Changes to UK company law. The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act.

Identity verification

Companies House will introduce a new identity verification process to help deter those wishing to use companies for illegal purposes.  

Anyone setting up, running, owning or controlling a company in the UK will need to verify their identity to prove they are who they claim to be. 

Over the coming months, we’ll explain when these changes will come into effect and how the identity verification process will work. You do not need to do anything yet.  

Who needs to verify their identity  

For new companies, all directors and people with significant control (PSCs) will need to complete identity verification.  

Identity verification will also apply to other registration types. For example, any members of a limited liability partnership (LLP) will also need to verify their identity. 

For existing companies, all directors (or equivalent) and PSCs will have a transition period to verify their identity with Companies House. 

Anyone acting on behalf of a company will also need to verify their identity before they can file information with us. 

You can verify directly with Companies House, or through an authorised agent.

Verifying your identity directly with Companies House

Companies House will put in place a service to verify your identity using ID documents, such as a passport. There will be a range of support and services available to help you complete this process.  

Verifying your identity through an authorised agent  

Companies House authorised agents, also known as Authorised Corporate Service Providers (ACSPs), are individuals or organisations that undertake anti-money laundering (AML) supervised activity, such as: 

  • company formation agents 
  • solicitors 
  • accountants 

Authorised agents already have a duty to carry out due diligence checks on all their clients. The Companies House identity verification process will build on these existing checks.  

Identity verification checks by authorised agents must meet the same level of assurance as those who verify directly with Companies House. 

We’ll publish detailed guidance for authorised agents on these identity verification requirements.