Companies House reform: proposals in review
8 December 2020: ICAEW has published a summary of the government’s proposed reforms to Companies House and its involvement in the reform process.
The Companies House reform proposals released by government are intended to provide clarity and certainty around who is setting up, managing and controlling corporate entities.
ICAEW has published a summary of these proposals, which include a single user account for individuals across all filings; the ability of anti-money-laundering (AML) regulated third-party agents to do the verification required to make filings for their customers; and mandatory verification of directors.
The proposals also outline increased powers for Companies House to scrutinise and reject filings and will require disclosure of further information from companies relying on exemption from PSC (people with significant control) register. This is part of the government’s aim to improve the accuracy and usability of data on the Companies House register.
Elsewhere, the removal of the requirement for directors to list occupation and the ability to remove historic information such as signatures are intended to improve protections for individuals who would otherwise be vulnerable to identity theft.
ICAEW has welcomed many of the proposals for Companies House reform outlined by the government in recent months, in particular the requirement for verification checks on directors.
It has also voiced some concerns about some of the proposals’ rules, for example, the proposal that appointments and resignations of directors will not be effective until shown on the Companies House register.
ICAEW is working with the government as part of the BEIS Working Group for the proposals, to help develop them into functional regulation.
A more detailed summary of the proposed reforms of Companies House, with an outline of ICAEW’s involvement in the reforms, is available here.