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United Kingdom – Changes to UK company law

The United Kingdom’s Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA) received Royal Assent on October 26, 2023, after being introduced on Parliament in September 2022.

The EECTA modifies the Companies Act of 2006 with the following changes:

  • Introducing identity verification for all new and existing registered company directors, people with significant control, and those who file on behalf of companies
  • Broadening Companies House powers to become a more active gatekeeper over company creation and a custodian of more reliable data
  • Improving the financial information on the register so that the register is more reliable and accurate, reflects the latest advancements in digital technology, and enables better business decisions
  • Providing Companies House with more effective investigation and enforcement powers
  • Enhancing the protection of personal information to protect individuals from fraud and other harms.

Once implemented, the introduced changes will affect all types of companies in the United Kingdom as well as established branch offices of overseas entities.

Measures expected to come into force in early 2024 include:

  • Enhanced checks on company names
  • New rules for registered office addresses. Companies will not be able to use a PO Box as their registered address.
  • A requirement for companies to supply a registered email address
  • A requirement for companies to confirm they’re forming a company for a lawful purpose when they incorporate.
  • Identity verification procedures for new and existing directors, individuals with significant control and those filing on behalf of companies.