Directors at risk

Global Publication May 2018

A press release by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published in February 2018 included the, perhaps surprising, statement that company directors are twice as likely as other individuals to be victims of identity fraud.

The availability of directors’ personal addresses at Companies House is considered to be a major - if not the main - reason for this, prompting The Companies (Disclosure of Address) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.

Previously, a company director could only apply to remove their personal address from the publicly accessible company register maintained by Companies House if they could show that disclosure was likely to create a serious risk that they, or a person living with them, would be subject to violence or intimidation as a result of the activities of the company. This did not allow a director to have their address suppressed if they were at risk because of activities not associated with the company, such as identity theft and fraud.

Directors will therefore be relieved to know that the 2018 Regulations come to their rescue. They enable directors and individual members of a company to apply to remove their residential address from the Companies House register without needing to satisfy the “serious risk” test. An alternative service address such as a company address must, however, be provided instead.

The Regulations came into effect on April 26, 2018.

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