What is it?
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill was given Royal Assent in October 2023. This legislation will fundamentally change the role of Companies House as the Registrar of Companies and introduces a considerable number of changes which companies will need to be aware of. Some of these are coming into effect from March 2024.
Who is it for?
UK registered private and public companies and limited liability partnerships, and other changes in relation to limited partnerships.
What is Changing?
The changes set to be implemented in March 2024 include:
Registered Office Address
All companies must have an “appropriate” registered office address. This is defined as an address where:
- Any documents sent to the registered office should be expected to come to the attention of a person acting on behalf of the company.
- Any documents sent to that address can be recorded by an acknowledgement of delivery.
- This must not be a PO Box address.
Where a company does not have an appropriate registered office address, Companies House will change it to the default address. Companies will then have 28 days to provide an appropriate address with evidence of proprietary ownership, or Companies House will begin proceedings to strike off the offending company.
Registered Email Address
All companies will need to provide a registered email address. This will need to be confirmed via the Confirmation Statement for all companies with a “made-up to” date from March 2024 onwards and all new companies incorporated from March 2024 onwards.
It is recommended that this email address is one at which information can be expected to come to the attention of the officers of the company. If the registered email address changes, this will need to be updated to Companies House.
Lawful Purpose Statement
All companies must confirm that the intended future activities of the company will be lawful.
Companies being incorporated, and those with a Confirmation Statement “made-up to” date of March 2024 onwards must include this statement for their next submission, and every submission thereafter. It will not be possible to file the Confirmation Statement without including this statement.
The Registrar will have greater powers to query and challenge information that seems incorrect or inconsistent with the information they hold. In some case, Companies House will be able to remove information if it is inaccurate, false or fraudulent.
Annotations may be used on the register to let users know about potential issues with the information. Companies House will also be taking steps to “clean up” the register using data matching to identify and remove inaccuracies.
There will also be stronger checks on company names which give a false/misleading impression to the public.
What should I do next?
All companies that are required to submit a confirmation statement should ensure that they have a nominated registered email address available for use, and that this is included in their next submission to Companies House. While this can be a personal email of a director, it is not recommended. Any change to this registered email will need to be notified to Companies House, so the use of a personal email could cause communication problems should that individual leave the company. Therefore we would recommend the use of an administrative email, rather than a personal email.
Companies must ensure that their registered office address is not a PO Box address. They must also ensure that their registered address falls within the definition of “appropriate”. If it does not, it must be changed to an address which meets the requirements.
If you have any queries regarding the above or have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact Charlotte Leslie at 01865 261119 or email.
Find out more about Charlotte Leslie