The end of April 2014 saw the government respond to feedback on two consultation papers that had been issued regarding changes to company law and company filing requirements.
Transparency and Trust Discussion PaperThe transparency and trust paper was issued in July 2013 following concerns that it was not clear who the beneficial owners of UK companies are. Changes highlighted by the government’s response to stakeholder feedback include:
- To create a registry of beneficial owners held centrally by Companies House.
- To prevent the use of corporate directors, to ensure that individuals are accountable for the actions of a company.
- To abolish bearer shares which allow individuals and entities to hold shares without their name having to be entered into the company’s register of members.
- To amend rules relating to the disqualification of company directors.
- Changing the annual return to an annual check where at least once per year a director must check that the details held by Companies House are correct.
- Introducing new rules for resolving issues where a director is appointed to a company without their consent or where a registered office address is used that is not related to the company.
- Allowing companies to keep some of their statutory registers within the newly introduced public registry.