The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act is here

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act has now received Royal Assent and is expected to be implemented to the timescales set out below.

The measures that affect companies aim to:

  • reduce red tape whilst increasing the quality of information on the public register
  • enhance transparency and ensure the UK is seen as a trusted and fair place to do business

All companies will be affected by at least some changes, as the measures will change legal requirements on companies, including what they file with Companies House – which will impact companies’ systems and processes.

It is currently expected that changes will be implemented in three stages – those with the highest impact being delivered in the final stage. Changes to the implementation schedule may still happen during and following the passage of associated secondary legislation through Parliament.

We will keep customers updated and release more detailed information as this becomes available.

26 May 2015

Bearer shares

Share warrants to bearer (known as ‘bearer shares’) were abolished. Any existing share warrants will need to be surrendered within 9 months

October 2015

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 companies off the register will be reduced.

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 newdirector disputes procedure.

December 2015

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.

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