Companies House – Registered Email Address (REA) requirement coming into force - Boodle Hatfield

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18 Mar 2024

Companies House – Registered Email Address (REA) requirement coming into force

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A new requirement for companies to supply a registered email address ("REA"), otherwise known as an "appropriate email address", is now applicable to newly formed companies (being effective from 4 March 2024) and all UK companies already on the register at the date of implementation from 5 March 2024.

Companies House will use the registered email address to communicate about the company, for example to send reminders or to query or challenge information held on the public record.  The email address provided will remain private. 

The requirement to provide the REA applies regardless of whether you prefer to receive communication from Companies House by email or by post.  

Only a single email address will be needed for the company, rather than a separate email for each director. 

Any formation request from 4 March that does not include an appropriate RAE will be rejected by the Companies House.

What is valid as an email address?

According to the legislation, an email address is considered appropriate “… if, in the ordinary course of events, emails sent to it by the registrar (i.e. Companies House) would be expected to come to the attention of a person acting on behalf of the company.”

The same email address can be used for a number of companies – for example, a group of companies could provide the same REA for each group company.

Does the email address need to be a specific, personal address of a company director or other officer? 

Can be the email address of the company’s accountant or other agent who oversees company secretarial work on their behalf?

The REA does not need to be personal to a company director or have the same domain as the company. It can also be the email address of someone outside the company acting on its behalf.

Will email addresses be verified?

It does not appear that the email address will be verified (e.g. to check you have access to it) at the time the email address is provided.  There may be limited checks to validate that the email address provided is in the standard form of an email address.

Even without verification, it is important that the email address provided is valid and that those managing company secretarial compliance for the company receive correspondence sent to it. As Companies House increasingly utilises its new powers to check and challenge information on the public register, correspondence from Companies House may become more frequent.

Failure to provide Companies House with an appropriate email address "without reasonable excuse" will be an offence that may incur a fine.  

From 4 March, any request to form a new company or LLP must include the email address the Company/LLP intends to use as the RAE.  

What happens for existing companies?

For existing companies, a registered email address must be included in the first confirmation statement dated and/or filed after 4 March 2024.  Any confirmation statement with a made up date of 5 March 2024 will not be accepted for submission without an email address.

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