Companies House: First Phase Changes

May 28th 2024

Following on from the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act receiving Royal Assent on 26 October 2023, the first wave of changes to Companies House came into effect on 4 March 2024. 

The key areas of change are as follows:

New rules for registered office addresses: Companies will now be required to have an appropriate address as their registered office at all times. An appropriate address is one at which any documents sent to that address: –

  • should be expected to come to the attention of a person acting on behalf of the company; and  
  • can be recorded by an acknowledgement of delivery.

Therefore, effective from 4 March 2024 this removes the possibility of using a PO Box as a registered address. 

If it comes to the attention of Companies House that an inappropriate address is being used by a company, they will change it to the default address held at Companies House. The company must then provide an appropriate address within 28 days. If this is not received, Companies House will begin the process to strike off the company from the register. 

Registered email address: All Companies will now need to have a registered email address in place. New companies will need to provide a registered email address on incorporation whereas existing companies will need to provide this when they file their next confirmation statement.

Statement of lawful purpose: The shareholders of any new Company incorporated on or after 4 March 2024, will need to confirm the company is being formed for a lawful purpose. Existing companies will need to make a lawful purpose statement when they file their next confirmation statement. 

Additional changes and powers which Companies House will now be able to exercise are: – 

  • Having the ability to annotate the register when information appears confusing or misleading. 
  • Taking steps to clean up the register (using data matching to identify and remove inaccurate information). 
  • Carrying out stronger checks on company names. 
  • Greater powers to query information and request supporting evidence.
  • Ability to share data with other government and law enforcement agencies in aid of transparency and tackling economic crime. 

If you would like any advice on the changes in this article, please contact our Corporate and Commercial team by completing the form at the bottom of this webpage or call  on 01295 204000. 

Get ready for changes to UK company law