Businesses need to prepare for changes to company law

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New changes  to company legislation have recently been announced, which  will require businesses to register individuals with ‘significant control’ over the company.

Under proposals, laid down in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, all businesses that are not subject to specified separate disclosure requirements must create and maintain a register containing details of any person with ‘significant control’.

A person with significant control is loosely defined as a person who directly or indirectly holds more than 25 per cent of the shares or voting rights in the company.

It also includes any person who directly or indirectly has the power to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors of the company or otherwise has the right to exercise or actually exercises ‘significant influence’ or ‘control’ over the company.

Any person who has the right to exercise or actually exercises significant influence or control over a trust or firm (such as a partnership) that is not a legal entity, which in turn satisfies any of the first four conditions over the company, is also considered a person with significant control under the legislation.

The new Person with Significant Control (PSC) Register must be available for inspection and up to date information must also be provided to Companies House at least once per year.

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