Covid-19 and Statutory Registers

May 12, 2020

Where are your statutory registers in lockdown?
In light of government lockdown measures and the practice of social distancing many companies have been left unable to access their statutory registers. Statutory registers may be kept in hard copy at the company’s registered office address or SAIL address (which may be the address of their accountants), and due to lockdown are now incapable of being produced on request in compliance with the Companies Act 2006, or where required by lenders and other advisers.  Companies who hold their registers in electronic form however can easily access them.

What happens if my company does not have statutory registers?
If a company fails to abide by the requirement to keep statutory registers, the company and its officers will have committed an offence. Breach of the requirement to keep and maintain statutory registers may result in a fine of up to £5,000 being imposed on the company and its officers, in addition there is a risk of the officers being found to have breached their duties and being subject to a harsher penalty.

What can you do to make sure you are compliant?
Under the provisions of s1135 of the Companies Act 2006, statutory registers may also be kept in electronic form as long as a hard copy is capable of being produced on request (ie they can be printed out).

It is also now possible for a private company to elect to keep all or some of their statutory registers on the public register at Companies House, however be aware that if you choose this method then information not usually available to public view becomes available. To do this a company must submit the relevant forms (EH1 to 6) at Companies House. If a company has elected to keep their registers at Companies House, the company overview page on Companies House will include a tab named ‘Registers’ in which the registers can be viewed by the public.

If you require assistance with updating your statutory registers, re-creating registers into electronic form or creating registers because you do not have any then please contact the corporate governance team of Herrington Carmichael LLP who would be happy to assist please speak email  or call on 0118 977 4045.

This reflects the law at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter. 

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By Michelle Lamberth

Senior Paralegal,  Corporate & Commercial Law

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