The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 takes effect this June (2016) and changes a number of requirements for filing information at Companies House, that said the changes do not appear to be overly dramatic.

Annual returns now become “confirmation statements” but generally the information required is the same.

There is, however, a new requirement to file details of persons with significant control as part of confirmation statement. Persons with significant control:

  • own more than 25% of the company’s shares
  • hold more than 25% of the company’s voting rights
  • hold the right to appoint or remove the majority of directors
  • have the right to, or actually exercise significant influence or control over the company

It has been a requirement since April 2016 for companies to keep a register of this information as part of their statutory books.

The Act also now provides an option for private limited companies to keep their formal registers (members details, directors, secretaries, directors residential addresses) on a central register at Companies House rather than as part of their own statutory books.

Our suspicion is that many small companies do not actually maintain proper registers currently and may, therefore, be tempted to provide this information to Companies House as part of the new confirmation statement process. Whilst this will no doubt improve overall compliance it is worth bearing in mind that it does put information like dates of birth and private addresses into the public domain.

For a more detailed look at this subject see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-small-business-enterprise-and-employment-bill-is-coming