BIS releases revised proposals for simplifying company reporting

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22 Apr, 2014

In response to the comments received from its consultation on Company Filing Requirements, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) yesterday published updated plans to proceed with reducing the regulatory burden on companies.

The consultation, which closed in November 2013, was part of the UK Government's 'Red Tape Challenge' and proposed a number of measures to decrease the regulatory burden on companies as regards their communication with Companies House.

Following the responses to this consultation, the government is now proposing the following changes:

  • Replacing the annual return with a more flexible system where companies can confirm whether their company information is correct and complete at any point in a year.
  • Allowing private companies to maintain various information directly on the public register at Companies House, rather than keeping it on separate internal registers.  This covers the register of directors; directors' residential addresses; secretaries; members; and the register of beneficial ownership proposed by the government in its 'Transparency and Trust' proposals.
  • Changing the required content of a company's Statement of Capital.
  • Widening the circumstances in which companies can choose to receive electronic communications from Companies House.
  • Simplifying the procedures for resolving issues with a company's registered office address, confirming the appointment of directors and striking off a company.

The Government intends to bring forward legislation to implement these proposals as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

As a result of feedback received, the original proposal to mandate a single date for filing accounts with Companies House and HMRC has been dropped in favour of making changes to the joint filing tool to make the provision of simultaneous information more attractive. The proposed changes to the requirements for reporting a company's subsidiaries will now be pursued as part of the implementation of the revised EU Accounting Directive.

The full outcome report can be downloaded from the BIS website.

The response to the Transparency and Trust discussion paper is also available from the BIS website. This report, which was issued earlier this month, proposes the establishment of a new central registry of UK company beneficial ownership information, as well as other changes to improve the transparency of company ownership and control. 

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