On 18 September 2020, the Government announced that the UK’s register of company information will be reformed to clamp down on fraud and money laundering.
We understand the government will bring forward legislation to enact the reforms to the register when parliamentary time allows.
Knowing more about who’s setting up, managing and controlling companies
At the minute, Companies House accept information to the register without checking that people are who they say they are. Under the new plans, directors will not be able to be appointed until their identity has been verified by Companies House. Companies House has also questioned whether the reforms should extend to shareholders and it is likely this will happen in due course.
Improving the accuracy and usability of data on the register
The changes aim to increase the reliability of the data showing who is behind each company so that businesses have greater assurance when they are entering transactions with other companies, such as when small businesses are consulting the register to research potential suppliers and partners.
These reforms will not impact on the typical speed at which a company or organisation is formed and other filings are completed. Most companies will be able to be incorporated easily within 24 hours as is the case now.
The reforms will give Companies House more powers to query and reject information and to improve the quality of data on the register.
Protecting personal information on the register
The information on Companies House register is searched more than 5 billion times each year, which is evidence of the value of transparent data. But users are rightly concerned about identity theft and fraud. The reforms will afford users greater protections over their personal data, to help protect them from fraud and other harms.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss incorporating a new company or amending the registers of an existing company, please contact Claire Daly.
Whilst every effort has been made by CavanaghKelly to ensure the accuracy of the information here, it cannot be guaranteed and neither CavanaghKelly nor any related entity shall have liability to any person who relies on the information herein. Information given here is for guidance only. Detailed professional advice should be taken before acting on any information contained herein. If having read the guidance here, you would like to discuss further; a member of our team would be pleased to help you.