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What Are The Changes Coming Into Company Law?

Due to the size of the UK economy and the openness of the UK government, there are opportunities for individuals to carry out money laundering in a bid to fund serious and organised crime. To help combat this, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 is being brought in, which means several changes to company law are coming into force.

Your company may not be affected by all of the changes, but this article will help keep you on top of what you need to know and whether you need to act.

Changes to registered offices

The main change to this law is the wording of it where you now have to use an “Appropriate Address”.

Appropriate addresses:

  • Are places where any post delivered can come to the attention of a person acting on behalf of the company
  • Delivery of documents can be recorded via acknowledgement of delivery

Both of these points mean that it’s no longer possible to use a PO Box as a registered address.

Is it still possible to use a third-party address?

It is still possible to use registered office services if they meet the two conditions above.

If a company is found to be using an inappropriate address, it will be changed to the Companies House default address, with the company being required to provide an appropriate address within 28 days.

Changes to small company accounts filing

In the spirit of increasing corporate transparency, a few changes are coming into force with small company accounts filing.

  1. Filing obligations for small companies and micro-entities are made clearer
  2. Small companies are required to include a profit and loss account and director’s report when they file with Companies House
  3. Micro-entities are required to submit a profit and loss account
  4. The option to prepare abridged accounts is removed
  5. If more than one document needs to be filed, they need to be delivered together

It’s hoped that increased transparency will allow lenders to better verify the small company or micro-entity when carrying out their checks.

Identity verification requirements

In a bid to prevent fraudulent appointments, there are changes coming in, meaning that anyone who registers, runs, controls, or owns a company, or who owns a partnership will have to have their identity verified.

These individuals can either verify directly with Companies House or they can use an approved provider.

However, because of the scope of this change, it needs secondary legislation and approval before it can be brought in. Currently, there’s no timeline provided for this.

Suppression of personal information

It will soon be possible to ask Companies House to suppress the following:

  • Home address (in most instances)
  • Day of birth on documents registered before 10 October 2015
  • Business occupation
  • Signatures

If an individual is at risk of harm, there are further measures that can protect their personal information. They can ask Companies House to hide:

  • Their name/previous name
  • Sensitive addresses
  • Other personal details, such as service address and partial date of birth

Although the exact process hasn’t been revealed yet, it’s suspected that applicants will need to supply supporting information before their details will be suppressed.

Provide a registered email address

You are now required to provide Companies House with an email address they can use to correspond with you.

If you’re registering a new company, you’ll need to provide this during the registration process. However, if you’re an existing company, you’ll need to provide it as part of your next confirmation statement.

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