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Important changes from Companies House

Important changes from Companies House

Companies House are making some important changes over the coming weeks, if you’re a director or shareholder of a limited company, or are thinking about incorporating a limited company it is important you are aware of these changes. Staying ahead of regulatory changes is paramount for ensuring compliance and avoiding unnecessary complications and potentially negative ramifications.

In this article, we’ll focus on the changes coming into play on 4 March 2024, but will also highlight other changes you can expect to see over the next few months and beyond. 

Changes effective from 4 March 2024

Registered Office Address Requirements

From 4th March 2024, Companies House is setting stricter criteria for registered office addresses. The use of PO Boxes will no longer be acceptable. Your registered office address must be a physical location where documents can be delivered and, importantly, come to the attention of someone acting on behalf of your company. Documents sent to that address must be able to be recorded by an acknowledgement of delivery. 

If you're using a third-party agent for your registered office; this may still be acceptable provided their address meets the new criteria set out above. Changing your address can be done online with your Companies House authentication code via the following link.

Failure to comply with these requirements could lead to your company being struck off the register. If an inappropriate address is identified, Companies House will default to a specified address for a 28-day period, after which, if not rectified, strike-off actions may be initiated.

If you are using a PO Box, or another address which does not comply with the new criteria, you should ensure you updated your address before 4 March 2024. 

Email Address Registration and Lawful Activity Confirmation

Another notable change coming into force from 4 March 2024 is the requirement for companies to provide a registered email address to Companies House. For existing companies this can be done in your next confirmation statement, while new companies will need to provide this as part of the registration process.

Additionally, during the formation of a company or in the next confirmation statement, shareholders must confirm the company is being (or has been) established for lawful purposes and that its activities will be lawful. This added measure aims to enhance the integrity of business operations within the UK.

Enhanced Powers and Checks

Companies House will have increased authority to challenge or remove information deemed inaccurate, incomplete, false, or fraudulent presented on the register. This includes stronger checks on company names and the ability to annotate the register to highlight potential issues.

Non-compliance or failure to respond to formal requests for additional information from Companies House could lead to severe consequences, such as financial penalties, annotations on the company’s record, or even prosecution.

Fee Changes Effective 1st May 2024

Companies House is also adjusting its fees from 1st May 2024 for various transactions, including company incorporation and confirmation statements. 

Digital incorporations will see a new fee of £50, while paper applications will cost £71. This adjustment in fees is part of a broader effort to modernise and streamline services.

The filing fee for confirmation statements will also increase to £34, up from £13 previously.

Full details about price changes can be found here.

Looking Ahead: Future Changes

Looking further ahead, Companies House is planning several long-term changes to enhance transparency and security. These include compulsory ID checks for company directors, members and owners; streamlining account options for small companies; and transitioning to software-only account filings. Moreover, efforts are underway to make limited partnership information more accessible and to strengthen the protection regime for personal information to safeguard individuals from fraud .

Managing the Changes

Your accountant can help you manage these changes, for example, if you need to change your registered office address, speak to your accountant about updating this with Companies House. 

At Beany, we are here to support you through these transitions, offering guidance and expertise to navigate the evolving regulatory landscape.

Charlotte Wass

Charlotte Wass

General Manager, Beany UK

Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser based in London. I love autumn, otters and Malteasers, and I hate spiders, peanut butter and the London Underground.

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