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28 October 2015

Corporate update – Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act (“Act”) – new implementation dates

Companies House recently released an updated implementation date schedule, which BIS has subsequently confirmed is accurate (for now).

Most of you will be unsurprised to hear that one of the key changes, the introduction of a register of ‘persons of significant control’ (“PSC register”), has been pushed back to April 2016. BIS has yet to confirm whether this is due to the working party, formed to produce guidance on the new register, taking longer than expected – the working party is currently expected to publish in October.

The current timetable is as set out below.

October 2015

  • Suppression of director’s day of birth (not month or year) from the public register.
  • Accelerated strike-off procedure enabling non-trading entities to be struck off within a two month period (previously a three month period).
  • Director’s consent to act – Changes to the consent to act procedure will mean companies will have to state that a director has consented to act when making an online filing. As a security measure Companies House will write to newly appointed directors to advise them of the appointment. Clearly this plan is far from foolproof however some additional measures regarding directors disputes (coming into force in December 2015 – see below) may assist.

December 2015

  • Director and registered office disputes – Companies House will be introducing a new procedure to assist business and individuals whose addresses are used as registered office for other entities without permission. There will also be a simplified procedure for individuals who find they have been appointed as directors without their consent.

April 2016

  • Companies must keep a PSC register, although at this time they will not be required to file the information at Companies House.

June 2016

  • Companies must file the information contained in their PSC register at Companies house.
  • The new ‘check and confirm’ procedure will come into effect to replace the current annual return procedure. At least once a year, Companies will be required to file a ‘confirmation statement’.
  • Companies will have the option to keep details of certain registers, including directors, members and the PSC registers, at Companies House only.  Companies are currently obliged to keep statutory registers at the registered office as well as filing the information with Companies House.

October 2016

  • The ban on corporate directors will come into force.