Reed Smith Client Alerts

Key takeaways

  • Companies House has announced that the first set of changes under the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act will come into effect on 4 March 2024.
  • From March, all companies will need to have an "appropriate" registered office address, supply a registered email address and confirm both on incorporation and annually that their activities are lawful.
  • Enhanced powers for the Registrar of Companies mean that companies should expect a more robust approach being taken to information filed.
  • The Registrar will, from May, have power to directly impose a financial penalty (of up to £10,000) as an alternative to criminal sanctions.
  • Companies House has announced an increase in filing fees effective 1 May 2024.

Autores: Sakil A. Suleman Diana J. Simmons

Key changes for companies from 4 March 2024

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act received Royal Assent on 26 October 2023. It aims to improve the accuracy and quality of data filed with the Registrar of Companies (Registrar) and thus help tackle economic crime and boost confidence in the UK economy. We have produced an overview of the key company law changes under the Act. The Act is coming into force in stages, with the following changes intended to be introduced for all companies on 4 March, once the necessary secondary legislation is in place:

Registered office address to be “appropriate”

  • Companies must have an “appropriate address” as their registered office. Appropriate means that the documents being sent to the registered office address will come to the attention of a person acting on behalf of the company and that the delivery can be acknowledged. A PO Box will not be sufficient.
  • Companies House has indicated that it will take action in the event of default. If it finds that a registered office address is not appropriate, it will be changed to a default address at Companies House. The company will then have 28 days in which to provide an appropriate address, with evidence of proprietary ownership, otherwise Companies House may start the process to strike the company off the register.

Registered email address

  • All companies must provide Companies House with a registered email address for Companies House communications. As of 4 March, new companies will need to do so when they incorporate and existing companies will need to provide an email address when they file their next confirmation statement with a statement date of 5 March 2024 onwards.