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UK Private companies must obtain details of persons with significant control from 6 April 2016

20 January 2016

From 6 April 2016 UK companies and LLP’s must identify persons that have significant control over them, referred to as PSC’s.   Significant control is defined as those persons that own or control (directly or indirectly) more than 25% of the company.    All non-listed public companies will be expected to collect and keep information about those persons defined as PSC’s within a PSC Register.

This is particularly relevant to those companies that may be a subsidiary of a holding company whether that company is based in the UK or elsewhere.   Ultimate ownership of the shares needs to be established and for some companies this may involve research to find persons that fulfil the definition.   The company will be expected to undertake this review and document what its conclusions are.   Information about persons with significant control can often be obtained by contacting the company accountant who is likely to have undertaken this review for audit or taxation purposes.

The new requirements are likely to result in companies having to undertake the following:

  1. Maintain a PSC Register and ensure it is kept up to date
  2. Ensure that steps are undertaken to clearly identify all those persons with significant control
  3. Ensure the register is available for public inspection
  4. From 30 June 2016 provide information as required to Companies House

The PSC register is expected to be needed to be kept by all companies even if it has no interests to be registered or is in fact dormant.

Whilst the exact details of the changes are yet to be finalised by the Government it is expected that draft guidance will be in final form shortly.   There is likely to be criminal action for those companies that do not comply with the changes and therefore doing nothing is not an option.     If you would like to know how this potentially affects your company please do not hesitate to contact us.