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Expected changes to UK Company Law – 4 March 2024

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In our previous article, we discussed the reforms which were set to be introduced under the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (Act), after the Act received Royal Assent in October of last year.  These reforms aim to crack down on economic crime and preventing fraud by introducing significant changes to UK company law.

The provisions of the Act will be introduced in stages, and it has now been confirmed by the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales that the first of these changes will be implemented in March 2024.

Here is a brief explanation of some of the changes which are expected to be introduced on 4 March 2024:

  • Registered office – all companies will be required to have an ‘appropriate address’ at all times. This means that companies will no longer be able to use a PO box as their registered address;
  • Email address – companies will also need to provide a registered email address. This will be used for communication with Companies House and will not be publicly available;
  • Lawful purpose – on incorporation, subscribers of new companies will need to confirm that they are forming their company for a lawful purpose. Following this, each company will need to confirm their lawful purpose annually alongside the company’s confirmation statements;
  • Company name – there will be more stringent checks on company names, including potential restrictions on names which could be used to ‘facilitate crimes’;
  • Companies House annotations – Companies House will be able to annotate the register with the intention of making the public aware of any misleading or incorrect information which has been filed;
  • Companies House – data matching software will be used in attempt to identify and remove inaccurate information from the register;
  • Powers of the Registrar – Companies House will have additional powers to scrutinise and reject company information which appears incorrect or inconsistent with existing filings;
  • Data – the Registrar will also have the power to share data with other Government departments and law enforcement agencies.

UK companies will need to ensure that they are aware of the upcoming changes and make sure that they comply with these provisions before they are introduced on 4 March 2024.  Please see this blog published by Companies House for additional details on the upcoming changes.

Our friendly and experienced Corporate Team are here to assist with any company secretarial enquiries so please give us a call if we can help.

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.
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    Written by Aidan Johnson