Companies House have published information that suggests their fees may be increasing in the near future. And it’s all to do with the ECCT Bill currently passing through parliament.
To give it its full name, The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency (ECCT) Bill will change the role and purpose of Companies House and will provide the powers needed to improve the accuracy of the information on their registers and to play a significant role in tackling economic crime.
Companies House are quoted as saying:
“We want to be ready to take action, and we’re working hard on a number of different workstreams to make sure we’ll be ready to implement many of the measures as soon as possible after the Bill achieves royal assent.”
As a reminder, the measures in the ECCT Bill include:
- introducing identity verification for all new and existing registered company directors, people with significant control, and those who file on behalf of companies;
- broadening the registrar’s powers to become a more active gatekeeper over company creation and a custodian of more reliable data;
- improving the accuracy of financial information on the register so that the register is more reliable and accurate, reflects the latest advancements in digital technology, and enables better business decisions;
- providing Companies House with more effective investigation and enforcement powers, and introducing better cross-checking of data with other public and private sector bodies; and
- enhancing the protection of personal information provided to Companies House to protect individuals from fraud and other harms.
If implemented in full, Companies House costs will increase to meet the additional functions dictated by the Bill.
Companies House fees are set on a cost recovery basis. This means their fees must cover the cost of the services delivered. They do not make a profit on fees charged.
In a recently published blog post Companies House said:
“We review our fees every year to make sure they’re set at the right level. This year, we’ve taken new future expenditure into account as well as making sure we recover costs from our existing expenditure.
Companies House fees are much lower than the global average and have not changed since 2016. Many believe our fees are too low. During the debates while the ECCT Bill has moved through Parliament, there’s been a focus on the low levels of our fees and on making sure we’re adequately funded in the future.”