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Update on Recent Changes at Companies House
July 4, 2024

After receiving royal assent at the end of last year, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act (ECCTA) promised to introduce over the next few years “the biggest changes to Companies House since corporate registrations were established in 1844”. 

The first raft of measures to this end came into force on 4 March 2024 and were designed to give Companies House new and enhanced powers. 

In this article, our experienced Corporate lawyers give an overview of the changes that were introduced and consider their likely impact. 

What are the changes to UK company law from 4 March 2024?

The first phase of changes introduced under the Act prioritise improving the quality of data on Companies House registers. To this end, reforms included by the ECCTA on 4 March 2024 include: 

  • Registered office addresses. The new rules state that companies must always have an ‘appropriate address’ as their registered office. This means a location where a document addressed to the company can be acknowledged and recorded and be delivered to someone acting on behalf of the company. Companies can no longer use a PO Box as a registered address. 
  • Registered email address. Under the ECCTA, all companies need to provide a registered email address to Companies House which it will use to communicate with the company. It will not be available to the public. New companies need to give a registered email address when they incorporate, from 4 March 2024. Existing companies need to give a registered email address when they file their next confirmation statement, with a statement date from 5 March 2024 onwards.   
  • Statement of lawful purpose. A new requirement has been introduced 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, effective for all confirmation statements dated 5 March 2024 onwards. 
  • Enforcement and sanctions. Companies House has increased its capability to impose enforcement action. Sanctions for non-compliance with certain requests could include a financial penalty, an annotation on the company’s record, and prosecution. 

To read more about the changes and to see what other areas are due for reform, click here. 

Have there been any other changes?

Companies House increased its company registration and incorporation fees from 1 May 2024. Click here for more information. 

Muscatt Black Graf offers a wide range of legal advice on Corporate Law matters, including the changes to business practices introduced by the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act. 

If you need guidance on how the ECCTA will impact your business and want to discuss your next steps, please contact us via contact@muscattblackgraf.com. 

When will the next set of changes to UK companies law come into effect?

Many additional changes are due to come into force under the ECCTA, although, as it stands, no firm timetable has been released for their implementation. 

Some key planned future reforms include: 

  • New verification requirements for directors, people with significant control and those with reporting responsibilities to Companies House.  
  • The abolition of the requirement for companies to keep their own registers of directors, directors’ residential addresses, secretaries and people with significant control. 
  • Enhanced rights for individuals to have personal information suppressed from public view. 
  • Ban on new directors acting if Companies House is not informed of the appointment within 14 days.   
  • Changes to some filing requirements for annual accounts. 

Follow the progress of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act here. 

Corporate Lawyers London

Muscatt Black Graf’s Corporate Law team is highly experienced in advising clients on all aspects of law that might affect your business. 

We act for company owners, individual entrepreneurs, lenders, investors, and other corporate clients on a wide variety of corporate legal matters and offer a bespoke service tailored to your needs. 

Whether starting a business, entering into a joint venture, selling your business, merging, or getting ready to float, our specialist Corporate Law team provides shrewd, well-informed legal advice to help you achieve your goals quickly and cost-effectively. 

For advice on Corporate Law matters, please email Muscatt Black Graf on contact@muscattblackgraf.com. Alternatively, click here to complete our online contact form. 

To find out more about our Corporate Law team, click here. 

This blog was prepared on 3 July 2024. It is not intended to be advice and should not be relied upon as such. 

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