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Implementation of provisions in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023

Beat the Rush! – Implementation of provisions in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (‘ECCTA’) come into effect on 4th March 2024. These changes affect both existing companies, and newly formed companies after the implementation date. Failure to implement these changes may incur a fine.

Registered email address

New companies: For a company formed on or after 4th March 2024, a registered email address must be provided at the time the company is incorporated which is deemed ‘an appropriate email address’ as defined by the ECCTA…

‘if, in the ordinary course of events, emails sent to it by the registrar (i.e Companies House) would be expected to come to the attention of a person acting on behalf of the company’

In practical terms, the email address can be one set up specifically for this purpose or an existing one and can be used for a number of companies. It does not need to be an address of a company director or other officer and can be for the company’s accountant or other agent carrying out company secretarial duties on its behalf. But clearly it must be a valid one, and those dealing with the company secretarial matters for the company receive communication sent to it. The email address will show on the public record.

Failure to provide to Companies House ‘without reasonable excuse’ will be an offence that may incur a fine.

For existing companies, the registered email address must be included in the first confirmation statement completed after 4th March 2024. Companies House will also be providing a facility on the website to provide the address before the company’s next confirmation statement falls due.

Who is affected?

All UK Companies, Limited liability Partnerships (LLPs) and Limited Partnerships

Why is an email address required?

Companies House will now use the registered email address to communicate with the company- this most commonly used modern method of communication, making it quicker and more convenient for the registrar to communicate important information to Companies.

New statements of lawful purpose and appropriate address

New incorporations from 4th March 2024 will also need to confirm that the company will be used for lawful purposes (this does not apply to LLPs). Existing companies will confirm this within the company’s next completed confirmation statement.

Restriction on the use of PO Box addresses

The ECCTA also restricts the use of a PO Box address as a registered office address. An application to form a company after 4th March 2024 with a PO Box address, will be rejected. Existing companies with a registered PO Box address will likely be challenged by Companies House and asked to provide an ‘appropriate’ alternative address as defined in similar terms above.

Checks on company names

In addition, Companies House will be undertaking checks on proposed new company names. Companies House will reject an application to form a company with a name that:

  • Indicates it will be used for criminal purposes;
  • Indicates that it has links to foreign governments or international organisations
  • Includes a computer code

A second phase of changes implemented by the ECCTA will likely come into force no sooner than 2025. These changes provide Companies House with new powers to play a more active role in the management of company records, moving away from its current role as merely a passive recipient of information. Other changes include the verification of identity of company directors and the publishing of accounting information and members register. We await the enactment of statutory instruments to implement these additional changes.

If you believe your company will be affected by these changes, contact Adcocks Solicitors for further guidance and support- We have the expertise and knowledge to guide you through these changes.

 

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