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12 March 2024

Companies House Update: Compliance with the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCT Act)

As of Monday, 4 March 2024, the first measures under the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCT Act) have officially gone into effect. This is a significant step towards combatting economic crime and promoting corporate transparency.

Improving the quality of data at Companies House

Companies House will be taking a more robust approach to dealing with information provided, before and after it’s been accepted on the register. They will be able to query information that is already on the register and any false, misleading, or incorrect information can be removed, they will have the power to share information with law enforcement agencies and other government departments

Registrar’s objectives

The act will also provide the registrar with new powers, to enable them to meet their objectives.  The registrar’s objectives are:  

  • to ensure that anyone who is required to deliver a document to the registrar does so (and that the requirements for proper delivery are complied with)
  • to ensure information contained in the register is accurate and that the register contains everything it ought to contain
  • to ensure that records kept by the registrar do not create a false or misleading impression to members of the public
  • to prevent companies and others from carrying out unlawful activities or facilitating the carrying out by others of unlawful activities

These objectives also apply to the Registrar of Companies for Scotland and the Registrar of Companies for Northern Ireland. 

Improving the accuracy of the Companies House register

To comply with the ECCT Act, it is a legal obligation for all companies to provide a registered email address. Companies House will use the provided email address to communicate with the company; it will not be accessible to the public. Therefore, it is crucial to provide an appropriate email address during registration, and it is important to note that the same email address can be registered for more than one company. In addition, all companies will be required to verify their intended operations are lawful.

The enhanced powers of the Companies House will enable appropriate action to be taken, preventing misleading or unlawful activities based on informed decisions when receiving information.

Changes to Companies House Fees

Starting from 1 May 2024, the Company incorporation and registration fees will be increased from £13 to £34. This adjustment will enable Companies House to fund the cost of the new powers and the wider package of reforms in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, ensuring a more robust and effective service. 

By increasing their fees, Companies House is demonstrating its commitment to operating effectively within the new powers and delivering high-quality outcomes. This ensures it continues to recover the costs of the services it delivers, maintaining its financial stability and service excellence. 

It’s important to note that companies’ House fees are set on a cost-recovery basis. This means their fees are designed to cover the cost of the services they deliver, ensuring a fair and sustainable approach. They do not make a profit on their fees.

Changes to Companies House fees – Changes to UK company law

Our Company Secretary Service

The role of the Company Secretary has grown in importance over recent years. Our Company Secretary Service supports businesses with setting up and ongoing administration, ensuring compliance with the law and regulations. We help file applicable returns, maintain statutory records, and deal with statutory changes. A vital element of company governance, we ensure Companies House filings are completed accurately and on time.

For more information on any of the points raised in this article, please email or call our Company Secretarial team, who will pleased to assist you.

Need a bit more detail?

Please email our Company Secretarial team, who will pleased to assist you.