Upcoming changes for companies

There are some upcoming changes for Directors to be aware of, as a result of the introduction of the recently passed Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act (ECCTA). These changes are set to impact companies, with the next of them scheduled to come into effect on 4 March 2024, subject to parliament passing the relevant secondary legislation on time.

5th February 2024

Starting in March 2024

Every company will need to have a registered email address. This applies to both new companies and those that are already registered. This email address will be used by Companies House for official communication but won’t be visible on the public record. If you’re starting a new company from 4 March 2024, onward, you’ll need to include your registered email address during the application process. For existing companies, just add it when you file your next Confirmation Statement after 4 March 2024.

Another important change coming to Confirmation Statements in March is that all companies must confirm that their future activities will be lawful. Without this declaration, you won’t be able to submit your Confirmation Statement.

Companies House will gain greater powers to query information, and request supporting evidence, as well as start taking steps to clean up the register by removing inaccurate information and annotating information which appears confusing or misleading.

There will also be new rules requiring companies to use an appropriate address as their registered office, which among other things, will prevent the use of a PO Box as a registered office address. Where a registered office isn’t deemed appropriate, Companies House will have the power to change it to a default address and request the company provides an appropriate address within 28 days, or face the prospect of a strike off process being started.

What else to look out for in 2024

By the end of this year, we’ll see the introduction of identity verification checks for all Directors and persons of significant control (PSCs) when forming new companies. This rule applies to all types of companies. Existing companies will have a transition period to verify the identities of their Directors and PSCs. If you’re starting a new company, you’ll need to verify your identity or work with a registered agent like us, who will take care of these checks.

We also expect the government to issue further guidance that will enable the new Failure to Prevent Fraud offence to take effect.

Anticipated changes in the next 2 to 3 years

Over the next couple of years, Companies House plans to switch from accepting paper and online accounts submissions to a more efficient, fully digital filing system. This means no more postal delays or losses, and you’ll be able to easily track the status of your filings.

Get in touch

In summary, these changes are aimed at improving corporate transparency and compliance. We’re here to support you every step of the way. If you have any questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help and ensure a positive transition for your business.

If you would like further information as to how the ECCTA will impact your company or organisation, please speak to your usual Old Mill contact or click here