PSC or People with Significant Control :
What Your Business Needs to Know.
You’ve probably heard all the recent reports about David Cameron describing Nigeria as “fantastically corrupt”. A lot of the coverage has quite rightly asked how the UK, can ensure it is not part of the problem. One of the recent changes in law, the introduction of the PSC Register, attempts to address one area.
Since 6 April 2016 the majority of UK companies, even very small ones, must keep a Register of People with Significant Control (PSC Register). It is designed to create more transparency in UK companies, with the aim that those who ultimately own and control a company can be identified.
This is a new register and is an additional requirement to the registers companies already keep. The PSC should list and give details of individuals or other companies that have significant control over them. This new PSC Register must be made available for public inspection and the information included will need to be filed with Companies House.
But how do you know if you have any PSCs in your midst?
Broadly speaking any person or company who meets one or more of the following 5 criteria, should be registered as a PSC.
- They own more that 25% of the company’s shares.
- They hold more than 25% of the company’s voting rights.
- They have the power (directly or indirectly) to appoint or remove a majority of the company’s board.
- They have the right or actually exercise significant influence or control over the company.
- They exercise or have the right to exercise significant influence or control over activities of a trust or firm which itself meets one or more of the first four conditions.
Companies who are affected must take reasonable steps to identify whether there are people with significant control over their company. In addition, they must contact those people to confirm whether they meet one or more of the specific control conditions and gather the relevant information, where they do meet those criteria. This information should include:
- Residential Address (this will not be on the public record)
- Service Address
- Date of Birth
- Date on which they became a PSC
- Nature of control (which of the criteria is satisfied)
Companies must create the Register of People with Significant Control and maintain and update it as new PSCs become involved with the company or when a PSC no longer meets any of the conditions.
All companies are affected, whether they were formed before 6 April 2016, are new companies, or even if they are dormant. The Companies House filing obligation starts from 30th June 2016, at which date the Annual Return is being replaced by a Confirmation Statement.
This a new requirement that all companies must comply with, failure to do so is a criminal offence.
The full official guidance can be found here.
What Do You Need To Do Now?
As you might expect, we have plans to make this almost painless for our lovely clients. We will be in touch with each of you individually over the next few weeks.