We are sharing this update from ACCA, our professional body, for the interest of clients and contacts. The content is (c) ACCA

Including answers to questions around the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act

Changes to UK company law

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act was passed on 26 October 2023.

The act gives Companies House the power to play a more significant role in tackling economic crime and supporting economic growth. Over time, the measures will lead to improved transparency and more accurate and trusted information on the Companies House registers.

There will be new responsibilities for:

  • all new and existing company directors
  • people with significant control of a company
  • anyone who files on behalf of a company.

To help you prepare, Companies House has launched a new website about the upcoming changes. Keep up to date on what’s changing for you and your company, so you can take action at the right time.

Question bank about the new act

Each month Companies House will answer questions about the changes the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act will introduce.

This month the focus of the questions is about the new requirement to have a registered email address.

Will it be possible to register the same email address for more than one company?   
Yes, you’ll be able to do this.

Will communications sent to the registered email address be clear as to the company that it relates to? 
If the communication relates specifically to a company and its situation, then the company will be clearly identified. If the purpose of the communication is to deliver a general update, such as changes to legislation that affects all companies, then the communication may not refer to a specific company.

Will the registered email addresses be made public?
Registered email addresses will be held securely and kept private.

If Companies House raises a query with the company through the registered email address, will the response need to come from the same registered email address?  
We would recommend that it’s best practice to send responses from the registered email address. This is the most secure and efficient method.

It would be helpful to have an understanding of how the process for registering/changing a registered email address will work. How will we know that the registration/change has become effective? 
The filer updating the email address will receive notifications that the filing has been received, registered or rejected. Users with authorisation to file on behalf of the company will be able to view the latest email address registered, through the different online services that support the registered email address requirement – including the ‘confirmation statement’ and a new ‘update registered email address’ service.

Will it be necessary to use the company’s authentication code in order to register/change its registered email address?
There’ll be a new ‘update a registered email address’ service. Once signed in and authenticated, users will be able to view the current email address registered and change it, if required. The user will also be able to view the registered email address in their WebFiling company profile and on their confirmation statement. Both will offer links to the service where it can be changed.

If my organisation provides our email address as a registered email address for a company and the client terminates services with us, will there be a process by which we can notify Companies House that the address is no longer an ‘appropriate’ email address for that company?
There’ll be a process for account holders to notify us that an email address is no longer in use or appropriate for use as a registered email address. We’ll then take action to obtain an updated email address from the company. As with a physical registered office address, companies have a duty to maintain an appropriate email address and the company commits an offence if this is not the case.

To submit your own question to Companies House, simply email [email protected].

Paper filing

From 4 March 2024, all companies that want to file paper documents will need to post them to the following address:

Companies House
Crown Way
CF14 3UZ

Companies House will not accept post or hand deliveries at its Belfast office from 4 March 2024. Companies registered in Scotland already post their documents to the Cardiff office.

Most companies can file online instead of posting paper documents.

By filing online, you’ll:

  • save your company time and money
  • get confirmation that we’ve received your submission
  • avoid rejects and be less likely to get late filing penalties
  • get access to additional online services.

Companies House will continue to accept post in the Belfast office until 1 March 2024.

Anyone filing with Companies House should understand their legal responsibilities and duties of being a company director, including the responsibility to file documents on time.

Further resources

Companies House Blog on Economic Crime Levy

Technical Article on ECCTA 2023 changes

Technical factsheet: The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023