As anticipated last year, when Companies House launched an important consultation on its role as a public body, a set of major reforms will be implemented with the aim of improving the completeness and the accuracy of the information filed with the registrar.
Now that the Government has published its response, as the reforms are expected to be brought in as early as 2021, the main changes will be the following:
- Companies House will move from having a mere repository role to having the power to question and verify the information filed
- A new system for digital identification of officers, PSCs and agents which will also allow linking identities across different companies on the public register
- Obligation on bodies subject to AML to report discrepancies between the public register and the information they have
- List of shareholders will be included every year as in the old annual returns; the Government will also review the information required to be filed about the shareholders
- The Government will review some aspects of accounts filings, including the exemptions that allow companies to submit micro or dormant accounts
While this is not yet legislation, it is already clear how the changes will bring additional compliance requirements on company secretaries but to the great benefit of all stakeholders who consult the public register for reliable information about UK companies.
As the details of the above reforms are yet to be defined, we look forward to learning more as new updates become available.
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Bolasco Consulting Ltd