Currently companies must file an Annual Return to Companies House every year. The Annual Return provides fundamental information such as the company name, registered address and details on the company’s directors, officers and share capital. However, from 30th June 2016 the Annual Return will be replaced by a Confirmation Statement.
The Confirmation Statement aims to be a more simplified process, rather than having to re-submit previously filed information every year, companies will only need to check the details held by Companies House are correct and then provide updates as and when required. There will be no fixed date on when the Confirmation Statement needs to be submitted but no more than 12 months must pass between submissions. The first confirmation statement should be filed within 14 days of the anniversary of company formation or the anniversary of the last annual return.
As with the Annual Return, there will be a filing fee to Companies House for the submission of the Confirmation Statement, the price is yet to be confirmed. There will be no additional fee though for updating the statement throughout the year.
Also, Companies House are now requiring directors to submit information on all people with significant control (PSC) of the company. Starting April 2016, all companies are now obliged to keep a PSC register and will update Companies House of this via the Confirmation Statement.
A person with significant control is defined by:
- owns more than 25% of the company’s shares
- holds more than 25% of the company’s voting rights
- has the power to appoint or remove the majority of directors
- has the right to exercise significant influence or control
- holds the right to exercise significant control over a trust or company that meets one of the first 4 conditions.
These changes are being introduced as part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment (SBEE) Act 2015 with the purpose of improving transparency by making it clear to the public who owns and controls UK-registered companies.
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