New “PSC register” will affect almost all UK companies

From April 2016, all UK private companies and LLPs will have to disclose their beneficial owners under the new Persons of Significant Control (PSC) register.

The register, introduced under The Small Business, Enterprise & Employment Act 2015, brings new rules on identifying and recording who owns and controls these type of firms.

The firms in question will be required to collect and keep information about people with significant control over their operations (PSCs) – including all those who own or control 25% of their operations, whether directly or indirectly.

The change will affect almost all UK companies, except for listed public companies.

The new rules require businesses to:

  • 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
  • Provide all this information to Companies House (From 30th June 2016)

If a company considers itself dormant, or has no interests to be registered, they must still keep a register, as non-compliance could lead to criminal sanctions.

The Government is currently still finalising the details of the register, and it is expected that the draft statutory guidance will be made available in final form very shortly.