Q: What is the PSC Register and what do I need to do as the director of a private limited company?
A: In simple terms, a Person of Significant Control (PSC) is a shareholder who owns over 25% of a UK company. However, there are four further specified conditions, one of which states that a PSC can include anyone who holds the right to exercise, or actually exercises significant influence or control. If one or more of the specified conditions are met, the PSC will need to be included on the company’s PSC Register.
As of 6th April 2016, all UK companies are now required to keep a PSC Register documenting their PSC’s or, if the identity or full information of the PSCs is not yet known, to commence investigations.
This follows the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (SBEEA) which received Royal Assent on 26th March 2015 and the majority of its provisions are now in force.
The aim of the SBEEA is to enhance ownership transparency of UK companies and increase trust in the UK as a place to do business. In addition, as part of the Government's Red Tape Challenge, the SBEEA has made changes aimed at simplifying filing for small businesses and improving the accuracy of information on public registers at Companies House.
The most significant aspect of the SBEEA is this new requirement for all UK companies (with some limited exceptions) to create and maintain a register of PSCs. From 30th June, UK companies will be required to update the public PSC register annually at Companies House in the new Confirmation Statements which are replacing the Annual Return. It is a criminal offence not to comply with these new provisions.
A company law specialist will be able to advise and provide assistance in completing your PSC Register.