Companies House is changing – are you prepared?

New rules are coming into effect on 4 March 2024 which could impact your business if you are registered in the UK and need to file with Companies House.

Following on from the enactment of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act last year, these changes signify a growing emphasis on corporate compliance and the prevention of fraud.

You need to understand what these changes look like and how they might impact you – and we’re here to help. The new Act will introduce measures to:

Grow the role of Companies House

New regulations will grant Companies House enhanced investigative and enforcement powers, allowing it to take action against non-compliant entities more easily.

Additionally, new provisions will allow for data sharing with law enforcement agencies and Government departments.

Companies House also will have greater authority to query data including through strict checks on company names and other crucial information.

This is aimed at boosting efforts to combat financial crime and uphold regulatory standards.

Enhance data quality and communication

With new regulations, the Government aims to improve the quality of the data it holds on UK-registered companies.

As part of this, you will need to have an ‘appropriate’ registered office address.

Because this is a location where documents sent are expected to be received by a person acting on behalf of the company, PO Box addresses won’t be suitable from this point onwards.

If your company currently uses a PO Box, you must update this to a compliant address by 4 March.

Protect personal information

In line with the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, if you have personal data held by Companies House within historic documents, you’ll have the right to request ‘suppression’ – or, that this information is hidden and kept private.

Additionally, the Government will set out a plan to prevent private information from coming to public view where there is a risk of this.

Modify confirmation statement requirements

Companies will also face new obligations regarding their confirmation statements from 4 March.

These include:

Adjust Companies House fees

Companies House is set to adjust its fee structure from 1 May 2024.

It is likely that the Government will roll this out in a way that supports businesses and ensures that all existing fees are covered.

These adjustments will help support the effective operation of Companies House and maintaining the integrity of its services.

Change the way you file accounts

Companies House will introduce a phased move towards filing accounts digitally through compliant software, as has already been employed by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) via Making Tax Digital.

This is likely to take place over two or three years.

Reform limited partnerships

If your business is a limited partnership, you will need to file additional information with Companies House through an authorised secretarial agent.

Improve identity verification

The Act is also introducing a change to the requirements for individuals involved in setting up, running, owning, or controlling a company to undergo identity verification.

You’ll need to verify your identity directly with Companies House through its forthcoming official service.

This is part of the Government’s efforts to combat fraudulent activity and protect legitimate businesses.

Enhance transparency

In addition to new registration requirements, you must now also provide additional shareholder information, including:

There will also be restrictions on the use of corporate directors, including only allowing UK corporate entities with ‘legal personality’ to be appointed as corporate directors.

These measures are designed to enhance corporate governance and ensure the integrity of your business.

While it may take some time to adjust, it’s important that you act as soon as possible to make the transition easier.

You should ensure that your data is updated regularly to maintain compliance with new regulations.

Above all, stay prepared and gather all the information you’ll need early to avoid last-minute delays.

For advice on Companies House compliance and company registration, please contact our team today.