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Simplification of filing requirements

Print publication

04/06/2014

In our last newsletter we reported that the Government was consulting on proposals to relax the administrative burden for companies, in particular in respect of corporate filing. The Government has now published its responses to the consultation. The key points to note are:

  • instead of the requirement to complete an annual return at a set point each year, companies will be required to “check, notify changes if necessary and confirm” the statutory information at least once in every 12-month period. This could be, for example, on the appointment of a new director
  • private (but not public) companies will have the option of not maintaining some or all of the following registers: the register of directors, the register of directors’ residential addresses, the register of secretaries, the register of members and the proposed new register of beneficial ownership. If the company exercises this option it will need to ensure that the information on the public record is up to date and includes the addresses of members and the full date of birth of directors
  • full details of a director’s date of birth will no longer be available on the public register (to combat the risk of identity fraud). Instead, the public register will show just the month and year of birth. However, where a private company elects to dispense with the requirement to maintain company registers, the full date of birth will be included on the public register
  • companies will only be required to show the aggregate amount unpaid on shares on the statement of capital. Updated statements of capital will continue to be required following allotments of shares
    details of subsidiaries should be listed in one place, probably the accounts
  • Companies House will facilitate electronic communications so that companies will be able to send all correspondence and statutory notices electronically.

The Government will legislate to make these changes “when Parliamentary time permits”.

WM comment
The Government’s proposals do not herald a major shake-up of company law. They are, however, sensible and to be welcomed.

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