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An update on the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act

Companies House has announced that they are aiming to introduce the first of the measures brought in by The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act with effect from 4 March 2024.

Companies House has announced that they are aiming to introduce the first of the measures brought in by The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act with effect from 4 March 2024.

You may have read our previous update on The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act which received Royal Assent last year.

The changes that are potentially to be implemented on the 4th March are:

  • Requirement for all companies to supply a registered email address

Companies will be required to provide Companies House with a registered email address. New companies will need to provide a registered email address when they are incorporated. Existing companies will need to give a registered email address when they file their next confirmation statement with a statement date from 5 March 2024.

This email address will not be published on the public register and will be used only by Companies House to communicate with you about the company.  It is therefore very important to ensure that an appropriate email address is used. We would suggest not providing an individual email address in case this is not monitored daily and correspondence from Companies House is not received.  For charities, we would recommend using the email address which is used to register with the Charity Commission.

If you do not have a suitable email address or need assistance regarding this, Ward Hadaway can provide a registered email address to companies as part of our combined company secretarial and registered office services.

  • New rules for registered office addresses

All companies will have a duty to maintain its registered office at an “appropriate address.”  An address is an “appropriate address” if, in the ordinary course of events:

  1. A document addressed to the company, and delivered there by hand or by post, would be expected to come to the attention of a person acting on behalf of the company, and
  2. The delivery of documents there is capable of being recorded by the obtaining of an acknowledgement of delivery.

Companies will no longer be able to use a PO Box as a registered office address. Companies House will have the power, where a registered office address is not an “appropriate address,” to change it to a default address. If a company’s registered office is moved to the default address, it will have 28 days to provide an “appropriate address”, or Companies House may start a process to strike the company off the register.

You should therefore review your current registered office address and ensure that it will be deemed “appropriate” under the new regime.  Please contact us for information on Ward Hadaway’s combined company secretarial and registered office services if you need assistance in complying with the new registered office address requirements.

  • New lawful purpose statements

On formation of a company there will be a new requirement for subscribers to confirm that they are forming the company for a lawful purpose.

There will also be a requirement for existing companies to confirm that the intended future activities of the company are lawful when filing the company’s annual confirmation statement.

Ward Hadaway can assist with filing your company’s confirmation statement as part of our annual company secretarial services.  Please contact us for more information.

The introduction of these changes needs secondary legislation so this date is still dependent on parliamentary timetables and we will keep you updated as and when further information is available.

In the meantime, if you have any queries in relation to this or require any assistance to meet these new requirements then please do not hesitate to one of our Expert Commercial Solicitors

This article first appeared on https://www.wardhadaway.com/insights/updates/an-update-on-the-economic-crime-and-corporate-transparency-act/

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