Several important changes to the information that new and existing companies must file at Companies House are coming into force on 30 June 2016. These changes, which form part of the package of reforms introduced in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, will have a major impact on companies and accountants who act on their behalf.
In this article, we summarise the latest changes and how they’ll affect UK companies. We’ve also prepared a wide range of further resources to assist companies and their professional advisers, and our award-winning company secretarial software has been fully updated to support the key changes.
Easy confirmation statements
Fully updated with Companies House's revised requirements, Inform Direct makes it easy to put together the required data and then submit confirmation statements at the touch of a button.Start now
1 The confirmation statement replaces the annual return
The headline change is the replacement of the annual return with the new confirmation statement.
In a similar way to its predecessor, every UK company will need to file a confirmation statement at least once a year. Elsewhere, we look in detail at the confirmation statement, but the main differences are:
- There’s no longer a need to re-confirm information, like the names of shareholders, if it hasn’t changed at all in the year covered by the statement
- Companies must now report details of their Persons with Significant Control in the confirmation statement (more information below)
- The confirmation statement features an updated statement of capital (see below)
- While Companies House will still charge an annual fee for submitting a confirmation statement, you’ll be able to file statements as often as you like during the year if you want to update the information held on the public record
Check out our handy guide if you want to know when you’ll need to submit your first confirmation statement, and whether you’ll still need to submit a final annual return.
2 Submitting PSC details to Companies House
The vast majority of companies have been required to set up and maintain a PSC Register from 6 April 2016, recording details of individuals and certain legal entities that exert certain types of influence over the company. Broadly, a Person with Significant Control or PSC is someone who:
- Holds more than 25% of the company’s shares;
- Controls more than 25% of the company’s voting rights;
- Has a right to appoint or remove a majority of the board of directors;
- Can exert significant influence or control over the company; or
- Can exert significant influence or control over a related trust or partnership.
Elsewhere on our site, you can read more about a company’s responsibilities to maintain a PSC Register.
From 30 June, companies will need to start reporting details of their PSCs within their first confirmation statement, in much the same way as they already report information about directors. This information will be available for inspection on the company’s public record.
Just like the format of the PSC register itself, the content and format of the details submitted are closely specified by detailed regulations. Thankfully, the updates we’ve made to Inform Direct make it easy not only to record the required information but also to submit it all correctly.
The process of forming a company is changing in a few ways, mostly related to other updates being introduced. The key changes are:
- Companies will now have to include one or more planned trade classifications – the type of business the company will undertake – as part of the IN01 form to incorporate
- The incorporation application must also include a statement of initial people with significant control, detailing the individuals or legal entities who exert certain types of influence over the company
- The initial statement of capital within the application must be in an updated format (see below)
You can find out more about these changes, and what they mean for you when forming companies, in our summary of the changes to incorporations.
4 Updated statement of capital
The content of the statement of capital, which provides a snapshot of a company’s share classes, amounts invested in shares and rights attached to them, is being updated. We explain the changes in details in our overview of the statement of capital.
Whenever you file a statement of capital at Companies House – whether as part of a company incorporation, confirmation statement, share allotment or various other share transactions – you’ll need to submit it in the new format from 30 June 2016.
5 Holding registers at Companies House
From 30 June, a company may elect to keep certain statutory registers at Companies House, rather than keep them in house. However, Companies House have stated that they do not expect there to be much uptake, and that’s not surprising given the various disadvantages:
- Private details, such as dates of birth and residential addresses of directors, will be visible online
- There is no reduction in a company’s workload, since a company will need to file all changes to the registers promptly with Companies House
- The process required to elect to keep the information on the public register – defined by legislation – is quite burdensome, particularly where a company has a large number of shareholders
Thankfully, because Inform Direct provides a comprehensive suite of automatically generated online registers, our customers already get the best of both worlds without having to expose themselves to any of these disadvantages.
Fully updated with Companies House's revised requirements, Inform Direct makes it easy to create PSC registers and then submit confirmation statements at the touch of a button.