Companies House changes to be aware of, including filing obligations and fee increases

Companies House has implemented the initial set of changes outlined in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act on March 4, 2024. This legislation gives Companies House the powers to take on a greater role in combatting economic crime. It also assists in supporting economic development. These changes are expected to enhance transparency and ensure more precise and reliable information on their records.

The above Act provides new obligations for all company directors and persons with significant control over a company (PSCs). This also includes those who submit company filings on behalf of a company.

The measures involve implementing identity verification for directors, PSCs and filing agents, expanding Companies House’s authority to oversee company formation, and improving the accuracy of financial data on the register. Additionally, Companies House will have enhanced enforcement capabilities and the ability to share pertinent information with partners, while also strengthening personal data protection measures.

This legislation complements the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act, which established the Register of Overseas Entities in August 2022. Together, these Acts represent significant progress in combating economic crime and enhancing corporate transparency.

Summary of Companies House changes:

Increasing the accuracy of records held

Commencing on 4 March 2024, Companies House will have enhanced capabilities to verify information, stricter validations for company names, updated regulations for registered office addresses, and new lawful purpose declarations.

Changes to confirmation statements

Effective 4 March 2024, there will be new obligations to provide a registered email address and confirm that the future activities of the company will comply with the law.

Increases in Companies House fees

Starting from 1 May 2024, fees have increased to accommodate new future expenses and to also ensure recovery of costs from existing expenditures.

Identity authentication

Individuals establishing, managing, owning, or controlling a company in the UK must verify their identity.

Companies House changes to account filing

Transitioning towards electronic filing of accounts exclusively, and modifications to small company accounts filing choices.

Safeguarding personal information

Individuals can request to redact personal details from historical documents and shield personal information from public access due to potential risks.

Companies House changes to limited partnerships

Limited partnerships must submit their information through authorised agents and also provide additional details to Companies House.

Enhancing transparency of company ownership

New mandates to disclose additional shareholder information and limitations on the appointment of corporate directors.

Investigation, enforcement, and data exchange

Companies House is being provided with greater robust investigation and enforcement power. Additionally, it will have the ability to share data with law enforcement agencies and other government entities.

Companies House changes in more details

Registered office address

An ‘appropriate address’ as a company’s registered office is now required. Accordingly, an address is appropriate if documents can be delivered there and come to the attention of someone acting on behalf of the company. PO Boxes as registered office addresses are no longer acceptable. Failure to comply may also result in action against the company.

Statement of Lawful purpose

When incorporating a company, it must also confirm that the company is being formed for a lawful purpose. In addition to this, companies must confirm that their intended future activities are lawful and record this on their annual confirmation statement.

Powers of the Registrar

The registrar now has increased powers to question and challenge information that seems incorrect or inconsistent.

  • Stronger checks will be implemented on company names to prevent false or misleading impressions.
  • Annotations will be used on the register to highlight potential issues with the information provided.
  • A new identity verification process will be introduced over the coming months.

Companies House changes – enforcement and subsequent penalties

Where a company fails to respond to a formal Companies House request for additional information, there will be severe repercussions. These may include:

    • A financial fine
    • An annotation on the company’s record
    • Prosecution

Furthermore, a company may face serious consequences if its registered office is not an appropriate address. If Companies House determines that a company’s registered office is unsuitable, it will change it to a default address held at Companies House.

If a company’s registered office is relocated to the default address, they must provide a suitable address with evidence of ownership within 28 days, or Companies House may begin proceedings to remove the company from the register.

Specific statement changes to be aware of

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act has brought about significant alterations to confirmation statement requirements.

Every company, including non-trading and dormant companies, needs to submit a confirmation statement. This needs to be filed at least once a year. This statement confirms that the information Companies House has about the company is current.

Companies must submit a confirmation statement even if there have been no changes during the reporting period.

Registered email address

All companies need to provide a designated email address for official communication purposes. This email address will be used by Companies House to correspond with the company. However, it will not be accessible to the general public.

For new companies (incorporating on or after 4 March 2024), it is now mandatory to provide a registered email address. Existing companies must update their registered email address when submitting their next confirmation statement, with a statement date from 5 March 2024 onwards.

Statement confirming lawful activities

Every company must confirm that its future activities are in compliance with the law.

This confirmation needs to be submitted annually as part of the confirmation statement. Additionally, failing to provide this statement will prevent the filing of the confirmation statement. This requirement applies to all confirmation statements with a statement date from 5 March 2024 onwards.

Companies House changes to small company filing options

Companies House is simplifying the accounts filing options for small and micro-entity companies.

Small and micro-entity companies will be required to file their profit and loss accounts, with specific details outlined in secondary legislation. Small companies that do not meet the criteria for micro-entities will also need to file a directors’ report.

There will also be a change which will remove the option to file ‘abridged’ accounts.

Claiming an audit exemption – Companies House changes

Any company seeking an audit exemption must include an additional statement from their directors regarding the balance sheet.

Directors must clearly state the exemption being claimed and also confirm that the company meets the requirements for the exemption.

Assistance navigating Companies House changes

For Alexander & Co clients, you can contact us in your usual way and we will be happy to assist with any enquires.

Other businesses can contact Companies House direct. Their phone line is 0303 1234 500. Alternatively, Companies House can also be emailed at

Alexander & Co Chartered Accountants – assistance with all company filing matters

If you are looking for accounting and tax advice, we are here to help. Please contact us at Alternatively, you can also complete the enquiry form on this page with your enquiry.

Our team of chartered accountants and chartered tax advisors have been working with a diverse range of businesses for many years, helping them better manage their finances and grow their businesses to reach their full potential. 

Beyond our industry-leading accountancy and tax advice, we also offer extensive financial planning services and business restructuring advice to give you a competitive edge in your market.

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