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Companies House, the UK’s register of company information, is to be reformed under new plans designed to prevent fraud and money laundering.
As part of the reforms, directors will have to have their identity verified by Companies House before they can be appointed.
The amendment will increase the accuracy of data that Companies House holds, ensuring that businesses have greater assurance when they are entering into transactions with other companies.
The move will also assist law enforcement agencies, such as the National Crime Agency, to trace the activity of suspected fraud or money laundering.
Companies House is understood to be developing a 24/7 digital verification process to reduce the administrative burden on businesses and prevent delays to incorporation and filings.
The Government has said that these reforms won’t impact the typical speed at which a company or organisation is formed and other filings are completed – with most companies able to be incorporated easily within 24 hours.
The changes are a result of the Government’s 2019 consultation on Corporate Transparency and Register Reform. As part of this, Companies House will be given additional powers to query and reject information, improve the quality of data on the register and provide greater protections to users’ personal data, to help protect them from fraud and other harms.
It is not yet clear when this new system will be in place but we will aim to keep you up to date, as and when new guidance is issued.