What your Business Needs to Know about Changes to UK Company Law

April 30, 2024

Abigail Owen, Senior Corporate Counsel at DMH Stallard LLP, sheds light on some crucial updates that businesses need to be aware of and adhere to, following recent amendments to UK company law brought about by the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA).

The ECCTA has instigated significant transformations within Companies House, marking one of the most substantial changes since its inception. These alterations aim to combat economic crime and enhance transparency. Companies House is now empowered to scrutinise and potentially reject filings that contain inaccurate or inconsistent information. Additionally, they can share data with other governmental bodies and law enforcement agencies, while mandating all filings to be conducted online. Non-compliance may lead to penalties, prosecution, or annotations on a company’s records. Moreover, Companies House has adjusted its fees to align with its expanded functions under the ECCTA. These measures are being implemented gradually over different stages and dates.


Implemented Measures as of March 4, 2024:

New Registered Office Address Rules: Registered addresses must now be valid physical locations, excluding PO Boxes, where deliveries and correspondence can reach a representative of the business.

Mandatory Registered Email Addresses: All registered businesses must provide and maintain a registered email address for communication with Companies House.

Introduction of Lawful Purpose Statements: Companies and LLPs are required to confirm that their formation or future activities are for lawful purposes.

Enhanced Name Checks: Stricter checks are imposed on company names to prevent false or misleading representations.


Upcoming Measures:

Identity Verification: Directors, persons with significant control (PSCs), and relevant legal entity (RLE) officers must verify their identity with Companies House.

Filing Procedures: Only verified officers or authorised corporate service providers (ACSPs) will be permitted to file at Companies House.

Company Administration: Statutory registers will be centralised at Companies House, and changes to shareholder or member information must be promptly reported.

Director/Officer Requirements: Timely notifications to Companies House are required for directorship changes and updates to officer information. Corporate directors are subject to specific criteria, and disqualified individuals cannot be appointed.


Suggestions for Business Preparation:

Stay Informed: Keep track of the implementation stages.

Internal Communication: Ensure employees are aware of the new regulations.

Policy Review: Update corporate policies, processes, and training to align with ECCTA requirements.

Data Accuracy: Review and verify information held at Companies House.

Identity Documentation: Ensure relevant individuals have up-to-date identity documents on file.


Get in touch

For further information and advice on how to ensure compliance with the ECCTA or for any other legal questions, please contact Abigail Owen on abigail.owen@dmhstallard.com or +44 (0)7525 816130.

If you’re interested in further information on a share sale, get in touch with us here.

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