The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency (ECCT) Act means a whole host of changes are coming at Companies House. The changes focus around improving the data on the registers and tackling Economic Crime.

The first changes came into effect on 4th March 2024 and will affect anyone who wants to incorporate a new company, or file accounts or confirmation statements for existing companies on or after this date.

So, what has changed so far?

Registered Office Address

Companies must use an ‘appropriate address’ for their registered office address. This change in law is about postal mail sent to the company:

  • a document addressed to the company, and delivered there by hand or by post, would be expected to come to the attention of a person acting on behalf of the company
  • the delivery of documents there is capable of being recorded by the obtaining of an acknowledgement of delivery

This means you will no longer be able to use a P.O. Box as your registered address, however you can still use a different address such as your accountant’s office (with permission of course), or you can pay a third party for a managed mail service.

If you are currently using a P.O.Box address, and you don’t update it, you will receive a formal request from Companies House for more information. Non response to this could mean a penalty, prosecution or your company could be struck off.

Registered Email Address

All companies now need to provide a registered email address, which you have a legal duty to keep up to date. You will need to supply your registered email address the next time you file a Confirmation Statement after 5th March 2024. You won't be able to file other documents until this is done.

Lawful Purpose

You will also need to sign a 'Lawful Purpose Statement' to confirm to confirm that the intended future activities of the company will be lawful. You will also need to do this the next time you file a Confirmation Statement after 5th March 2024. Again, you won't be able to file other documents until this is done.

Companies House Fees

Companies House fees are set to cover the cost of the services they deliver, not to make any profit. There is a planned fees increase from 1st May 2024, which will see the digital incorporation fee increase from £12 to £50 and confirmation statement filing will increase from £13 to £34. The full list of new fees can be seen on the link below:
Changes to Companies House fees - starting 1st May 2024

Is That Everything?

No, this is just the start of a much bigger set of changes. Companies House have plans to clean up the register and will have powers to query information and annotate the register to show inconsistencies. Further changes are planned this year, including:

  • verification of Identity for all Company Directors and Person with Significant Control (PSCs)
  • the closure of the Web Filing service (all accounts will need to be filed through third party software)

Full details can been seen in the reference links below

For Reference:
GOV.UK | Changes to UK company law
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023

Previous Blogs