Companies house reform

There is an update on Companies House reforms, expected in March this year.

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (the “Act”) received Royal Assent on 26 October 2023. A practical impact on companies is expected.

One of the key areas covered by the Act relates to Companies House reforms. An overview of the key Companies House reforms to be implemented by the Act can be found in our previous two posts. These also include the latest developments relating to their implementation.

Last month, Companies House released further details about some of the initial changes brought in by the Act. This update focussed on the changes to registered offices and registered email address requirements that are due to come into force on 4 March 2024.

Companies House has now provided a fresh update on the additional powers coming into force on the 4 March 2024. These being the Registrar’s new powers to: (i) query information on the Companies House register; and (ii) improve the accuracy of the information available on the register.

These new powers aim to help Companies House meet its new objectives, being:

  • Ensure all information required is delivered to Companies House;
  • Ensure that information contained on the register is complete and accurate;
  • Ensure that the Registrar’s records do not create a misleading impression; and
  • Prevent the carrying out of unlawful activities.

From 4 March 2024, Companies House will be able to query information that is on the Register. This includes information that is sent for filing.

Companies House will be able to send a request to the directors of the relevant company for further information and any relevant supporting documentation.

Where incorrect or misleading information is discovered, the Registrar will have the power to remove this information from the Register. This will help ensure the Register’s ongoing accuracy.

Companies house reform – what can I do to prepare?

Directors should review their Companies House file and consider whether it contains any incorrect or misleading information, or any information that could be questioned. It would be worthwhile ensuring that you can locate relevant supporting documentation quickly and easily, should it be needed. After all, it isn’t possible to predict what queries could be raised by Companies House.

Where a formal request for information is made you must respond within the 14 day response period provided. A failure to do so is a criminal offence and could lead to financial penalties and prosecution.

Seek advice for your company

Further information on the Act and, in particular, Companies House reforms are expected over the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, if you would like more focused advice on what it could mean for your company, please get in touch.

This article is distributed for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. If you are unsure about the suitability of otherwise of any product or service, we recommend that you seek professional advice.
The information contained in this document has been taken from sources stated and is believed to be reliable and accurate, but without further investigation cannot be warranted as to accuracy or completeness.

Laura Clark

Senior Solicitor, Corporate Law

Laura is a solicitor experienced in a wide range of corporate work including acting for owner managed businesses, SMEs and private equity investors.

Learn more about Laura Clark