Changes to Companies House 2024

From 4th March 2024, changes came into force that gave Companies House new and enhanced powers, marking the most significant changes in the regulator’s 180-year history.

It’s vital that you are aware of the changes being made to Companies House as failure to adhere to the new rules could result in fines or, in some cases, legal implications.

Read on to find out about the changes made by Companies House in 2024.

What Companies House changes came into force in March 2024?

As of 4th March 2024, the following changes have come into force:

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Greater powers for Companies House

Companies House will have greater powers to enable them to question information that appears to be incorrect or inconsistent. It will also be able to clean up the register, removing any information that they believe to be inaccurate, incomplete, or fraudulent.

Registered office address

All businesses must now have a registered address that is deemed to be ‘appropriate’. But what is classed as ‘appropriate’ in the eyes of Companies House? The property must be somewhere that documents can be delivered to, marked for the attention of an individual acting on behalf of the company, and that acknowledgment of delivery can be made.

In addition to this, companies will no longer be able to use a PO Box address as their registered address, but will be able to use third party agent addresses. However, these must still meet all the conditions to be considered appropriate.

Name checks

Companies House will now carry out more thorough checks on company names. This is to ensure that companies are not using names that could be misleading or give a false impression.

Disqualification of Directors

The rules around the disqualification of directors have been tightened. If a director is disqualified under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (CDDA), they will automatically cease to hold office and any appointment of them as director of a UK company will be void.

Registered email address

All companies will now be required to provide an email address during the incorporation process. All existing companies will also need to provide an email address, this will be done when their next Confirmation Statement is filed.

The email address will be used for communication with HMRC and will not be made public. Once submitted, companies will be able to update their email address online, and will be legally required to keep it up-to-date.

Lawful statements

When companies are incorporated, shareholders will now be required to sign a statement confirming that they are forming the company for lawful purposes.

For existing companies, shareholders will be required to sign lawful purpose statements when they next file a confirmation statement.

What Companies House changes are planned?

In addition to the changes introduced by Companies House in March 2024, there are further changes planned for 2024/25, however the date for introduction is yet to be confirmed.

These changes include:

Rules for corporate directors

When these changes are introduced, UK companies will no longer be allowed corporate directors, unless they meet certain criteria for an exemption.

Companies House checks

Companies House will be permitted to cross-check data with other bodies, from both the private and public sectors, and will also pro-actively share data with law enforcement bodies.

Abridged accounts

Once this change is introduced, small and micro-entities will no longer be able to file abridged or filleted accounts.

Micro businesses – those with fewer than 10 employees and a turnover of under £632,000 – will only be required to file a balance sheet, while those with less than 50 employees and a turnover of under £10.2 million, will be required to file a balance sheet, directors’ report, and profit and loss accounts.

Identity verification

All new and existing company directors, as well as Persons with Significant Control, will be required to go through identity verification.

Failure to prevent fraud

All economic crimes committed by senior managers will now face charges of failure to prevent fraud and an extension of corporate liability. This will mean that companies and partnerships will be liable if they fail to prevent employees or agents from committing fraud to benefit the business or its customers.

Seizure of cryptoassets

Companies House will be given additional powers to seize and recover suspected criminal cryptoassets.

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We have years of experience in the industry and are experts when it comes to dealing with Companies House and ensuring that our clients are fully compliant with the latest regulations.

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To find out more about how we can help, get in touch with the expert team today.

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We believe in working with our clients to make accountancy services easy. Get year-end accounts, CT600 corporation tax, payroll, bookkeeping and management accounts made easy.