Chef chopping vegetables in kitchen, close-up

Food and drink producers are used to dealing with issues concerning transparency, accountability and traceability.  But what about in the corporate context?  How clear is the pathway that shows ultimately who is in control of a business?  From 6th April 2016, companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) have been required to identify and record the people who own or control the company/LLP.

The PSC (people with significant control) register is a new document that forms part of the statutory books. Failure to have a register is a criminal offence. Individuals who do not co-operate could face restrictions on their interests or voting rights.

Sounds like a recipe for red tape?

Not quite.  The measures were introduced under the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 to help increase transparency over who owns and controls companies and LLPs. The register will be an easy and early reference point which will be essential to help inform banks and investors when considering investing in a company.  The mandatory register will also be starter for law enforcement agencies in any money laundering investigations.

A “person with significant control” is easy to identify…right?

There are five criteria to determine a PSC and identification isn’t always straightforward.  The control can be “direct or indirect” for the person to “exercise or have the right to exercise significant influence or control over” the company/LLP.

A review of lengthy documents (such as articles of association, shareholders agreements and LLP agreements) to determine control should be undertaken. Stephens Scown has an expert working panel of company law specialists who will determine what is meant by the term ‘significant control or influence’ in the context of your business.

Where do I record the information?

On a separate register.  As an LLP we have already prepared our own registers and can prepare registers for companies and LLPs anywhere in England and Wales.  We can prepare a register for you.

When will we really feel the heat?

With a month having passed since the introduction of PSC registers, many companies and LLPs have already attended to the register.  However, if you do not yet have a PSC register, we can help.

The impact will really be felt from 30th June when returns need to be filed at Companies House.

We are anticipating a big demand for help compiling PSC registers. If you would like us to assist, please do beat the rush and get in touch before the June deadline.

What should I do next and what does it cost?

Get in touch with your usual Stephens Scown contact or send an e-mail today: We will ask you for information and if it’s a standard PSC register we can offer to prepare this for a fixed price of £250 (inc VAT)