The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill has become law

The act introduces measures to enhance our data quality and reliability. It enables faster action against unauthorized use of personal information in the register, benefiting individuals. The key measures include:

  1. Implementing identity verification for all company directors, individuals with significant control, and those filing for companies.
  2. Expanding my authority to oversee company registration and maintain dependable data.
  3. Upgrading financial information to reflect digital advancements and improve decision-making.
  4. Strengthening Companies House with better investigative and enforcement powers and improved data sharing.
  5. Enhancing personal information protection to safeguard against fraud and other risks.

    New Objectives for the Registrar of Companies: The Registrar of Companies for England and Wales, in collaboration with colleagues, will focus on four key objectives:

    1. Ensure timely document delivery to the registrar in compliance with proper delivery requirements.
    2. Maintain accurate and comprehensive information in the register.
    3. Prevent the creation of false or misleading impressions in public records.
    4. Prevent unlawful activities and their facilitation by companies and individuals.

    These objectives also apply to the Registrars of Companies for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    Upcoming Changes: While the Act has received royal assent, immediate changes are not required. Some measures, like identity verification, will be introduced later due to system development and secondary legislation.

    Early measures to enhance transparency and accuracy include:

    • Increased powers to review and rectify information on the register.
    • Stronger checks on company names.
    • New rules for registered office addresses, disallowing the use of PO Boxes.
    • Requirements for registered email addresses and confirmation of lawful company formation.
    • Annotations on the register to highlight potential issues.
    • Data matching to clean up inaccurate information.
    • Data sharing with government departments and law enforcement agencies, with expected implementation in early 2024.

    Fee Changes: Companies House will increase some fees in early 2024, ensuring cost recovery for services. The fees will remain competitive globally.

    Staying Informed: Companies House will provide updates on these changes through various channels, including alerts, newsletters, email reminders, and social media platforms. A new website will also be launched to keep stakeholders informed.