement;
- the ability to annotate the register when information appears confusing or misleading;
- taking steps to clean up the register, using data matching to identify and remove inaccurate information; and
- sharing data with other government departments and law enforcement agencies.
Three items that will need your consideration before 4 March 2024 are:
- If you are still using a PO Box address as your registered office, you will need to change this. You can still use a third-party agent’s address if they meet the conditions for an appropriate address.
- From 4 March 2024, there will be a new requirement for all companies to give a registered email address to Companies House. This email address will not be published on the public register. From 4 March 2024, new companies will need to give a registered email address when they incorporate. Existing companies will need to give a registered email address when they file their next confirmation statement with a statement date from 5 March 2024. Companies House online services will prompt you to supply a registered email address when you file your next eligible confirmation statement.
- When you incorporate a company from 4 March 2024, the subscribers (shareholders) will need to confirm they are forming the company for a lawful purpose. You will also need to confirm the company’s intended future activities are lawful on the confirmation statement. The intention of these new statements is to make it clear that all companies on the register, new and existing, have a duty to operate in a lawful way. Companies House may act against your company if they receive information that confirms you are not operating lawfully.