Allowing company directors to remove residential address from public record at Companies House
Prospective changes to the ability of company directors to request that their residential address be made unavailable for public inspection are outlined in the recently… Read more
Prospective changes to the ability of company directors to request that their residential address be made unavailable for public inspection are outlined in the recently published draft amendments (the “Amendments”) to the Companies (Disclosure of Address) Regulations 2009 (the “2009 Regulations”) and accompanying explanatory note.
The 2009 Regulations are intended to deal with the situation where a director’s residential address is already publicly available on the register maintained by Companies House. The Amendments serve to expand the scope of who can request that their residential address be removed from public availability on the register and facilitate the process of making such requests under Section 1088 of the Companies Act 2006.
The Amendments are proposing key changes in the following areas:
- The current guidelines regarding applications made by directors under section 1088 require that ‘there is a serious risk that the applicant, or a person who lives with him or her, will be subjected to violence or intimidation’ as a result of their information being publicly available on the register (as determined by the registrar). As a result of the Amendments, the requirement to make the application on specific grounds is removed, enabling any director whose usual residential address is on the register to make an application under section 1088 without requiring the confirmation of the registrar.
- The current guidelines also include a restriction preventing such applications from being made in respect of address placed on the register before 1 January 2003. Under the Amendments, this restriction is to be removed.
- Further circumstances in which a director’s address may have been placed on the public register are laid out, and it is provided that those directors are able to make applications for disclosure of their residential addresses.
- Where it is required a director’s current address remain on the register, the Amendments provide that the usual residential address will be replaced with a service address. Where there is no such requirement, the registrar will partially suppress all elements of the address except for the first half of the postcode or, where there is no such postcode in the address, information denoting an equivalent or larger geographical area.
- The grounds upon which a director is able to make an application under section 243 of the CA 2006 are also to be expanded, to prevent disclosure of their address by the registrar to credit reference agencies, if they are or have been a constable.
The changes outlined in this amendment will also apply to members of Limited Liability Partnerships. The Amendments are expected to come into effect by the end of summer 2018.
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Patrick Roux is a corporate senior associate
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