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New Requirement to ID Verify

Overview of Identity Verification Regime

An identity verification regime is one of the key changes being introduced by the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023. Up until the introduction of this Act, it will have been possible to register an appointment at Companies House without the knowledge or consent of the person being registered. Companies House has no powers to confirm consent and is legally obliged to register the appointment. Once recognised as a fraudulent appointment, it has proved time consuming and costly to remove such appointments.

It is hoped that ID verification will make it much harder to register fictitious directors or beneficial owners, stopping most fraudulent appointments from reaching Companies House. It is also hoped that the ID verification regime will provide greater assurance to third parties searching the register that the information on the register is genuine.

ID verification will ensure that there is always a natural person associated with an incorporation or a filing – making individuals easier to trace.

All entities registered at Companies House will have to have at least one fully verified natural person directly associated with them on the public register.

There will be various routes to undertake the ID verification process.

ID verification has not been included within the list of early measures to be introduced under the Act in early 2024. This is likely the case as Companies House systems and processes will require updating in preparation for this major change. However it is probable that it will be introduced at some point during 2024. Notwithstanding this, companies would be advised to start planning for these changes and make sure that they have all necessary information and systems in place to comply with the new regime when in force.

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