Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act

What is ECCTA?

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA) is a relatively new piece of legislation that forms part of the Government’s wider strategy to prevent the use of UK corporate structures for nefarious purposes and to reduce economic crime in the UK. It includes a wide range of reforms including:

  • an overhaul of Companies House and reforming the role of the Registrar of Companies including:
    • bringing in identity verification requirements for:
      • all new and existing directors of companies
      • all new and existing members of a Limited Liability Partnership
      • all new and existing general partners of limited partnerships
      • all new and existing persons with significant control of a company (PSC)
      • registerable relevant officers of relevant registerable legal entities (RLEs)
      • any company or individual who will be delivering documentation to Companies House on behalf of a third party, such as an Authorised Corporate Service Provider (ACSP).
    • introducing new wide ranging powers Companies House have (including to ensure the information filed at Companies House is correct, to require additional information, report discrepancies, disclose information and impose fines and criminal sanctions)
    • changing how documents can be filed at Companies House and who can file them
  • changes to the law on corporate criminal liability for economic crimes (notably a broadening of the identification doctrine)
  • changing registration and transparency requirements for limited partnerships
  • introducing a new corporate Failure to Prevent Fraud (FTPF) offence that is applicable for ‘large companies’ (as defined in the legislation)
  • introducing changes to the regime governing the Register of Overseas Entities which records overseas entities that own land in the UK and the beneficial owners of those entities
  • introducing new powers to get access to, seize and destroy crypto assets which are the proceeds of crime or involved in criminality
  • bringing in legislation relating to strategic litigation against public participation (SLAPPs) allowing such litigation to be dismissed by courts and certain protection for defendants relating to the costs of the claimant

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