Insights Obligation on companies to hold register of People with Significant Control (PSC) comes into force.

As of 6 April 2016, companies have to keep a PSC register.  The PSC register details information about the individuals who own or control companies, including their name, month and year of birth, nationality, and details of their interest in the company.

From 30 June 2016, UK companies (except listed companies) and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) will need to declare this information when issuing their annual statement to Companies House.

A person of significant control is someone that holds more than 25% of shares or voting rights in a company, or who has the right to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors.

The Government says that the UK has high standards of business behaviour and corporate governance. The overwhelming majority of UK companies contribute productively to the UK economy, abide by the law and make a valuable contribution to society. However, some of the features of the company structure, which make it good for business, also make it attractive to criminals.  Companies can be misused to facilitate a range of criminal activities, from money laundering to tax evasion, corruption to terrorist financing, the Government says.

In the Government’s view, information about the ownership and control of UK corporate entities will bring benefits for law enforcement, business, civil society and citizens.  By making this information publicly available, free of charge, the Government says that it is “setting a standard that we are persuading other countries to follow”.  To read the Government’s press release in full and for a link to guidance on the PSC register, click here.