March 07, 2022

Article

At the end of February the government published its whitepaper of changes which are coming to companies house in the near future. No exact time frame has been given as yet, as the new rules will need to be brought in through statutory instrument, however this is considered to be a priority of government as part of the Economic Crime Bill.

The objectives of the reform are to ensure that:

  • the registrar is fit for purpose in a digital-based economy
  • the risk of the UK being used for corruption and organised crime is reduced
  • enterprise in the UK is boosted by greater confidence in the system

A summary of some of the key changes are below.

Key Changes to be made

The role of the registrar is going to change from that of a registration body only, to an increased remit of maintaining integrity, having the power of query and request for information, and for the rejection of filings.

Better data sharing will be enabled so that discrepancies between data can be found on a more frequent basis. This will be done by

  • the registrar sharing information with law enforcement, regulatory and other public bodies and AML supervisors
  • the registrar cross referencing companies house data with data held by public and some private bodies
  • expansion of the scope of current discrepancy reporting to include director information and registered offices

Those setting up, managing, and controlling companies and other registrable entities will be required to have their identity verified with Companies House, or have registered and verified their identity via an anti-money laundering supervised third-party agent. This will result in

  • Mandatory verification for those incorporating and filing with companies house
  • All registered entities having at least one verifiable person on the public register
  • All new and existing company directors, PSCs and anyone else submitting filings being registered.

In order to achieve better financial management practices within SMEs, increase digital reporting, enhance business and credit decisions, and help wider efforts to combat economic crime the following changes are being made:

  • All company accounts will need to be digitally filed in iXBRL formats
  • The filing requirements for small and micro entities will no longer include filleted and abridged options
  • All small and micro entities will be required to file their profit and loss
  • All small entities will file their directors report

Contributing to your success

If you would like to discuss how the changes at companies house will impact you and your business please get in touch with your usual Albert Goodman Contact.

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