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The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency (ECCT) Act became law in October 2023 and since then, Companies House has been getting ready to introduce measures brought in by the Act and these apply to all companies and LLPs.

Among the changes will be new responsibilities for:

  • all new and existing company directors
  • people with significant control of a company (PSCs)
  • anyone who files documents on behalf of a company.

The first set of changes are expected to be introduced on 4 March 2024. These include:

  1. New rules for registered office addresses.  Companies will no longer be able to use a PO Box as their registered office address. Companies must have an appropriate address where any documents sent to the registered office should be expected to come to the attention of a person acting on behalf of the company. Also, any documents sent to that address should be able to receive a delivery acknowledgement.
  2. Statement of lawful purpose. When registering or incorporating a company, the subscribers to the initial share capital of the company will need to confirm they are forming the company for a lawful purpose. Companies will also need to confirm their lawful intention on their annual confirmation statements.
  3. Registrar’s powers. The registrar will have greater powers to query, challenge and reject information that seems to be incorrect or inconsistent with information held at Companies House.  Companies House will be able to challenge companies where a name could be misleading to the public and will annotate the register to let users know they have challenged information supplied to them.
  4. Email addresses. It will become a requirement for all companies to supply a registered email address.
  5. Cleaning up the register of companies. Companies House is taking steps to clean up the register, using data matching to identify and remove inaccurate information.
  6. Data sharing. Companies House will data share with other government departments and law enforcement agencies.

Companies House fees will increase from 1 May.

Other measures will be introduced later this year, dates to be confirmed, and will include changes to identity verification and streamlining the accounts filing options for small and micro entity companies.

Further information, including an informative seven-minute film, is available via Gov.UK: click here to view. 

  • If you’d like to discuss any of the changes and what they mean for your business, please contact partner Mark Grady (mark.grady@mcbridesllp.com).
McBrides Chartered Accountants