Companies House fee increases - everything you need to know

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If you have a business, Companies House fees are a fact of life. There are fees to register your business and file your confirmation statement, which you must do at least once a year to make sure information such as your registered address and details of directors is up to date.

To tackle economic crime and improve the transparency of businesses, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 has introduced a range of measures. The Act became law in October 2023 and the first set of changes came into force on 4 March 2024. These include new powers that give Companies House the ability to play a greater role in tackling financial crime. 

It also introduces measures to stop limited partnerships being abused, gives law enforcement agencies extra powers to seize cryptoassets and gather intelligence, and makes it easier for businesses to share information to tackle economic crime.

Companies House changes

The changes to Companies House implemented by the Act are designed to make the information stored about businesses on its registers more accurate and trustworthy, leading to greater transparency. They include the requirement for company directors and others involved in businesses to verify their identity, which will be introduced later in 2024. 

There will also be greater protection for personal information held on the Companies House register to make it harder to use for fraud. This will come into force over the next two years.

The Act gives Companies House greater investigation and enforcement powers and makes it easier for the agency to share information with partners such as law enforcement agencies.

What do the Companies House changes mean for my business?

As a business, you’ll now need to:

  • have an ‘appropriate address’ as your registered office, where a document could be delivered and reach someone acting for the company, and be recorded as being delivered. This means you can’t use a PO Box
  • confirm you’re forming the company for lawful purposes when you register it
  • be prepared to deal with more queries from the registrar about potentially inconsistent or incorrect information
  • be more careful about using a company name that could give a false impression to members of the public
  • make sure you respond to any formal requests for more information or you could face penalties, including a fine or prosecution
  • provide a registered email address and confirm that your future business activities will be lawful on your annual confirmation statement.

In the future, you’ll only be able to file your annual accounts with Companies House using accounting software, not online or on paper. This aims to make filing them more efficient and secure, improve the quality of the information on the register and allow more information to be available to the public.

New Companies House fees

Companies House will need to invest in new processes, systems and skills to implement these changes. As its costs are paid for by its fees, these will also need to increase to cover them.

The new fees, which will apply from 1 May 2024, include:

  • £50 for digital incorporation (the process by which your business is registered as a limited company) – up from £12
  • £50 for incorporation using software – up from £10
  • £78 for same-day incorporation using software – up from £30
  • £34 to file a confirmation statement digitally or using software – up from £13
  • £62 to file a confirmation statement on paper – up from £40
  • £30 to change your business name on paper – up from £10
  • £20 to change your business name digitally – up from £8

In the case of incorporating a company digitally, the new fee is more than four times the current fee of £12, while the cost of filing your confirmation statement digitally or using software (which you only pay once in a 12-month period, however many times you submit a confirmation statement) is going up by more than two-and-a-half times.

While these increases are significant, Companies House says its fees are lower than the global average, they haven’t changed since 2016, and it doesn’t make a profit from its fees.

 

To find out more about the changes to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act and how they will affect you, read Changes to UK company law and Changes to Companies House fees at Gov.uk.