The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill received Royal Assent on 26 October 2023, becoming the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (the “Act”).
Companies House is aiming to introduce the first set of changes on 4th March 2024. The introduction of these changes needs secondary legislation, as such, this date is still dependent on parliamentary timetables.
What will change?
The Act provides Companies House with more powers to assist with its role in disrupting economic crime and supporting economic growth. The first set of changes will enable Companies House:
- greater powers to query information and request supporting evidence;
- stronger checks on company names;
- the ability to annotate the register when information appears confusing or misleading;
- to take steps to clean up the register, which will involve using data matching to identify and remove inaccurate information; and
- to share data with other government departments and law enforcement agencies.
For companies the Act means that:
- there will be new rules for registered office addresses (for example a PO Box address will no longer be adequate);
- there will be a requirement for all companies to supply a registered email address on incorporation. Existing companies will need to give a registered email address when they file their next confirmation statement, with a statement date from 5 March 2024 onwards; and
- on incorporation, all companies will be required to confirm that they are forming the company for a lawful purpose and this statement will be reconfirmed on their confirmation statement for all intended future activities.
Other measures under the Act, such as identity verification, will be introduced later so watch this space for future updates.
If you would like any further information, or are concerned about any of these changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.