The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA) received Royal Assent on 26 October 2023. Some measures may be in force as early as 2024.
The introduction of the ECCTA contains a variety of provisions to remedy economic crime and enhance corporate transparency. Aspects of the Act deal with money laundering, prevention of fraud, economic crime, as well as providing further transparency of corporate structures. Key aspects of the Act are summarised below: –
Reform of Companies House
In one of the most significant reforms since 1844 when Companies House was established, under the provisions of the new Companies Act inserted by the ECCTA, Companies House will now have the authority to request further evidence and reject any filings as well as remove information from the Companies House register in a more effective manner.
-Requirement for companies to provide Companies House with a contact email address;
-Identification verification requirements will be introduced and apply to all new and existing company directors, people with significant control (PSCs) and those who file on behalf of companies; and
-Individuals or firms delivering documents to Companies House must also have had their own identification verified.
The ECCTA contains provisions allowing for transparency and stricter registration requirements for limited partnerships. The Act also provides Companies House enhanced powers to deregister limited partnerships.
The provisions of the ECCTA allow for a strict liability offence where the company does not have reasonable fraud prevention procedures in place. In addition, directors and PSCs who do not verify their identification will also commit a criminal offence.
Changes to UK company law: a big moment for Companies Househttps://companieshouse.blog.gov.uk/2023/10/26/changes-to-uk-company-law-a-big-moment-for-companies-house/