As you may be aware, the UK Government has taken steps through the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency (ECCT) Act to tackle economic crime and improve transparency relating to corporate entities. The ECCT Bill achieved royal assent on 26 October 2023 and has now become an Act of Parliament.
In summary, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act (the “Act”) has introduced reforms that include:
- Introducing identity verification measures for all new and existing registered directors and people with significant control; and
- Broadening the Registrar of Companies House’s powers to become a more proactive gatekeeper over company data filed.
Additionally, the Act mandates that every company in the UK must have a registered email address that is deemed appropriate.
Once the relevant provisions of the Act come into force, the registered email address will be requested in connection with the incorporation process, and for existing companies, on filing the first confirmation statement.
It is expected that the first set of measures introduced by the Act will come into force in early 2024 and will affect the company formation process as follows:
- A registered email address having to be provided for the proposed company during the incorporation process.
- Companies not being able to use a PO Box as their registered office address.
- New statements in the incorporation process to confirm that the company is being formed for a lawful purpose, that the registered office address is an ‘appropriate address’, and that the registered email address is ‘an appropriate email address.
- New powers for the Registrar of Companies to question information which companies submit and to reject information which is incorrect or misleading.
The material contained in this guide is provided for general purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Appropriate legal advice should be sought for specific circumstances and before action is taken.
© Miller Rosenfalck LLP, November 2023