We are sharing this update from ACCA, our professional body, for the interest of clients and contacts. The content is (c) ACCA

Get up to speed with various changes at Companies House

Martin Swain, Director of Intelligence and Law Enforcement Engagement at Companies House, writes about its new proactive role in the fight against economic crime in his recent LinkedIn post.

He describes how Companies House will be actively scrutinising the information provided to us and taking a much harder line on those who seek to abuse our company register and use UK companies to pursue criminal activities. He also gives an update on our new intelligence hub.

Read what Martin has to say about using our new powers to fight economic crime.

ECCT Act: The story so far

Watch Companies House’s video to learn exactly what it takes to deliver new UK company law.

New powers to challenge and change company names 

Companies House is running stronger checks on company names which may give a false or misleading impression to the public.

This will help to improve the accuracy of the data held and help tackle the misuse of company names.

Read more about the new powers to challenge company names.

Share your thoughts on identity verification

Companies House will be introducing an identity verification process to help deter those wishing to use companies for illegal purposes.

All directors and people with significant control will need to verify their identity. Over the coming months, Companies House will explain when these changes will come into effect; you do not need to do anything yet.

Companies House is running a survey to understand how people feel about identity verification, and would love to hear from you if you’re:

  • a person with significant control – an individual person or relevant legal entities with significant influence or control over a company
  • somebody who files documents with Companies House on behalf of others.

The survey should take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. If you have any questions about the survey, contact the user research team.

Complete the survey. 

Introducing the Business Support Service

On 1 April 2024, the Business Support Helpline was renamed the Business Support Service.

The Business Support Service is free to access. It can help you find the right support and impartial advice, whether you’re just starting out or growing your business venture.

Find out more. 

Find a UK-regulated agent to verify information for an overseas entity

The Register of Overseas Entities came into force on 1 August 2022. Overseas entities who want to buy, sell or transfer property or land in the UK, must register with Companies House and tell it who their registrable beneficial owners or managing officers are.

A UK-regulated agent must complete verification checks on all beneficial owners and managing officers of an overseas entity before it can be registered with Companies House.

They must be based in the UK and supervised under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017. They can be an individual or a corporate entity, such as a financial institution or legal professional.

A list of some of the UK-regulated agents who have an agent assurance code and can complete verification checks on beneficial owners of an overseas entity can be accessed.

Companies House Fees

A reminder that some fees will be increasing from Wednesday 1 May 2024

Companies House reviews its fees every year to make sure they’re set at the right level. Companies House fees are set on a cost recovery basis. This means fees must cover the cost of the services delivered. Companies House do not make a profit on our fees.

Some fees will be increasing in 2024 to fund ongoing operations and new activities related to the reform measures in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023.

These changes will come into effect on Wednesday 1 May 2024.

This Companies House news story provides further detail on the changes to fees.