Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 – Companies House changes now in effect

by | May 9, 2024 | Ripe News

The initial provisions of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 came into effect earlier this year.

These updates mandate that from 5 March 2024, every company must, when submitting their next Confirmation Statement (form CS01):

  1. Provide a registered email address for communications – Companies House will utilise this email for correspondence with the company, though it won’t appear on the public record; and
  2. Verify that the company’s planned future operations are lawful.

If we are already managing your Confirmation Statement submissions, you can be confident that we will submit your forthcoming statement adhering to these updates.

Should you handle your Confirmation Statement filings independently, note that you now need to include a registered email address and confirm the company’s commitment to lawful activities before you can finalise your submission.

Further measures effective from 4 March 2024 included:

  • A ban on using PO Box addresses as a company’s Registered Office address;
  • Enhanced authority for querying information submitted to Companies House and demanding supporting evidence;
  • More rigorous checks on company names before the registration of new companies;
  • A requirement for all companies to affirm their lawful purpose upon formation and to verify that their intended future operations will be lawful with each subsequent Confirmation Statement;
  • The option to mark the register when details seem ambiguous or misleading;
  • Initiatives to cleanse the register, employing data matching to identify and eliminate incorrect data; and
  • The sharing of data with other Government departments and law enforcement bodies.

Future changes to Companies House

Additional features of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023, will be introduced, including:

Companies House fee adjustments

As per our recent eshot, Companies House has revised its fee structure as of 1 May to accommodate new expenses and ensure the coverage of existing costs.

Identity verification

A key change will be the requirement for individuals involved in setting up, running, owning, or controlling a company to undergo identity verification.

To facilitate this, Companies House will introduce a service allowing you to verify your identity directly with them or through an authorised agent.

Changes to Accounts Filing

In line with the trend towards digitisation, Companies House is moving towards mandatory electronic filing of accounts, highlighting the push towards software usage.

This transition to online filing will occur over two to three years, though the exact timeline remains to be confirmed. Changes to filing options for small company accounts are also planned.

Limited Partnership Reforms

If you operate a limited partnership, prepare for procedural adjustments. Enhancements aimed at boosting transparency and accountability will require limited partnerships to submit information through authorised agents and provide additional details to Companies House.

Enhancing company ownership transparency

To further transparency efforts, you will need to supply additional information about shareholders in registers.

The ECCT Act has introduced new statutory objectives for the Registrars of Companies for England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

The Registrars have a new duty to seek to promote these objectives when performing their functions:

  • To ensure that anyone who is required to deliver a document to the registrar does so (and that the requirements for proper delivery are complied with);
  • To ensure information contained in the register is accurate and that the register contains everything it ought to contain; and
  • To ensure that records kept by the registrar do not create a false or misleading impression to members of the public.

This includes the full names of individuals or corporate entities and their companies and a one-time comprehensive list of shareholders.

Additionally, there will be new restrictions on the use of corporate directors, with specific details provided.

We will keep you updated on each new development. However, if you have any enquiries, do not hesitate to contact us.