New register of People with Significant Control – what does it mean for UK companies?
New Government legislation, which came into effect on 6 April 2016, means that private UK companies and LLPs are required to disclose details of those people who control them to Companies House.
All UK companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) must create and maintain a Register of People with Significant Control (PSC) over the company and the information must be provided to Companies House from 30 June 2016.
The information on the PSC Register will be made public at Companies House as part of the new Confirmation Statement, which is scheduled to replace the Annual Return with effect from 30 June 2016.
The new legislation aims to increase transparency over who owns and controls UK companies and it came into effect on 6 April 2016.
This new register is to be referred to as the PSC Register and it will be one of the statutory registers that companies are required to keep under the Companies Act 2006. Information set out in the company’s own PSC Register must be kept up-to-date. When making the PSC Register available, the PSCs usual residential address does not need to be included. Individuals who may be at risk of violence or intimidation as a result of being on the register can apply to Companies House to have their information protected.
A company is also required to make its PSC Register available for inspection at the company’s Registered Office on request or provide copies on request.
Each company is required to take reasonable steps to contact its PSCs and confirm the information for inclusion in the PSC Register. Whilst the obligation to create and maintain the register is on the company, there are also duties on individual PSCs. If a shareholder refuses to provide the information he or she will commit a criminal offence. A company may also approach people who it believes have knowledge of who are its PSCs. Further, a PSC must notify a company of his or her status as a PSC if the company has not served a notice on him or her.
Failure to record accurate information in the PSC Register or to comply with notices from a company requiring someone to provide information are criminal offences and may result in a fine and or a prison sentence of up to two years.
If you require further information regarding this legislation, please contact a member of our Corporate team who will be able to help.