The Companies House measures being introduced in March 2024

Companies House

18th January 2024

Following the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill (the Bill) receiving Royal Assent on 26 October 2023, Companies House has announced that from March 2024 onwards, the following measures will be in force:

  • All companies are required to supply a registered email address:
    • All companies incorporated after March 2024 will be required to provide their registered email address upon incorporation.
    • Existing companies must supply a registered email address along with future confirmation statements filed on behalf of the company.
  • All companies must have an appropriate registered office address. A PO Box address will not be adequate.
  • Companies House will have the ability to scrutinise and reject information that appears incorrect or inconsistent with existing information on the register, and the ability to remove certain information.
  • More robust checks on company names.
  • Upon incorporation, subscribers are required to confirm that they are forming a company for lawful purposes. A statement must also be included on each subsequent confirmation statement filed, confirming that the company will remain lawful. Existing companies will need to make this statement within any confirmation statement filed from March 2024 onwards.
  • Application of annotations on the register to inform users of potential issues with the information that has been provided to Companies House.
  • Steps will be taken to clean up the register, including the ability to use data matching to detect and withdraw inaccurate information.
  • Companies House will be able to share data with other government departments and law enforcement agencies.

What can you do to prepare?

It is important to ensure that filings are done accurately. Companies may wish to audit their existing filings (or at least the latest ones) for accuracy, to avoid being penalised for inconsistency on future filings. Companies House is also implementing fines and higher fees to fund other reforms under the Bill.

If your company currently uses a PO Box for its registered office address, you will need to provide a new registered office address and update Companies House from March 2024. We also recommend identifying an appropriate email address to use as your registered email address going forward. Ideally, this will not be linked to a particular employee in case that person leaves the company.

What are the consequences of not complying?

The Bill will allow Companies House to directly impose civil penalties for breaches of the Companies Act 2006, rather than pursuing criminal prosecutions for enforcement. Companies House will also have the ability to directly impose fines up to a maximum of £10,000, without the administrative and financial burdens of having to go through the court process.

We have analysed the Bill and how it will affect businesses which you can read in more detail here. If you require further information, please get in touch with Katie Holden, Senior Manager, or a member of the Company Secretarial team.

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