Companies House introduces changes

As we have mentioned in previous posts, Companies House have been tasked with introducing a number of changes introduced by the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCT Act), that came into force on Monday 4 March 2024.

Changes introduced 4th March include:

  • greater powers to query information and request supporting evidence;
  • stronger checks on company names;
  • new rules for registered office addresses (all companies must have an appropriate address at all times – they will not be able to use a PO Box as their registered office address);
  • a requirement for all companies to supply a registered email address;
  • a requirement for subscribers to confirm they’re forming a company for a lawful purpose when they incorporate, and for a company to confirm its intended future activities will be lawful on its confirmation statement;
  • greater powers to tackle and remove factually inaccurate information; and
  • the ability to share data with other government departments and law enforcement agencies.

New criminal offences and civil penalties will complement the measures introduced.

Companies House have confirmed that they will now be making their priority the cleansing of the register to remove details of those appointed without consent.

Companies House CEO Louise Smyth said:

“These new and enhanced powers are the most significant change for Companies House in our 180-year history.

“We’ve known for some time that criminals have misused UK companies to commit fraud, money laundering and other forms of economic crime.

“As we start to crack down on abuse of the register, we are prioritising cases where people’s names and addresses have been used without their consent. It will now be much quicker and easier to report and remove personal information that has been misused.”

As further changes mandated by the ECCT Act are introduced later this year we will post details on this blog.

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