Companies House reform: What we know so far

Companies House

18th July 2023

In order to stop the misuse of UK corporate entities and maximise the accuracy of filed information, the UK Government is expanding the role and powers of Companies House. As the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill (the Bill) makes its way through Parliament, it will – and has already been – subject to some amendments.

Our analysis so far

We have analysed key parts of the Bill to date and broken our findings down into four parts, which you can read below:

Accounts filed at Companies House

The latest update on the Bill regards filing accounts at Companies House. The focus is on what information is filed at Companies House so that it will more closely reflect a company’s accounts. The reform proposes that:

  • Filing obligations for micro-entities and small companies will become clearer by reducing the filing options. This will remove the abridged and ‘filleted’ accounts options.
  • Companies House will require a balance sheet, profit and loss account and directors’ report for all micro-entities and small companies. Where a company satisfies the micro-entity threshold, the directors’ report filing becomes optional.
  • Dormant companies will have to file an eligibility statement, confirming that the company is not trading and meets the criteria for filing dormant accounts. This is intended to act as a deterrent to criminal activity.
  • Small companies and micro-entities must file sufficient information to confirm they qualify for their accounting category.

Further changes are proposed as part of the Bill, to be introduced at a later date, including:

  • Accounts filed at Companies House must be digitally filed and fully tagged in iXBRL format.
  • Reducing the number of times a company can shorten its Accounting Reference Period, suggested to be once every five years.

We will continue to follow the Bill’s progress as it makes its way through Parliament. For further queries on how the Bill may impact you, or for any company secretarial needs, contact Katie Holden, Senior Manager or a member of our Company Secretarial team.

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