Company Statutory Registers
Why is it important to keep company registers?
Statutory company registers are extremely important because they provide a historical and current record of a company’s ownership and all persons responsible for controlling the business. Any changes to the information kept in a company’s statutory registers must be updated immediately to ensure accuracy on any given day.
Preparing and maintaining statutory company registers can use up valuable resources of the finance department or directors of the company, however if a company is sold it is one of the first documents that the buyers’ solicitors will request.
Despite the legal requirement and vital importance of maintaining company registers, the reality is that many directors and company secretaries are completely unaware of this corporate compliance duty, whilst others simply forget to keep the registers accurate and up to date. No matter the reason, failing to keep statutory registers is an offence that can lead to harsh penalties.
Failure to keep statutory company registers
Directors and secretaries (collectively ‘company officers’) have a legal duty to ensure their companies meet all statutory obligations imposed by the Companies Act 2006. Maintaining accurate and up to date company registers is one such duty; therefore, failing to adhere to this statutory obligation is an offence.
Both a company and its officers may face penalties if statutory registers are not maintained.
A company that does not have up to date and accurate registers is considered in ‘default’. All current officers of a company that is ‘in default’ are deemed to have committed a summary offence, regardless of which director or secretary was assigned the particular duty of keeping registers. The consequences of being convicted of a summary offence include unlimited fines not to mention the damage to the reputation of the company and its officers.