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The end of the annual return?

Companies may no longer be required to file annual returns if recently released Government proposals become law. Instead companies would be required to go through a checking process at least every 12 months to ensure that the information held at Companies House is up to date. Other recently released proposals include the following:

  • Companies are to have the option of not keeping most statutory registers.

The registers affected include the register of members, directors, directors' residential addresses, secretaries and the proposed new register of beneficial interests. Instead companies would have to make sure that the registers at Companies House were fully updated and information currently appearing only in the company's statutory registers (e.g. the addresses of shareholders) would be shown instead at Companies House.

  • Directors' full dates of birth will no longer be on the public record.

In an effort to prevent identity theft only the month and the year of a director's birth will be shown on the public record (save in cases where the company has opted out of keeping a register of directors).

  • Directors will no longer have to sign the forms for their appointment.

Currently directors have to either sign a Companies House form for each appointment or supply three pieces of personal information for electronic filings. Instead new directors will be written to by Companies House and asked to confirm their appointment.

The Government have indicated that it intends to bring these changes into law once there is sufficient Parliamentary time.

This bulletin is intended to provide a first point of reference for current developments in aspects of corporate and commercial law. 

If advice on a particular circumstance is required, please contact Nigel Stone or another member of the Corporate team

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