The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023: Key changes companies need to know

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The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023: Key changes companies need to know

One thing the new year brings with it is the implementation of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 which received royal assent in the autumn of 2023. The Act is designed to tackle economic crime and make developments to Companies House and its systems.

Some of the key corporate law changes will impact all entities which register at Companies House.

New powers of Companies House

Companies House will be equipped with a range of new powers above its current administrative role. This includes the power to share data with other public authorities, to remove information from the register, to require companies to provide additional information and to change a company’s registered office address.

Identity verification

Directors, People with Significant Control and those who submit documents to Companies House will need to have their identities verified directly with Companies House. Verification methods include biometric authentication and checks undertaken by authorised corporate service providers. Directors will be prohibited from acting until their identity has been verified.

Registered office

Companies will need to ensure that their registered office is an “appropriate address”.

Registered email address

Companies need to register and maintain an email address at Companies House.

Company names

Company names which could suggest connection with a foreign government or international bodies will be prohibited, along with names that could be used to facilitate crimes.

Company accounts

New filing requirements will come into place for small companies. Small companies are required to file a directors’ report as well as a profit and loss account. Meanwhile, micro-entities will have to file a profit and loss account. Also, companies will no longer be able to file abridged accounts and if they claim an audit exemption, they must submit an eligibility statement.

Personal information

Individuals who have personal information displayed on Companies House can request to have it supressed from public disclosure. Personal information includes occupations, dates of birth, signatures and residential addresses. This also includes names and all other sensitive information in cases where an individual is at serious risk of intimidation or violence.

It is important for businesses to comply with the new law as non-compliance may result in civil or criminal sanctions.

Further details and guidance are expected to be published in secondary legislation and by Companies House. Whilst the key dates and timeline for implementation haven’t been confirmed, Companies House has indicated certain measures will become live in early 2024, including the new rules relating to company names, registered office and email addresses.

Talk to us

At JMW, we are experienced in advising businesses and business owners on corporate and commercial matters. If you need assistance when the changes noted above come into place, or in relation to anything else, please contact us to on 0345 872 6666 or by completing our online enquiry form to discuss how we may be able to help.

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