Changes For Companies – Part 1 – 2016

The challenge I face every New Year, is working what’s coming up and what issues are going to be on the agenda. In a fast changing world, it’s tough to keep on top of new legislations which often burst forth like floods in a rain soaked land. If you don’t keep up to date, some things can catch you out. So, to help you solve that problem, here’s a brief summary of some of the changes in company law that will come in to effect this year. These key changes are part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015; this was the Act introduced, amongst other things, to increase transparency for companies and those dealing with them, and clamp down on some abuses associated with registering companies.

  1. Submit 25% shareholder information to Companies House June 2016
  2. Annual Return replaced by ‘click and confirm’ June 2016
  3. End of Corporate Directors October 2016

PSC Register is a register which needs to set out the details of anyone who has 25% or more influence or control in a company. This should be created now, and then be ready for submission by June. The information should essentially allow someone looking at a company, to see immediately who has a key stake in the business.

No more annual returns. Well, no more having to go through a form each year and input all the details. Now you’ll simply be asked to ‘click and confirm’ that the details are all correct. Hopefully making the process of keeping the company register a little bit easier. Although I’m not sure this is an issue which keeps directors awake at night, we welcome any simplification of rules around company law.

Probably most importantly is the end of the ability to register corporate directors as directors of companies. This has been a device used for a number of years and for a number of reasons. Now, except in exceptional circumstances, a director will need to be an individual qualified to act. So, from October 2016 this will all be no more.

Other changes:

Disputed Directors/Registered offices – from June 2016 it will be easier to remove a director and/or a registered office where consent has not been given. This should help clamp down on fraud, where people register a company faking the consent of third parties; something I’ve been a victim of myself, so I welcome this change.

So that’s a brief summary of some of the changes in Corporate Law ahead, to help you navigate the early stages of 2016 and make any changes to your systems and structures. Please call us if there is anything you would like to talk to us about or any other aspects of law affecting your business.

Oh and finally, Happy New Year!


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