New rules on disclosure of directors’ residential addresses

Businesses need to act now in relation to new rules on disclosure of directors’ residential addresses that come into force in October 2009.  From 1 October 2009, every director must provide Companies House with both their usual residential address and, for each directorship they hold, a service address.  The service address for each directorship will be available to the public but the director’s home address will only be given out to public authorities, such as HM Revenue & Customs or the police, and credit-reference agencies.

Any appointment or change of director’s details on or after 1 October 2009 will be filed on a 2006 Act form.  The director can take advantage of the option to have a service address on public record and for their residential address to be placed on the protected part of the register.  Addresses on the public record on 30 September 2009 will become that person’s service address on 1 October and will remain so until new details are supplied.

A director can choose any address as the service address (including the registered office of the company) but the address must be a place where documents can be delivered and a receipt can be provided if necessary.

Businesses should consider now, for each director, whether to submit a service address to replace their home address in the company’s register of directors, and on the public record at Companies House.

Filing deadlines and penalties

Accounts now need to be filed within nine months of their year end (previously ten months).  In addition penalties for late filing have been increased substantially and directors therefore need to ensure that their accounts are produced promptly to avoid these penalties.

Need to maintain adequate accounting records

The requirements under the new act have been expanded as have the penalties (fine and/or imprisonment).  In addition HMRC have introduced a new penalty regime in respect of inaccuracies in returns which can only be avoided by “reasonable care”.  Directors should therefore ensure that no only adequate records are maintained but they are also sufficient for tax purposes. Our Institute has produced a Directors’ Briefing to assist with this.