Register of People with Significant Control

From 6th April 2016, most UK companies and LLPs are required to identify and record the people with significant control (directly or indirectly) over them (PSCs).

Even if a company has no interests to be registered (or is dormant), it must still keep a register and the register cannot be blank. Criminal sanctions apply for non-compliance.

An individual meeting one or more of these conditions is a PSC:

  • Ownership of more than 25% of shares
  • Ownership or control of more than 25% voting rights
  • Ownership or control of right to appoint or remove a majority of the board of directors
  • Right to exercise significant influence or control
  • Right to exercise significant influence or control over a trust or firm

Companies must:

  • Keep a PSC register;
  • Take reasonable steps to identify those who should be registered on the PSC register;
  • Record the PSC’s details and keep the register up to date;
  • Make the register available for public inspection; and
  • Provide all this information to Companies House.

The main dates when the new requirements come into force are:

6 April 2016 – Companies must have their own PSC register
30 June 2016 – Companies must submit their PSC register to Companies House on their next Confirmation Statement (the successor to the annual return)
30 June 2016 – PSC information will be required before a company can be incorporated.

For many companies the PSC process will be simple; for others it can be quite complex. But, every company must have a PSC register (even if it has no PSCs).

Perhaps the simplest link for guidance to all of this is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-the-people-with-significant-control-requirements-for-companies-and-limited-liability-partnerships