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Business Services  •  Business Tax  •  company secretarial  •  HMRC  •  Personal tax

UK Company Secretarial Update – October 2015

By Simon Paterson on 5 October, 2015

 

The new Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act (the Act) has been designed to help make the UK the most attractive place to start, finance and grow a business. This forms part of a government initiative to improve corporate transparency, reduce red tape and increase the quality of information held on the public register. In doing this, the Act aims to reduce the potential for money laundering and financial crime within the UK.

As part of the Act, a number of company secretarial changes are being implemented in phases between May 2015 and October 2016, for example, earlier this year we saw the abolition of Bearer shares. The latest implementation this month includes the following changes:

What are the changes?

Partial Date of Birth Disclosure: To help decrease opportunities for identify theft by criminals and to preserve the individual’s right to data protection, date of birth information included on the public register is to be partially suppressed. This means that the date of birth details included on the register will not display the exact day of birth, just the month and year of birth.

Accelerated strike-off: Prior to this month, the time it takes to strike a company off the Companies House register was a minimum of 3 months from the date of the first Gazette notice. The Act shortens this time to 2 months starting from October 2015. This is significant for companies to be aware of because it increases the importance of compliance with annual return filing requirements.

Consent to act as director or secretary: Previously, the appointment of a new director (or secretary) involved completion of the appointment form by the new appointee and the company either digitally, or by filing the paper form completed with their respective ‘wet’ signatures. Now, a tick box is provided instead, for the company to confirm that the named person has consented to act as a director (secretary) when there is just one authorizing signature, given by the company. In practice this means that the company must have appropriate evidence i.e. a letter of consent that has been signed and delivered by the new director (or secretary) to the company.

If you have any questions about these changes or other company secretarial matters, please do not hesitate to contact our company secretarial manager, John Davis. Email him at j.d@rjp.co.uk.

 

 

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