The register of People with Significant Control (PSC register) came into effect on 6 April 2016. The PSC register is used to identify and record the people who exert significant control over UK companies, often known as beneficial owners.
A PSC is anyone in a company or LLP who meets one or more of the conditions listed in the legislation. This is someone who:
- Owns, directly or indirectly more than 25% of the company’s shares;
- Holds, directly or indirectly more than 25% of the company’s voting rights;
- Holds the right, directly or indirectly to appoint or remove the majority of directors;
- Has the right to, or actually exercises significant influence or control over the company;
- Holds the right to exercise or actually exercises significant influence or control over a trust or company that meets one of the first 4 conditions.
Companies House must be notified (using forms PSC01 to PSC09) whenever there is a change to the PSC register. Companies and LLPs have 14 days to update their PSC register and another 14 days to send the information to Companies House. There is also a requirement to confirm to Companies House, that information on the public register is accurate, where it has not been updated in the previous 12 months.
Companies need to make their PSC register available for inspection on request at the company’s registered office or be able to provide copies. The requirement to hold other information such as a register of members and a register of directors has not changed.
Companies House has been contacting individuals and companies who have not yet complied with the new PSC regulations to remind them of their obligations. There can be significant penalties for companies and officers that fail to take reasonable steps to identify PSCs. Failure to comply with the PSC regime means you could be committing a criminal offence and you could be fined or imprisoned.