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Relaxation of the administrative burden for companies

Print publication

29/01/2014

The Government has been consulting on how it can reduce the administrative burden that weighs too heavily on companies. Legislation is likely to follow this year. What are the proposals?

The proposals form part of the Government’s “Red Tape Challenge”. This is a process by which burdensome regulation can be identified and consulted on, with an aim to simplifying or removing it. There has recently been a Red Tape consultation relating to company law, and in particular, for matters relating to Companies House filings, the focus of this article.

The proposals – all of which are likely to well received – are:

  • completely removing the requirement to file an annual return and instead only filing if a specified event occurs
  • aligning the dates for filing accounts to Companies House and HMRC
  • scrapping the requirement for companies whose directors and shareholders are the same people to make their company registers available for public inspection at their registered office
  • making it optional for private companies to hold their registers at Companies House
  • stopping the record of a director’s date of birth, which is included on the form AP01 (the form recording the appointment of a director at Companies House) from being publicly available
  • allowing or requiring companies to provide an email address, which can then be used for all communications with Companies House
  • replacing the requirement to file a “consent to act” from new directors at Companies House with a simple confirmation that the company has the director’s consent to act
  • simplifying the requirements for “statements of capital”, which have to be filed with Companies House on a number of different events.

Walker Morris comment
Whilst not particularly dramatic, the Government’s proposals are sensible and it is to be hoped they will be reflected in the legislation, expected to be published shortly.

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