Important changes have come into effect that will alter the filings which all companies are required to make at Companies House. Currently any changes to Persons with Significant Control (PSC) are notified via the annual confirmation statement. This means that there can sometimes be a time lag of up to 12 months between the date of actual share transfers occurring and the next notification being filed at Companies House.
What changes have Companies House made?
From today (26 June 2017) companies must update their statutory registers within 14 days of the date of transfer and make the notification within another 14 days using one of the new forms PSC01 to PSC09.
The changes have been introduced as part of measures to counter money laundering and terrorist finance. They will also increase the transparency of who owns and controls companies in the UK.
The changes mark a significant practical change for those responsible for undertaking the company secretarial function of a business as all share transfers which involve shareholders with more than 25% of the shares or voting rights will now need reporting to Companies House within 28 days. Failure to maintain and provide accurate information on the PSC register is a criminal offence which may result in a fine or a prison sentence of up to two years.
What does a business need to do next?
Many businesses have been slow to implement the requirement to maintain a PSC register which was only introduced in April last year. These new changes bring an added impetus to the need to produce and maintain accurate information. As there are five tests for who constitutes a ‘Person with Significant Control’ it is not always clear when details need to be updated on the PSC register; if you are unsure you should seek advice from one of our specialist corporate solicitors.
If you require further information on the change to Companies House filings or any other corporate matter, please contact Paul Tyrer on 0844 391 5835.