Important changes business owners need to be aware of


In the ever-dynamic realm of finance, staying abreast of regulatory changes and industry developments is paramount for all business owners. And with significant changes coming into play from the 04 March and beyond, we want to make sure you have all the information needed to stay compliant. 

Firstly, on the 04 March there are some important changes under the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act which you need to be aware of. The changes below will impact all companies registered at Companies House.

Registered email addresses

All companies will need to provide a registered email address. Companies House will use this email address to communicate with the company – it will not be available to the public.  It will need to be included in the next CS01 form filed or any new company formation from 04 March.

  • Existing companies will need to provide a registered email address when filing their next confirmation statement, with a statement date from 05 March 2024 onwards. 
  • New companies will need to give a registered email address when incorporated, from 04 March 2024.

Registered office addresses   

From 04 March 2024, there will be new rules for registered office addresses which mean companies must, at all times, have an ‘appropriate address’ as their registered office. 

An address is an ‘appropriate address’ if, in the ordinary course of events: 

  • 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.

These changes mean you will not be able to use a PO Box as your registered office address in the future. Action will be taken against companies who do not have an appropriate registered office address.  

Statement of lawful purpose

There will be a new requirement when you register or incorporate a company from 04 March 2024.  The subscribers to the company will need to confirm they are forming the company for a lawful purpose.  A company will also need to confirm its intended future activities are lawful on their annual confirmation statement. 

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act received royal assent on 26 October 2023. The Act gives Companies House the power to play a more significant role in tackling economic crime and supporting economic growth. Over time, the measures will lead to improved transparency and more accurate and trusted information on their registers.

There will be new responsibilities for: 

  • all new and existing company directors. 
  • people with significant control of a company (PSCs). 
  • anyone who files on behalf of a company. 

Registrar’s powers

From 4 March 2024, the registrar will have greater powers to query and challenge information that appears to be incorrect or inconsistent with information they hold.  In some cases, they will also be able to remove information more quickly, if that information is inaccurate, incomplete, false or fraudulent.  

There will be stronger checks on company names which may give a false or misleading impression to the public.  This will help improve the accuracy and quality of the data held and help to tackle the misuse of company names.  

They will use annotations on the register to let users know about potential issues with the information that has been supplied. They will also be taking steps to clean up the register, using data matching to identify and remove inaccurate information. Also a new identity verification process will be introduced in 2024.  

Possible enforcement and sanctions 

There will be serious consequences if a company does not respond to a formal request from Companies House for more information. This could include: 

  • a financial penalty.
  • an annotation on the company’s record.
  • Prosecution.

There could also be serious consequences for a company if their registered office is not an appropriate address.

If they believe a company’s registered office is not appropriate, it will be changed to a default address held at Companies House.  If a company’s registered office is moved to the default address, they must provide an appropriate address with evidence of proprietary ownership within 28 days, or they could start the process to strike the company off the register.

Other changes expected in 2024

Changes to Companies House fees

From 1 May 2024, fees will be increasing to take new future expenditure into account, as well as making sure costs are recovered from existing expenditure. 

Identity verification

Anyone setting up, running, owning or controlling a company in the UK will need to verify their identity.

Changes to accounts

Transitioning towards filing accounts by software only, and changes to small company accounts filing options.  

Protecting your information

Individuals will be able to apply to suppress personal information from historical documents and apply to have personal information protected from public view because of risk of harm.  

Changes to limited partnerships

Limited partnerships will need to file their information through authorised agents and they will need to file more information with Companies House.

Improving transparency of company ownership

New requirements to provide additional shareholder information and restrictions on the use of corporate directors.  

Investigation, enforcement and data sharing

More effective investigation and enforcement powers for Companies House, and new powers to share data with law enforcement agencies and other government departments.  

To find out who is affected by these changes click here

We hope you found this information useful, if you have any questions or concerns surrounding this subject please get in touch with your DRG contact.

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Donald Reid Group
18a King Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1EF | T: 01628 760 000 | E:

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