Article
March 1st, 2024

Changes to filing methods and requirements for ongoing submissions and returns

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act is increasing the public’s access to financial information. Businesses active in the UK can expect changes relating to the filing of annual accounts, including requirements for submissions to made electronically only, and increases in submission charges. Where Goodwille manage these aspects for you we will work with you to mitigate disruptions.

Changes to accounts

As part of the initiative, Companies House is modernising its filing process, transitioning towards software only filing for annual accounts. This shift is expected to improve efficiency, security and data quality on the register, offering a cost effective and traceable filing method.

The legislation lays the groundwork for mandatory digital filing, requiring companies to find suitable software. The transition to software only filing will be phased in over 2 to 3 years, with many companies already having the option to make the change.

For companies claiming an audit exemption, an additional statement from directors on the balance sheet is required, where they must specify the claimed exemption and confirm the company’s eligibility for it.

Furthermore, there are changes for small and micro-entity companies, streamlining their accounts filing options. These companies will need to file profit and loss accounts, with specific details outlined in secondary legislation. Small companies not qualifying as micro entities must also file a directors report, while the option to file ‘abridged’ accounts is being removed.

Improving the quality of data on registers

In order to enhance the accuracy of gathered data, the register of Companies will have new statutory objectives and expanded powers to ensure proper document delivery, accurate register information, prevention of unlawful activities, and avoidance of misleading records.

For example, changes effective from 4 March include requirements for an ‘appropriate address’ as the registered office, meaning companies can no longer use a PO Box as their registered office address, and when incorporating a company, the subscribers must confirm they’re incorporating the company for lawful purposes.

Furthermore, there will be increased powers for the register to challenge and remove inaccurate information. Measures including stricter checks on company names, new identity verification processes as well as stricter consequences for non-compliance, such as financial penalties and prosecution, will help ensure this.

Confirmation Statement changes

Every company, including dormant and non-trading companies, must file a Confirmation Statement annually and provide a registered email address that Companies House will use to communicate with the company. This will not be on public display.

  • New companies will need to give a registered email on incorporation from the 4th
  • Existing companies will need to give a registered email when filing the next Confirmation Statement from the 5th
  • All companies will need to confirm the intended future activities of the company will be lawful. This will need to be confirmed every year on the Confirmation Statement from the 5th March onwards.

Changes to Limited Partnerships

When the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act comes into place, Limited Partnerships (LPs) must:

  • Provide partners names, date of birth and residential address
  • Verify the identity of general partners
  • Provide a registered office within the UK
  • Provide a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code
  • File an annual confirmation statement

The information provided needs to be filed through an authorised agent that is registered with Companies House. There will also be new powers to:

  • Close and restore LPs
  • Apply sanctions
  • Protect partners’ information
  • Operate a statutory compliance process

*There will be a secondary legislation implemented before this comes into effect.

Changes to Companies House fees

Companies Houses fees are increasing in 2024. A list of the new rates are available on https://changestoukcompanylaw.campaign.gov.uk/changes-to-companies-house-fees/.