The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) is highlighting new proposals which will bring about the biggest changes for Companies House and the work it does since it began registering companies in 1844.
John Thompson, CEO of APHC commented: “If you are working via a limited company or plan to incorporate in the future, then these proposals will affect you.
“The reforms are being introduced to prevent criminals from around the world launder money obtained from criminal activity. And according to the Financial Times, 10,000 people have complained that their legitimate details on Companies House have been stolen by fraudsters, which is something the reforms are also looking to address by giving company directors more control over personal information such as home addresses.
“The reforms would see a complete overhaul of the register and aim to limit the risk of fraud and misuse of information, by widening the information companies are required to disclose, increasing the checks on this information, and introducing measures to improve the exchange of intelligence between Companies House, HMRC and UK law enforcement bodies.”
The consultation has 4 main themes:
1. Knowing who’s setting up, managing and controlling companies
Companies House is proposing that directors, people with significant control and those filing information should have their identity verified. They are also considering whether more information should be disclosed about shareholders.
2. Improving the accuracy and usability of data
The proposals aim to result in better quality information being on the register. Proposals include extending the powers of Companies House to query information before it’s entered on the register and making it easier to remove inaccurate information.
3. Protecting personal information
The proposals will allow Companies House to change the way it stores and controls access to personal information. Access to the register will be managed, allowing only identified or authorised people to file information. Sensitive information will also be better protected.
4. Improving the detection of possible criminal behaviour
Companies House aim to be able to improve the cross checking of its data against data held by other organisations. Companies House wants to see the exchange of intelligence made easier so it can identify possible criminal behaviour more quickly.
John Thompson added: “The reforms have been planned by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which oversees Companies House, and they are seeking views from a cross section of the population including company directors and officers of other corporate entities.”
The consultation is open until 5 August 2019 and the official Corporate Transparency and Registration Reform document and consultation survey can be accessed at here.