Changes at the Companies House

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Last October, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA) was introduced to tackle fraud and economic crime in the UK. One of its key objectives is to improve the quality of data held at Companies House.  As a result, on 4th March 2024 changes at the Companies House came into being.


Overview of changes introduced on 4th March 2024

One of the changes was the revised fees. The new revised fees are set out on the Companies House website and will come into effect from 1st May 2024.

Any fees not listed means it is not being revised.

Changes at Companies House have led to an increase in its power to request information, including supporting evidence.

Companies House has been granted enhanced powers, which will help to ensure greater transparency and integrity in the corporate sector.

The registrar at Companies House has the authority to scrutinize and verify any information, enabling them to prevent companies from using names that could mislead the public.

In the event of any potential issues, Companies House may request the relevant information to be reviewed. It is important to note that a lack of response may result in financial penalties.

In certain circumstances, where there is inaccurate, incomplete, or false information, Companies House may take swift action to remove such information from public view.

The Act also introduces a new financial penalty that will sit alongside the current criminal sanctions.  From May the registrar will have the power to impose a fine of up to £10,000 if a person has conducted an offence as per the Companies Act 2006.

New rules for registered office.

Part of the changes at Companies House has meant new rules for a company’s registered office.

The new rules mean that Companies must have an “appropriate address”.  What this means is that any postal or hand delivery to the address must be:

  • received by someone acting on behalf of the company.
  • if you are delivering any documents, you should expect to receive an acknowledgement upon delivery.
  • it will no longer be possible to use a PO Box address.
  • all registered offices must be in an actual physical location.

If Companies House feels that a registered office is not appropriate, they will change it to their default address at Companies House.  You will then have 28 days to provide an appropriate address.  Failure to do so will result in the company being struck off.

Provision of an email address

From 4th March 2024, any new company must provide an email address when incorporating.

Any existing companies must provide a registered email address when filing the next confirmation statement.  This applies from 5th March.

You can change the registered email address via the “update a registered email address service”.

The two things to note here are:

  • You can use the same address for multiple companies.
  • The email address can be a personal one and does not have to be a company one


Statement to confirm the Company has a lawful purpose

When a new company is formed, the subscribers to the Company must confirm that the future activities of the company will be lawful.

All existing companies will need to confirm the lawfulness of the Company.  This will be done via the confirmation statement each year.

What’s next

Companies House has received a significant amount of power from the ECCTA 2023 since last month, but this is only the beginning.

There is now a new website, changes to UK Company Law which will detail all the current and future changes.  You should take a few minutes to review this.

Companies House have also mentioned on various occasions that we will get further changes.

But the timing of further changes is not yet confirmed.  We are expecting changes to the filing of the accounts, identity verification, and small company filing options among others. We will also see changes to the Limited Liability Partnership filing rules.

Of course, we will keep you updated as and when new changes come into effect.

But in the meantime, if you need any help with filing your accounts or any other matters relating to Companies House, please get in touch.   Please email Kelly Davidson

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