The statutory registers (also known as company books) are the official records of the company. They show the story of the company and are the evidence of who owns the shares and who the directors are. Despite common assumptions, the statutory registers are the legal record of the company information, not the information filed at Companies House each year.
This means, for example, when it comes to selling your business, a buyer will expect you to produce fully made up statutory registers and will not be willing to rely on the information at Companies House. Statutory registers can be recreated when lost but this is far from an ideal situation and can cause extra work and potentially delay a deal.
Steps have however been taken to try and consolidate the position. From 30 June a company can elect to keep its register of members, directors, directors’ residential addresses, company secretaries and PSCs on the register at Companies House.
The intention is to cut down on the burden of duplicate record keeping procedures. Companies must however keep available their physical statutory registers, which must be made up to the date the election is made to keep the registers at Companies House.
Although many companies may welcome the changes, if you are thinking about making an election for Companies House to hold your registers there are some downsides of which you should be aware. The election will result in both the addresses of your members and the dates of birth of your PSCs being made public. This is information which would otherwise remain private. You will also be under an obligation to update changes to your members as they happen, rather than picking up the changes next time a confirmation statement is due to be filed.
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