14 March 2016

PSC register deadline approaching!

Further to my last post on the subject http://www.forsters.co.uk/news/blog/changes-corporate-transparency-rules-uk (and to some slippage in the Government's timetable for implementation), the final guidance and draft regulations have recently been published https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-the-people-with-significant-control-requirements-for-companies-and-limited-liability-partnerships . The requirement to keep a register of 'People with Significant Control' ('PSC's) will come into effect on 6th April 2016. 

On that date every UK company and LLP (with a few exceptions for certain listed entities) will be required to start keeping this register, which will contain the names and other details of the individuals who control the company.  The new register can never be empty and there are prescribed statements that must be entered in the register for each stage in the process.

Every company must take reasonable steps to identify if it has any PSCs. The company must also monitor the situation and update the register whenever it becomes aware of a change. 

The register will be public and may be inspected by any person at the company's registered office. The details contained in it will be delivered annually to Companies House (from 30 June 2016) and will be available online. 

A breach of the PSC provisions will be a criminal offence committed by the company and its officers so should be taken very seriously.  Failure to respond to a request for information from the company is also a criminal offence and can ultimately lead to a person's interests in a company being frozen (i.e. the interest cannot be transferred, and no rights attached to that interest can be exercised or payments in respect of that interest received) until the information is provided.

Companies and individuals who may be PSCs should therefore consider their responsibilities carefully and bear in mind that there is no transitional period, their obligations begin immediately on 6 April 2016. 

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