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News - 17 February 2015

Small Business Bill

Provisional dates for changes to companies' legal requirements have been announced by Companies House.

The changes are being made under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, and affect all UK firms.

According to Companies House, changes will be introduced in stages throughout 2015 and 2016.

Liz Kennett, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“The Bill contains a number of measures which together represent significant change for companies, including reducing red tape whilst increasing the quality of information on the public register, and enhancing transparency to ensure that the UK is seen as a trusted and fair place to do business.”

All companies will be affected by at least some changes, as the measures will change legal requirements on companies, including what they file with Companies House.

It is currently expected that changes will be implemented in three stages, with those with the highest impact being delivered in the final stage.

An initial time table looks like this:

Two months after Royal Assent.

Bearer shares
Share warrants to bearer (known as ‘bearer shares’) will be abolished. Any existing share warrants will need to be surrendered within 9 months

October 2015

Corporate directors
A prohibition on appointing corporate directors will be introduced with some limited exceptions. Any company with an existing corporate director will need to take action, to either explain how they meet the conditions for an exception or give notice to the registrar that the person has ceased to be a director.

Date of birth
Partial suppression of date of birth on the public register: suppressing the day element for directors and People with significant control (PSC).

Director disputes
A simpler way to get falsely appointed directors’ details removed from the register. As part of this, Companies House will write to all newly appointed directors to make them aware that their appointment has been filed on the public register and explain their statutory general duties.

Registered office disputes
A new process to provide a remedy where a company is using an address for its registered office but never had authorisation.

Accelerated strike-off
The time it takes to strike companies off the register will be reduced.

January 2016

People with significant control (PSC)
Companies will need to keep a register of people with significant control (‘PSC register’) from this point, in preparation for the need to file this information at Companies House from April 2016.

April 2016

Check and confirm
A requirement to ‘check and confirm’ the company information and notify changes if necessary at least once every 12 months. This will replace the current obligation to file an annual return.

People with significant control (PSC)
Companies will need to keep a ‘PSC register’. This information will be filed at Companies House on incorporation and updated at ‘check and confirm’.

Additional information
Companies will be able to deliver certain categories of optional information to the registrar.

Company registers
Private companies will be able to opt to keep certain information on the public register only, instead of statutory registers. This will apply to the registers of members, directors, secretaries, directors’ residential addresses and the PSC register.

Directors misconduct
The disqualified directors regime will be updated and strengthened.

Statement of capital
Simplification of the statement of capital and consistency throughout the Act.

If you need any help and advice on Business Financial Planning and Development, don’t hesitate, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Liz Kennett now to discuss how ABDS can help in all your Business planning.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients and
mindful of their long term strategic goals

Helping Your Business is Our Business

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