UK and International Tax news

Companies House To Enhance Corporate Transparency Measures

Monday 21st September 2020

Companies House has announced plans to reform the UK’s register of company information to clamp down on fraud and money laundering, following consultation on Corporate Transparency and Register Reform.

Under the plans, directors will not be able to be appointed until their identity has been verified by Companies House.  The changes aim to increase the reliability of the data showing who is behind each company so that businesses have greater assurance when they are entering transactions with other companies, for example when small businesses are consulting the register to research potential suppliers and partners.

The plans aim at improving the ability of law enforcement agencies, such as the National Crime Agency, to trace their activity for suspected fraud or money laundering. Identity verification will take place through a fast, efficient, digital process and is expected to take a matter of minutes.

Companies House do not expect the reforms will impact on the typical speed at which a company or organisation is formed and other filings are completed. Most companies should be able to be incorporated within 24 hours as is the case now.

Data on Companies House informs many transactions between businesses and underpins credit scores and lending decisions. Companies House has confirmed that register data was accessed over 9bn times last year.

The government’s full response to the Corporate Transparency and Register Reform has also been published and the proposed reform will be designed to give Companies House more powers to query and reject information, to improve the quality of data on the register, afford users greater protections over their personal data, and help protect them from fraud and other harms.

The government is to also consult on further changes to make Companies House more useful and usable, including reforms to the filing of company accounts.

If you would like more details on the above, please contact Keith Rushen on 0207 486 2378.


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