HM Insights

Tackling identity theft and fraud: update on the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015

The latest changes brought in by the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (the Act) became law on the 10 October 2015.

The Act, which became law in March 2015, has introduced some significant changes to various provisions of the Companies Act 2006. The different provisions of the Act are being introduced in stages between now and spring 2017.

Small Business

The following changes are now in effect.

Company strike off process – from three to two months

The current company strike off process takes not less than three months from publication of the first Gazette for it to be fully effective. The new legislation aims to streamline this process by reducing this time to effect the strike off to not less than two months from publication of the first Gazette.

Consent to act as director or secretary

In order to prevent identity theft whereby individuals are appointed as directors and secretaries – otherwise known as Officers - without their knowledge, a new statement will be required from the company. This will replace the current procedure where an Officer ‘consents to act’ by signing an appointment form or using the personal authorisation details. Companies House will also notify a new director of his appointment and explain their statutory duties. At incorporation, the ‘consent to act’ signature and/or personal authorisation details will be replaced with a statement made by the subscribers confirming that the individuals named have consented.

Date of birth suppression

 Only the month and year of birth of directors and persons of significant control will be publicly visible on Companies House, with the ‘day’ of the month suppressed.  The full date of birth will be held by Companies House on a separate register which can be made available upon request to credit reference agencies and specified public authorities. The date of birth will also appear within the company books, which if the company chooses to file its company books online with Companies House, will appear on the Companies House website. This provision is another attempt to reduce the likelihood of identity theft and fraud.

What does this mean for you?

There are inevitably some uncertainties surrounding these new provisions and once Companies House has issued detailed guidance, it should become clearer exactly how they will be implemented in practice.

Get in touch:

Please contact Harper Macleod should you require advice as to how to ensure that your company complies with the new changes.

Give me a call on  0141 227 9535
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