24 May 2024

Blog: Friday 24th May 2024 - Sophie Alexander, Sharpe Pritchard

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Economic Crime & Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA) Sharpe Pritchard support

The ECCTA is designed to implement reforms to tackle economic crime and improve the transparency of corporate entities. Whilst the ECCTA is now law, most changes will be introduced over the coming two years, allowing for secondary legislation and the necessary reforms to Companies House to take place.

Getting to grips with the changes the ECCTA will introduce is important for Local Authority companies and private client companies alike as it envisages the biggest overhaul of Companies House (the Registrar) since 1844. Indeed, the reforms will give Companies House the power to issue fines of up to £10,000 for non-compliance (as set out below).

The first changes came into force on 4 March 2024. They relate to:

  • enhanced Registrar’s powers (the ability to question information and require more evidence, to annotate the register if there is confusing or misleading information, to clean up the register and sharing information with other government departments or law enforcement);
  • changes to registered office addresses and introduction of new email addresses;
  • stronger checks on company names; and
  • require all companies to confirm they’re forming the company for a lawful purpose when they incorporate, and to confirm its intended future activities will be lawful.


  1. Choose an appropriate email address and implement an inbox monitoring process.

You can use the same address for multiple entities. It is also important that the address will be regularly monitored to pick up correspondence from Companies House.

  1. Ensure your registered office address is an “appropriate” address.

If this is not the case, now is the time to update the addresses accordingly to ensure that any document sent to that address will come to the attention of the person acting on behalf of the company. Remember PO Box addresses won’t be permitted.

  1. Consider conducting a company ‘Health Check’.

Review information and filings available at Companies House and ensure they are accurate and reflect the current position of the company. If you identify any outstanding issues, ensure you fix them sooner rather than later as rectification is expected to be more challenging from March 2024.

For example, ECCTA requires that all directors are natural persons (humans), therefore, if your company currently has a corporate director, this will need to be changed.

  1. Prepare for the I.D. verification changes by pulling together a list of everyone whose identity will need to be verified.

This will include Directors, persons with significant control (PSCs), Company Secretaries and those filing on behalf of the company. Valid ID documents need to be ready for when these changes are implemented.

  1. Review your preparation and Companies House filing processes to ensure quality assurance.

It is important to understand how you review and file your forms and, if processes don’t exist already, implement a review process to ensure accuracy.


Sophie Alexander, Associate

Sharpe Pritchard 

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