The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act has arrived and contains measures that will cause significant changes for some companies including contractors and freelancers.
All companies however, will be slightly affected by some changes, as alterations of legal requirements on companies will be introduced, as well as what they are able to file with Companies House.
Changes that will cause the highest impact will be introduced last in a process that is believed to be implemented in three stages.
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act is expected to be implemented over the following dates below:
- Date of birth – Partial suppression of date of birth on the public register: suppressing the day element for directors.
- Accelerated strike-off – The time it takes to strike a company off the register if it’s not carrying on business or operation will be reduced.
- The strike-off process aims for the right balance between removing an inactive company from the register and allowing creditors time to register an objection.
- Currently, if no objection is received, the company is struck off not less than three months after publication of the first Gazette notice. Under the new timescales, the company will be struck off not less than two months from publication of the first Gazette notice.
- Consent to act as a director or secretary – Replacement of the ‘consent to act’ procedure. For newly appointed directors and secretaries, a statement will be added by Companies House to the relevant appointment and incorporation forms (paper and electronic) that the person has consented to act in their relevant capacity.
- Companies will be required to agree to this statement. This will replace the current consent to act procedure of providing a signature on paper forms and personal authentication on electronic filings.
- As part of this, Companies House will write to all newly appointed directors to make them aware that their appointment has been filed on the public register and explain their statutory general duties. See also: the new director disputes procedure.
- Director disputes – A simpler way to get falsely appointed directors’ details removed from the register. Disputes might be made where it is found an appointed director did not consent to act in their appointment.
- Registered office disputes – A new process to provide a remedy where a company is using an address for its registered office but never had authorisation.
- People with significant control (PSC) – Companies will need to keep a register of people with significant control (‘PSC register’) from this point, in preparation for the need to file this information at Companies House from 30 June 2016. This is going to be a requirement for those contractors operating through a limited company.
- Check and confirm – A requirement to ‘check and confirm’ the company information by filing a ‘confirmation statement’, and notify changes if necessary at least once every 12 months. This will replace the current obligation to file an annual return.
- People with significant control (PSC) – The PSC register information as noted above will need to be filed at Companies House on incorporation and updated at ‘check and confirm’.
- Company registers – Private companies will be able to opt to keep certain information on the public register only, instead of statutory registers. This will apply to the registers of members, directors, secretaries, directors’ residential addresses and the PSC register.
- Director’s misconduct – The disqualified director’s regime will be updated and strengthened.
- Statement of capital – Simplification of the statement of capital and consistency throughout the Act.
- Corporate directors – A prohibition on appointing corporate directors will be introduced with some limited exceptions. Any company with an existing corporate director will need to take action, to either explain how they meet the conditions for an exception or give notice to the registrar that the person has ceased to be a director.
Our contractor specialist team will take care of your company formation with Companies House and manage any changes for you so you don’t need to worry about dealing with Companies House directly. Here at Gorilla, we offer cloud accounting online software within our all-inclusive accountancy package for just £85 per month + VAT. To arrange a free trial, get in touch on 0330 024 0406.