Company reporting set for reform - Palmers Solicitors

Company reporting set for reform

The government is expected to publish further details of how it intends to slim down company filing requirements.

The government is due to issue its response to a consultation on company filing requirements that took place in October and November last year and which set out its plans for the frequency of filing requirements and for reducing the amount of information which companies need to file with Companies House.

As part of its Red Tape Challenge on company and commercial law, the government wants to remove the requirement to complete a mandatory annual return – the basic details on a company, such as the business address, type, names of directors and information about shareholders and shares, which every company must submit annually.

Under the plans, companies may instead digitally confirm each year that the information held by Companies House was simply correct or update it as and when it changes.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said: “We’re taking steps that will mean that businesses, pushed for time and money, are not simply filing paperwork for the sake of it. This will mean companies can concentrate on growing their business and creating jobs.”

Also out for consultation were proposals to:

  • make it easier jointly to file annual accounts to Companies House and HM Revenue & Customs by improving the online filing system for Companies House
  • scrap the ‘consent to act’ note sent to Companies House when a director is appointed. Companies would only need to confirm that such consent is held and would only need to provide such material in the event of a dispute or legal proceedings
  • conceal all or some of the date of birth of a director listed at Companies House to help tackle identity theft
  • improve communication with companies by requesting that when a company is set up they supply an email address to the Companies House and keep it up to date.

Rules and regulations affecting companies change regularly and access to expert legal advice will help directors and company secretaries stay compliant with their obligations. For more information, please visit our website or contact BJ Chong.