From 6 April 2016, most UK companies, LLPs (limited liability partnerships) and SEs (Societas Europaea) will be required to keep and maintain a register of the persons with significant control over them.

Even dormant companies and companies limited by guarantee will be caught by the new law, which places certain legal duties on both companies and the persons with significant control over them.

Companies and the persons with significant control over them who fail to comply with their respective duties under the new law face the risk of heavy penalties, ranging from fines (in some cases unlimited) to possible imprisonment. Liability for failure to comply with the new requirements can also extend to a company's directors and secretary.

Even if there is no person with significant control over a company, that company will still need to keep a register and make a statement to that effect.

To help you understand whether your organisation will be affected by the new law, we have created a brief guide that answers some frequently asked questions and offers you a quick at-a-glance overview of the new requirements, including:

  • whether your organisation needs to keep a register of persons with significant control;
  • how to identify a person with significant control; and
  • what to do if your organisation is controlled by a legal entity instead of a person.