The PSC Register: Are you ready for 6 April?

As well as being the start of the new tax year, 6 April is also the date that all companies (unless quoted on a recognised stock exchange) need to start compiling the information to include in their PSC Register.

By Debbie King, partner Farleys

Debbie King-web

They must have available for inspection from 30 June under the provisions of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.

If you don’t know what the PSC Register is, this is the new register of people with significant control, which every company will now have to maintain.

For most businesses the people to include on the register will be readily identifiable.  If you own more than 25 per cent of the voting shares of the company your name will need to be included.

However if your shares are held in joint names, subject to any nominee arrangements, held by another company in the UK or one registered overseas, held in a trust, or, if you regularly vote together with or in accordance with another shareholder’s opinion, you may also need to be included and need to take advice.

A company cannot simply have a blank register.  If there is no-one with significant control there needs to be a statement to that effect in the register.

If you think you are a person who is in a position of significant control of a company you must volunteer the fact to the company and provide all the information necessary for the register to be completed.  Failure to comply is an offence which on conviction can result in a maximum of 2 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine or both.

If the company’s officers do not take reasonable steps to identify individuals or relevant legal entities that should be entered in the PSC Register or identify changes concerning existing entries in their Register they may also be guilty of an offence punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both and an offence is also committed by the company in these instances. If you are served with a notice regarding whether you are a person who may be registerable on a company’s PSC Register, you must comply with the same within a month or again an offence is committed, following which the company can impose sanctions on the person failing to provide the information which can include prohibiting a transfer of their shares, removing their voting rights and/or preventing any dividends being paid to them.