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"Understanding the Impact of the Companies House Reforms on Your Business"




The new reforms made by Companies House will bring some of the most significant changes since it was first established, with some of the new measures coming into force from March 2024.


What does this mean for small businesses?


Filing of profit and loss account:

The filing of the full profit and loss account will become compulsory for micro and small businesses. Currently micro and small businesses can have the ability to file abridged and filleted accounts meaning no profit and loss is disclosed.

A date is still to be confirmed and Companies House have advised that the specific requirements will be detailed in due course but will include disclosing the company’s turnover.


Digital filing:

Under the new legislation, companies will only be able to file accounts with Companies House digitally using approved software and will also be required to file the account in iXBRL form and tagged.

Small companies (not Micro entities) must file the directors report.

Dormant companies will be required to file eligibility statements and this will provide the Registrar will additional evidence to take stronger action for false filings in the future.


Identification checks will be required:

Identification checks will be required for all directors and people with significant control (PSCs). Directors will not be able to act if their identification has not been verified.

These can be verified by setting up an account directly with Companies House or these details can be provided by a third-party agent.


Registered office address and email address:

Companies House will no longer be able to use a PO Box as their registered office and must instead always have an appropriate address.

All companies must provide a registered email address for contact and transparency purposes with Companies House.

 

 

Companies House Fees:

It has been confirmed the fees will be increasing in 2024 to fund the new powers given to Companies House to verify the integrity of documents submitted and improve the quality of the financial information on the register.


What if I don’t want my profit and loss account disclosing?


While these changes aim to tackle fraudulent activity, economic crime and money laundering, there will be concerns from some small companies especially when having to disclosure their profit and loss account.


If you don’t feel comfortable with everyone knowing your income, then you could disincorporate and trade as a sole trader or partnership. You would need to start trading as an unincorporated business and close down your limited company however I would advise you seek advice as there are potential tax implications which need to be discussed first.


If you have any questions on how this impacts your business, please contact me, Lucy Hawkins at lucy@hawkinsaccounting.co.uk or call 07719 328 343 and I will be happy to support you with these changes.

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