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BIS consults further on company beneficial ownership register

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23 Jun 2015

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published a consultation on draft secondary regulations required to set up the new publicly accessible central register that will record company beneficial ownership information.

The register, (a ‘Person with significant control (PSC) register’) was included within the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill which received Royal Assent in April 2015

UK companies will be required to keep a PSC register of people with significant control over the company (those individuals who own or controls more than 25 per cent of a company’s shares or voting rights or who otherwise exercises control over a company or its management).  The PSC register will need to include details on the individuals including name, date of birth, nationality, address and details of their interest in the company.  Companies will be required to keep the PSC register up to date. 

BIS intends that all companies will hold their own PSC register from January 2016 and from April 2016 they will need to give this information to Companies House when they deliver their confirmation statement (which replaces the annual return). 

BIS previously consulted on how to implement these requirements and what guidance would be required to help companies and others understand and comply with them.  It is now consulting further on the draft secondary regulations needed to set up the register including:

  • the companies that should be included in the register;
  • how to classify people’s different levels of control of a company;
  • the fees companies can charge for making their own registers publicly available;
  • how to protect information about people if they are at serious risk of harm; and  
  • issuing warning and restrictions notices to people or entities that don’t respond to the initial notice requesting information for the register. 

Comments are invited until 17 July 2015. 

BIS intend to use the responses received to help it finalise the draft regulations which it expects will be laid before Parliament in autumn 2015. 

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