IMMINENT CHANGES TO UK COMPANY LAW

    Daniel McAllister
    14th February 2024
    Home » Categories » Audit and Accountancy » IMMINENT CHANGES TO UK COMPANY LAW

    In October 2023, Companies House announced a raft of upcoming changes as they strive towards enhancing the quality and reliability of the data they hold whilst tackling economic crime.It has now been announced that the first changes will be implemented by 4 March 2024 and are as follows:

    • 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’re 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

      The below summarises the main immediate effect on companies.

      Registered office addresses
      Registered office addresses must be an ‘appropriate address’ meaning that any documents sent to that
      address should be expected to come to the attention of someone acting on behalf of the company and that
      any documents sent can be recorded by an acknowledgement of delivery.

      This means that PO Box addresses can no longer be used as a registered office address and will have to be
      changed by 4 March 2024. Failure to do so may end in the company being struck off the register.

      Third-party addresses can still be used if they meet the conditions of an appropriate address so any
      companies using Bank Chambers as their registered office will remain unaffected.

      Registered e-mail address
      From 4 March 2024, all companies must give a registered email address to Companies House, although this
      will not be published on the public register.

      This email address will be used by Companies House to correspond with companies and the same email
      address can be used for more than one company.

      Any future changes to registered -mail address must be changed at Companies House in the same way as,
      for example, a change in registered office address.

      Statement on lawful purpose
      A new statement will have to be made on an annual basis by clients to acknowledge they have a duty to
      operate in a lawful way and confirm that they have indeed abided by the laws.

      For existing companies, both the registered e-mail address and the statement of lawful purposes can be
      updated when filing the next confirmation statement to Companies House from 5 March 2024.

      For new companies being incorporated, all the above will need to be provided and confirmed when the
      company is incorporated.

      Future changes
      These amendments are the first of many upcoming changes, the biggest of which relates to the filing of
      accounts where the option to file filleted accounts is being removed. This means that profit and loss accounts
      will need to be included on the accounts submitted to Companies House (although it is thought that this may
      be redacted on puiblicly available copy). The implementation dates for this have yet to be announced and
      we will keep you informed as this develops further.

      For any assistance with the above changes, please get in touch with your usual point of contact at Simpson
      Wood.

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