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Successive UK governments have been looking for ways to increase corporate transparency. Since 2016 companies in the UK have had to maintain a PSC register. Not to be confused with the annoyingly identical acronym for ‘Personal Service Company’, in this case, PSC stands for ‘Person of Significant Control’.
This should not be too difficult, in fact, you’re likely to be doing most of this admin anyway. For your peace of mind, here is an explanation of the PSC register in a nutshell.
Each company has to record information on who owns shares or directly influences its decisions. This information is to be provided as follows:
This data is visible on the central public register at Companies House, so investors will have a better idea of what they’re getting themselves into when thinking about investing in a company. Money laundering investigations will also be aided by this register, which of course will need to be kept up to date at all times.
Persons of Significant Control and their companies are obliged to provide these details. Those who do not take appropriate measures (or provide falsified details) face a fine or even imprisonment.
Companies have a legal duty to keep a register of directors or members (shareholders. Newly formed companies will need to include information on Persons of Significant Control as part of their incorporation application.
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has advised that a PSC is an individual who:
The first two points are fairly straightforward, but the third is slightly subjective – if you feel this applies to your situation, we recommend you seek professional advice.
The register must be kept at the company’s registered office. If your registered business address is that of your accountant, and it is part of their service to keep company records, this is where the register will be held.
PSC changes can no longer be updated on your Confirmation Statement. If a change need s to be made to your PSC register, you have 14 days to make the update and a further 14 days to inform Companies House of any changes.
For each PSC, the following information will need to be disclosed: