Changes from 4 March 2024:

  1. Improving the quality of data on the registers – greater powers for Companies House to query information, stronger checks on company names, new rules for registered office addresses, and new lawful purpose statements.
  2. Confirmation statement changes – new requirements to provide a registered email address and to confirm that the intended future activities of the company will be lawful.

Changes from 1 May 2024:

  1. Increases to Companies House fees

Further changes on the horizon:

  1. Identity Verification – Anyone setting up, running, owning or controlling a company in the UK will need to verify their identity.
  2. Changes to accounts – Transitioning towards filing accounts by software only, and changes to small company accounts filing options.
  3. Protecting your information – Individuals will be able to apply to suppress personal information from historical documents, and apply to have personal information protected from public view because of risk of harm.
  4. Changes to Limited Partnerships – Limited partnerships will need to file their information through authorised agents, and they’ll need to file more information with Companies House.
  5. Improving transparency of company ownership – New requirements to provide additional shareholder information, and restrictions on the use of corporate directors.
  6. Investigation, enforcement and data sharing – More effective investigation and enforcement powers for Companies House, and new powers to share data with law enforcement agencies and other government departments.

FOCUS ON #2 Changes to accounts:

The measures plan to streamline, modernise and digitise the accounts filing options for small and micro-entity companies.

Firstly, changes to HOW you file:

  • The move to filing accounts by software only will be phased in over the next 2 to 3 years. We’ll share the timetable for the roll-out of software-only filing when it becomes available.
  • As part of the phasing, both web-based and paper filing will no longer be available options.
  • This change applies to directors who file accounts themselves, and companies who use third party agents or accountants to file their annual accounts.
  • Most companies are likely already filing through software, through there accountants as for most straight forward companies this option is already available.
  • Companies House is working with software companies to develop a solution for complex package accounts, which are currently filed on paper.
  • Software-only filing supports the goal of a fully digital filing service and helps to meet Companies House’s organisational priority to prevent economic crime and bring the UK in line with international best practice.

Secondly, changes to WHAT you file:

  • Small and micro-entity companies will need to file their profit and loss accounts. The detail of what they will need to include will be set out in secondary legislation.
  • Small companies that do not qualify as micro entities will also need to file a directors’ report. 
  • Companies House are also removing the option to file ‘abridged’ accounts.

Considerations for directors:

You’re maybe wondering if you should revert back to a sole trader or partnership structure so that information such as your P&L is no longer in the public domain. We consider this to be quite a drastic option, however if you wanted to look at this further it would need to be considered along side:

  • tax implications (both on liquidation of the company and on your annual income),
  • business implications (attractiveness to do business with, changing bank accounts, updating details with suppliers) and
  • the protection running your business through a limited company provides you with.

Further details can be found here:

If you know anyone who may benefit from our newsletters and updates, please feel free to forward this blog or ask them to opt in to our mailing list.