The upcoming changes to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 will mean significant changes for companies and those who look at Companies House records. The objectives of the changes are to reduce red tape and to improve transparency so that the UK is seen to be a good place to conduct business, and all companies will be affected by the changes.
The changes are due in three waves:
- It will become faster to strike a company off the register – previously the process could take up to 6 months.
- The date of birth of directors will be partially suppressed so that the day element cannot be seen. This should reduce the use of the information on the register for identity theft. However, the full date of birth is still filed at Companies House – its just that the date will not be visible to the public.
- The consent of newly appointed directors to act as a director will no longer be sought (by signature or by personal identification via the identifiers for webfiling). Instead a statement will be added to the appointment forms and online stating that the new director has consented to act and companies will be required to agree with this statement. Companies House will write to all newly appointed directors to say that they have been appointed as director and explaining their duties as a director.
- There will be a new process to provide a remedy where a company is using an address as its registered office without authorisation.
- It will be easier to get a falsely appointed director removed from the register.6
- The obligation to file an annual return will be replaced by ‘check and confirm’ whereby a confirmation statement is filed at least every 12 months.
- The statement of capital will be simplified .
- The directors disqualification regime will change.
- Company registers will no longer be required. Instead private companies will be able to choose to keep certain information on the public register only instead of in statutory registers.
- Companies will need to keep a PSC register which lists those with significant control of a company. This information will be filed at Companies House on incorporation and as part of ‘check and confirm’.
Catherine Carlton is an associate in our corporate team based in Exeter. To contact Catherine, please call 01392 210700 or email email@example.com.