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Changes to UK Company Law - the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023

Some of the changes to UK company law set out under the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (the Act) were implemented on 4 March 2024. Here we explore what you need to know and what the changes could mean for you.

Why have these changes been made?

The Act aims to improve the accuracy and completeness of the register of companies and to prevent companies from being used to facilitate or carry out unlawful activities.

What has changed?

The key changes:

  • Registrar’s increased powers: There are greater powers for Companies House to query, challenge and even remove information held on the register that they believe to be inaccurate, incomplete, false or fraudulent. This also includes conducting more stringent checks on company names which may mislead or present false information to the public. Companies will not be able to use names which are intended to facilitate criminal conduct.
  • Registered office addresses: Companies must at all times have an “appropriate address” as their registered office address. This is the address that is displayed publicly on the register and to which the Registrar can send correspondence. An address is an appropriate address if:
    1. a document addressed to the company and delivered to that address (by hand or post), would be expected to come to the attention of a person acting on behalf of the company; and
    2. the delivery of documents to the address is capable of being recorded by the obtaining of an acknowledgement of delivery.

This means that companies will no longer be able to use a PO Box as their registered office address.

If Companies House consider an address inappropriate, they could change that address to a default address at Companies House. The company will have 28 days to provide an appropriate address and evidence of proprietary ownership. If they fail to comply, Companies House may begin the process to strike the company off the register.

  • Registered email addresses:  All companies incorporated after 4 March 2024 will need to provide a registered email address on incorporation. Companies that existed prior to this date will need to provide a registered email address when they file their next Confirmation Statement (from 5 March 2024). The email address will not be made public and will be used by Companies House to communicate with the company.
  • Statements of lawful purpose: For companies incorporated on or after 4 March 2024, the company’s subscribers (initial members or shareholders) will be required confirm that the company has been formed for a lawful purpose and that its intended future activities will be lawful. All new and existing companies will need to confirm every year within their Confirmation Statement that the intended future activities of the company are lawful.

Will there be further changes?

Yes, an imminent change is the increase to Companies House fees, due to be implemented on 1 May 2024.

There are further changes to look out for over the next few years. These include the introduction of identity verification for directors and a move to software-only accounts filing.

Do the changes concern me?

Reform will impact company directors and secretaries; those who act or undertake Companies House filings on behalf of companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs); and those intending to incorporate a new private limited company or LLP.

If you require support to ensure your compliance with the Act; advice relating to your existing company or business; or are considering incorporating a new private limited company or LLP, please contact Scott Richardson in our Corporate and Commercial Team by phone on 01329 227907 or by email on scott.richardson@glanvilles.co.uk.


If you require further legal advice, please contact one of our experienced solicitors by emailing hello@glanvilles.co.uk who would be happy to assist.  


The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice, and should not be relied upon as advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. All content was correct at the time of publishing. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.