Corporate Transparency: Companies House Business Plan 2018-2019
On 5 April 2018 Companies House published their business plan for 2018-2019 with a particular focus on the People with Significant Control (PSC) register and the commitment to transparency within the regime.
From 6 April 2016 UK companies are required to hold a PSC register. The register includes information about the individuals who own or control companies including names, month and year of birth, nationality and details of their interest within the company, the idea of which was ensuring that the UK is a clear and fair place from which to operate a business.
Following the roll out of this register, which is accessed by thousands of businesses daily, Companies House have outlined a number of improvements to the regime in their business plan ensuring that it will:
- Contact companies if it believes they have misunderstood the requirements with a view to ensuring that records are correct and comply with the legal requirements;
- Pursue companies that have not provided PSC information in their confirmation statement or that have not provided a statement of additional matters;
- Follow up with companies and PSCs where they have issued notices to their PSC (asking PSCs to provide information) or restrictions (where a PSC has failed to provide information) with a view to ensuring the information on company records is updated;
- Seek compliance from companies where there has been a complaint about missing or incorrect PSC information;
- Develop data and intelligence sharing gateways with law enforcement and government departments to support information being shared correctly and the tackling of economic crime;
- Follow up complaints regarding PSC information, aiming to respond within 10 working days.
Companies House is an executive agency of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and therefore has a hand in the implementation of policies. With this in mind the business plan addresses the set up and running needs of a business in the UK as well as supporting those established businesses. The plan aims to explore ways in which the standard industrial classification codes can be used to pinpoint potential areas of growth and also the ease of utilising data to analyse and support wider government interventions. Companies House aim to work across the government sectors to ensure clear sources of support are available through partnerships with British Business Bank, InnovateUK and the Intellectual Property Office.
With a push to meet European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) compliance by the EU deadline of 25 May 2018 the main piece of work envisaged in the business plan focuses on the data audit, which will ensure that Companies House have a record of all processes. This is important for all stakeholders, as it will dictate how Companies House deal with their data, as well as the register data held which is not shown on the public record.
In addition to the above Companies House have set a number of corporate targets with a view to improving efficiency in relation to voluntary dissolution, small full account filings online and compliance to achieve a customer satisfaction rate of 88%.
While great care has been taken in the preparation of the content of this article, it does not purport to be a comprehensive statement of the relevant law and full professional advice should be taken before any action is taken in reliance on any item covered.