The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill Receives Royal Assent


In a significant development for UK businesses, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill has recently achieved royal assent, ushering in a new era of corporate governance. This momentous occasion brings about notable changes in the responsibilities of the Companies House registrar, the objectives of her role, and important implications for UK companies. Additionally, the question of potential increased fees charged by Companies House looms on the horizon.

Companies House Registrar’s Enhanced Responsibilities

The registrar of Companies House plays a pivotal role in implementing the new legislation. Her responsibilities have expanded significantly, reflecting a commitment to fighting corruption, money laundering, and fraud. Some key responsibilities include:

  1. Beneficial Ownership Register: The registrar is tasked with maintaining a public register of beneficial ownership information. This information will encompass individuals with substantial control or ownership in UK companies. The goal is to promote transparency and accountability within the corporate sector.
  2. Verification and Due Diligence: A critical aspect of the registrar’s role is to verify the accuracy of the beneficial ownership information submitted by companies. This involves rigorous due diligence to ensure the authenticity of the disclosed data. High-risk companies will undergo enhanced scrutiny.
  3. Sanctions Screening: To prevent UK companies from unwittingly engaging with sanctioned entities, the registrar will conduct sanctions screening checks on individuals listed as beneficial owners.
  4. Global Alignment: The requirement for UK companies to report their ultimate beneficial owners, even if located outside the UK, aligns with international efforts to combat illicit financial flows and money laundering. The registrar’s role supports the UK’s commitment to global financial transparency.

Objectives of the Registrar

The registrar’s primary objectives under the new legislation are twofold:

  1. Enhance Transparency: By maintaining the beneficial ownership register and conducting due diligence, the registrar aims to enhance transparency within the corporate landscape. This transparency is expected to foster trust among stakeholders, investors, and the public.
  2. Combat Economic Crime: The registrar’s role in sanctions screening and rigorous verification procedures is integral to the broader mission of combating economic crime, including corruption, money laundering, and fraud. This aligns with the UK government’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of its financial system.

New Responsibilities for UK Companies

Under the new law, UK companies are compelled to take on new responsibilities:

  1. Accurate Reporting: Companies must accurately report their beneficial owners to avoid penalties and potential reputational damage. This may entail comprehensive documentation and due diligence.
  2. Global Reach: The requirement to report ultimate beneficial owners extends beyond the UK, necessitating compliance with international standards.

Possible Increased Fees

While not explicitly mentioned in the provided sources, it’s worth noting that the implementation of these new responsibilities may lead to increased fees for companies. The additional administrative burden and enhanced verification processes could necessitate adjustments in fees charged by Companies House. Companies should be prepared for potential cost implications as they navigate these changes.


The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill’s transformation of the Companies House registrar’s role marks a pivotal moment for UK companies. Enhanced transparency, due diligence, and sanctions screening are poised to strengthen the nation’s defenses against economic crime. As businesses adapt to these changes, they should also keep an eye on potential fee adjustments by Companies House. This legislation underscores the UK’s commitment to global financial integrity and accountability.

You can find more comprehensive reading below.

Link to the Companies House Blog

Link to the Government Announcement

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