Corporate transparency and register reform coming soon

In May 2019, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy announced it would be consulting on its intention to reform and enhance the role of Companies House, a move which aims to increase the transparency of UK corporate entities and help to combat economic crime.

The government are keen to hear from people and organisations and in particular have requested feedback from company directors, shareholders and investors, business representative bodies, company service providers and members of the public.

The consultation will seek views on a series of reforms to limit the risk of misuse by obtaining a greater understanding of the following points:

1. Knowing who is setting up, managing and controlling companies

The first part of the consultation aims to introduce identity checks on those involved in setting up and running corporate entities. There will be greater checks at incorporation and during the lifetime of a company on directors and shareholders, Persons of Significant Control (PSCs) and those filing information.

2. Improving the accuracy and usability of information on the public register

It is envisaged that Companies House will be given more scope to query and seek further information before it is entered onto the register and it will be made easier to remove incorrect information from the register. Improvements will also be made to the process and delivery of annual accounts to Companies House.

3. Protecting personal information

In order to provide more protection for personal data, there will be changes to the accessibility of information on the company register and where it is stored by Companies House. There will also be changes to identity verification, with access to the register carefully managed and only identified or authorised persons able to file information.

4. Ensuring compliance, sharing intelligence and deterring abuse of company information

The government are looking to improve accuracy by cross checking against data held by other government and private sector bodies, leading to faster identification of data anomalies. Its aim is to deter the abuse of UK legal entities. It will also impose limits on the number of directorships one individual can hold.

5. Implementation

If implemented in full, the proposals in this consultation would be the most significant reform to the UK’s company registration framework since it was first introduced in 1844 and would require changes to systems, processes and staffing at Companies House.

If you are interested in responding to the public consultation you can do so 5 August 2019: beisgovuk.citizenspace.com/business-frameworks/corporate-transparency-and-register-reform/

Grant Usher is an Associate Solicitor in the Corporate and Commercial team, he can be contacted on 023 9231 2058 or by email to grant.usher@verisonalaw.com.

Read more about the recent clamp down on incorrect filings at Companies House: verisonalaw.com/articles/companies-house-clampdown-on-incorrect-filings/


Corporate

  • Sale and purchase of business, asset and shares
  • Business start-ups and SME’s
  • Management Buy-Outs (MBO’s) and Buy-Ins (MBI)
  • Share buy backs
  • Due diligence
  • Company re-organisation and re-structuring advice
  • Shareholders’ and partnership agreements
  • LLP and Partnership advice
  • Shareholder disputes

Finance

  • Drafting inter-creditor, facility, guarantee and other security agreements
  • Subordination and priority arrangements
  • Advice on personal and corporate guarantees

Commercial

  • Joint ventures and collaboration agreements
  • Terms and conditions of sale or purchase for goods/services
  • Agency and distribution agreements
  • Non-disclosure agreements (NDA)
  • Bespoke trading agreements
  • Intellectual property protection

Company Secretarial

  • Incorporation of limited liability partnerships and companies
  • Creating and/or maintaining statutory registers, minute books and share certificates
  • Preparing board minutes, resolutions and notices
  • Assisting with your confirmation statement
  • Drafting or amending Articles of Association
  • Dissolving or striking companies off the register
  • Implementing changes to your share capital
  • Drafting and filing of Companies House forms.

“The (Corporate and Commercial) team did Verisona Law proud. I really appreciate all your assistance throughout the transaction.”

Director of a Groundworks and civil engineering business, June 2018

“I would just like to say a very big thank you to you for all of your amazing hard work and patience during the course of the sale. Myself and the family very much appreciate it.”

Exiting shareholder of an IT company, July 2018

“Thank you for all your work in dealing with the acquisition, your advice has been really helpful.”

Seller of a healthcare business, January 2019


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