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General False Statement Offence

Making of False Statements Under Economic Crime Act

The Companies Act 2006 (section 1112) makes it an offence for a person to deliver a filing or statement “knowingly or recklessly” to Companies House that is false, deceptive, or misleading. This has been amended by the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA), so that it will be an offence for a person to deliver a false, deceptive, or misleading filing or statement to the Registrar “without reasonable excuse”.

This will be a lower liability standard. However, the Government in its explanatory notes has stated that the “without reasonable excuse” limb is meant to ensure that a company does not commit an offence if it reasonably relies on information provided by others which turns out to be untrue, or to prevent professionals assisting companies being prosecuted from having made an honest mistake.

There is also a new aggravated offence where a person delivers a document or statement knowing that the document or statement is misleading, false, or deceptive in material fact.

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