Registrar’s Powers: What and Why?

Registrar’s Powers: What and Why?

Registrar’s Powers: What and Why?

by | Mar 4, 2024

As part of the impending Companies House reforms, changes are being made to the Registrar’s powers to allow them to fight potential economic crime and improve corporate transparency. Read on to find out more.

Who is the Registrar?

Companies House is the Registrar of all registered companies in the UK. They are responsible for maintaining all company records, resolving inconsistencies where possible and determining rules for delivering and authenticating documents.

What are Registrar’s powers?

Currently, the Registrar of Companies House holds no power to be able to query or challenge information that seems incorrect or fraudulent regarding new and existing companies. Any information must be accepted provided that it is properly delivered. Due to this, it is believed that as much as 20% of information held is inaccurate, although the exact number is currently unknown.

What’s new?

From 4th March 2024, the Registrar is going to have greater powers to query and reject new information submitted to the register or information held on existing companies that is believed to be fraudulent, incorrect or inconsistent. Steps will also be taken to remove inaccurate information using new data matching technology.

It has been confirmed that the new powers will:

  • Require those forming or running companies to supply supporting information for material filed at Companies House.
  • Proactively share data with any persons for purposes connected with the Registrar’s functions or those of any other public authority.
  • Allow an expansion of powers to remove material from the register.
  • Give powers to change the registered office of companies and take action against those who fail to comply with the requirement to provide an appropriate registered office address.
  • Remove constraints on the Registrar’s powers to make rules regarding the digital delivery of documents.

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How will information be reviewed?

The Registrar will use a risk-based approach in reviewing information considered to be potentially inaccurate and prioritise cases that appear to hold the biggest threat to register. If the information is submitted as part of the registration process, the filing will be rejected. A resubmission will only be accepted if the query has been adequately addressed. If concerns are held about the information an existing company has filed, they will be notified and given a specified time frame in which they must respond. Failure to respond to such a request will be an offence and may result in receiving a financial penalty.

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What impact does this have?

It is hoped that these powers will assist with preventing false information from being added to the register and the faster removal of this inaccurate information. Improving the accuracy of information held on the register should increase the trust in the UK business environment.

All individuals registering a company will interact with the Registrar of companies, so these changes will impact current and future registered business owners. Remember, knowingly submitting incorrect information is an offence, so be sure to only supply accurate information to avoid any sanctions.

For more information regarding the changes coming to Companies House, read our other blogs here.

Read about Avoiding Companies House Scams  

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