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Changes to company registrations and officer appointments

The next roll out of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act, which is phase two of the five stage roll out will take place on the 10th October 2015. The implementation is for partial date of birth suppression, the accelerated strike off time frame and consent to act requirements for company officers.  This makes changes to the current forms used in company registrations and officer appointments 

Partial Date of birth Suppression

This Partial suppression of date of birth of what appears on the public register is the suppressing the day element for directors. This suppression will be extended to beneficial owners under the PSC central register being introduced in April 2016. This affects the company registrations form as from the introduction date.

Accelerated strike-off of companies

This aimed at reducing the time it takes to strike a company off the register if it’s not carrying on business or operation will be reduced. The strike-off process aims for the right balance between removing a defunct company from the register and allowing creditors time to register an objection.

Currently, if no objection is received, the company is struck off not less than three months after publication of the first Gazette notice. Under the new timescales, the company will be struck off not less than two months from publication of the first Gazette notice.

In reality this will give Companies House and the directors one extra month to bring their affairs up to date before instigating the first Gazette notice without the company first incurring non filing penalties.

Consent to act as a director or secretary

We have been plagued by the 3 from 7 security questions such as mother’s maiden name on electronic appointments and registration forms since October 2009, which does not address any issues concerning consent or identity theft or impersonation. We know have a replacement of the ‘consent to act’ procedure. For all newly appointed directors and secretaries, a statement will be added by Companies House to the relevant appointment and incorporation forms (paper and electronic) that the person has consented to act in their relevant capacity.

Companies will be required to agree to this statement. This will replace the current consent to act procedure of providing a signature on paper forms and personal authentication on electronic filings.

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.