Company law reform
Those charities which take the form of limited companies may be interested to know that the government has now published a white paper setting out their position on reforming Companies House ahead of introducing legislation into Parliament, following a consultation process that took place over the winter of 2019/20.
The key changes that are being proposed include:
- Expansion of the role of the Registrar of Companies beyond the current remit of registering company information to include a new function to maintain the integrity of the register of companies and the UK business environment. This will include powers to query suspicious appointments or filings, request further evidence or reject the filing. There will also be more extensive legal gateways for data sharing with law enforcement agencies.
- The introduction of identity verification for those setting up, managing and controlling companies, to make anonymous filings more difficult and discourage those wishing to hide their company ownership through nominees or opaque structures.
- Enhancement of privacy mechanisms across the register.
- Improvements to the financial information available on the register, requiring full iXBRL tagging of accounts information on the register. Filing deadlines for submitting company accounts though will not be changed at this time, which for charitable companies will mean the existing nine month filing deadline will remain in place.