A few months ago we wrote about the forthcoming requirement to post full profit and loss accounts with Companies House. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

New legislation, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, went into effect in October 2023 and, as of 1st May 2024, that means that Companies House are empowered to make much more stringent checks on anyone setting up a company.

That means that only the directors or agencies that have undergone anti-money laundering checks can now set up a company. And there are a lot of hoops to jump through.

There are new requirements:

  • You can no longer have a P.O. Box as your company address. There must be someone who can receive mail and acknowledge delivery at the address.
  • You must also have a valid email address – and one that is active and will receive any communications from Companies House. So you can’t set up a gmail or other generic account and then simply forget about it!
  • When you set up a new company the shareholders will be required to make a legal statement that the company is being set up for lawful purposes.

Setting up a company will require more information, including two forms of identification, and Companies House will be much more rigorous in checking company shareholders and directors status in relation to fraud, money laundering and other prohibitions to being in control of a company.

The processes are being set up and there will be stages of implementation. However, expect to be asked for much more information if you are setting up a company today.

If your company is already established, this doesn’t let you off the hook. You will need to bring your information up-to-date and make that statement about your company’s purpose by the time your next Companies House submission is due.

To add insult to injury all these new requirements will need people to process them in Companies House. More staff equals more costs – and unsurprisingly they’re sharing those costs by an increase in fees – by a considerable amount. 

Our advice is that, if you’re considering setting up a company, talk to your accountant and get advice before you go ahead.