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Director ID checks to reform control of Companies House procedures

6th November 2020

Director ID checks to reform control of Companies House procedures

Richard Freeman, a representative of the Higgs & Sons secretarial team, outlines the implications of what has been dubbed as one of the biggest changes to the company registration process in more than 200 years for business and directors alike.

The recently announced plans for identity checks to be carried out on company directors is a welcome measure to enhance transparency of UK companies.

Designed to help reduce fraud – including international crime and money laundering – the new powers will bring in mandatory identity verification, with only those people fulfilling the requirements able to update the company’s file with Companies House.

This is a significant change from the current arrangement where documents can be filed at Companies House – for example to give notice of the appointment or resignation of officers – by any individual, leading to a host of cases of identity theft for the company concerned and fraudulent findings.

The new rulings will see identity verification required for all People with Significant Control (PSCs) or directors of UK registered companies, as well as those who file information on behalf of a company.

Anyone not verified will be flagged by Companies House, with potential fines being introduced after a yet to be confirmed transitional period.

The overall measures are a positive development. After all, this provides an additional layer of security for bona fide companies.

However, there is no escaping that the level of complexity around the previously straight-forward task of filing documents at Companies House has increased dramatically.

To ease that burden and as an agent eligible for verification under the new rules, our team at Higgs & Sons will be permitted to make filings on behalf of companies in England and Wales as part of our own due diligence process.

This will prevent the need for individuals who are directors or PSCs to verify their identity under the revised Companies House process.

For any company looking to discuss any of the above issues or other secretarial services, please contact Richard Freeman on 01384 327253 /Richard.freeman@higgsandsons.co.uk or David Ellis on 01384 327121/ david.ellis@higgsandsons.co.uk

 

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