Update on the small business, enterprise and employment bill
The government published a written ministerial statement on 15 January 2015 regarding the implementation of company filing requirements and transparency measures, including the register of… Read more
The government published a written ministerial statement on 15 January 2015 regarding the implementation of company filing requirements and transparency measures, including the register of people with significant control, which are proposed by the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.
The ministerial statement gives some indication of the timing of the implementation of the filing requirements and corporate transparency measures. Whilst still subject to the Parliamentary process, the government intends the proposals to be implemented in three main stages: (i) two months after the Bill receives Royal Assent, (ii) October 2015, and (iii) April 2016. Companies will be required to keep a register of people with significant control (the “PSC register”) from January 2016, and will need to file this information at Companies House from April 2016.
The ministerial statement indicates that the government intends to create a working group to provide clear guidance to support the implementation of the PSC register. An expert working panel, made up of company law specialists, will be formed to draft statutory guidance to set out what is meant by “significant influence or control” in the context of the PSC register. The ministerial statement also highlights the intention to adopt a “business-friendly” approach, to ensure consistency in terms of the information on the register and provide clarity for companies and others.
The government has indicated that it will continue to develop the process by which individuals may apply to have their information suppressed from public disclosure in exceptional circumstances. It expects to limit those able to apply for protection to individuals at serious risk of violence or intimidation as a result of a company’s activities, but do not anticipate extending the regime to cover purely economic risks.
For more information, please contact the corporate team.