7 minute read | November.17.2023
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (the "Act") received Royal Assent on 26 October 2023, setting in motion significant changes to the UK's corporate transparency regime and a transformation process at the UK's Companies House.
What does the Act do?
The Act seeks to promote corporate transparency and fight fraud, money laundering and other crimes in the UK’s corporate, real estate and business sectors. It strengthens and expands the UK's economic crime legislation, following on from the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, which was fast-tracked last year due to the war in Ukraine.
The reforms include new corporate criminal offences, a new test for corporate criminal liability and an extension of the powers of the UK’s Registrar of Companies. The extension will enable the Registrar to become an active gatekeeper over information held at the UK’s Companies House.
Looking at some of these changes in more detail, the Act:
How else will the Act affect UK businesses?
The Act will also affect registered companies and partnerships in more mundane ways, including requirements to:
What other reforms does the Act include?
What should businesses consider doing now?
Companies House administrative steps:
A number of secondary legislative changes are required to implement the measures in the Act, including the failure to prevent fraud offence, although the new corporate criminal liability identification regime is expected to begin on 26 December 2023.
The Registrar of Companies has indicated that changes to come into force in early 2024 will include:
We will issue further updates as the implementation details are finalised.