Provisions in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 are aimed at reducing red tape for businesses and increasing transparency. The Government has recently announced changes to the implementation timetable. The latest position for key changes is as follows:
- October 2015 – the day element of the date of birth details of directors will no longer be required on the public register, and an accelerated procedure for striking off a company will be introduced;
- October 2015 – newly appointed directors and secretaries will no longer have to “consent to act” using the current procedure of having to provide a signature on paper forms and personal authentication for online filings. Instead Companies House will include a statement on the relevant appointment or incorporation forms, and companies will be required to agree;
- December 2015 – a new process will be introduced to give a remedy where a company is using a registered office address without proper authorisation; a new process will also be introduced to remove from the register details of any director who has been falsely appointed;
- April 2016 – companies should keep their own register of people with significant control;
- June 2016 – companies will need to file information at Companies House on their register of people with significant control, and update it annually as part of their “check and confirm” statement (see below);
- June 2016 – the current obligation to file an annual return will be replaced by a requirement to “check and confirm” relevant company information in a confirmation statement given at least once every 12 months;
- June 2016 – companies may elect to keep certain information on the public registers only (instead of keeping their own registers);
- June 2016 – statement of capital requirements will be simplified;
- October 2016 – prohibition on corporate directors is expected to come into force, so companies will have to take action to explain how they meet the conditions for exemption (yet to be clarified), failing which the corporate director will need to resign.
To read the Government press release in full, please click here.