CHD and WebCHeck

The closure of Companies House CHD (Companies House Direct) and WebCHeck has been in progress for some time now, with more time to go until the eventual termination of these services.

Companies House Direct is a subscription service provided by Companies House which offers access to Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) details online through their official website. In addition, it allows the user to view or download documents filed at Companies House, giving you the tools to order copies or keep your own records on your devices.

WebCHeck, also provided by Companies House, is an online searchable index that allows users to look up information on millions of companies. In addition, it offers a range of other features, such as the option to view filing history and company records online.

These online tools have been in operation for a considerable amount of time, which is why we understand that news of their closure could bring stress and a sense of uncertainty about what is to come next.

When Will CHD and WebCHeck close?

There is no set date for the closure of CHD and WebCHeck. However, Companies House has recently commented that they are keen to progress quickly but are still in the process of closing down and need to transfer several services before it can be made official. For example, Companies House has stated that in order to shut down these online tools, they must:

  • Implement a basket facility on CHS to allow payment for multiple orders in one transaction
  • Implement facilities for ordering ‘pre-95’ transactions on CHS (more details on CHS below)

Once this work has been completed and any feedback has been received and dealt with, a date (with at least six months’ notice) can be finalised.

What Should I Do To Prepare?

To replace CHD and WebCHeck, Companies House has introduced CHS (Companies House Service). Although it does not run exactly the same as the two tools, CHS replaces many of their functions and provides a fully accessible platform that is constantly expanding.

A common question we get at Company Registrations Online is, “do Companies House intend to provide a credit account for CHS, as currently provided by CHD?”. Companies House have commented that their preference is not to have credit accounts on CHS; instead, they are focused on the basket facility. This function allows customers to pay once for multiple orders to minimise the payment actions for higher volume users.

Thus, we recommend getting set up with Companies House Service as soon as possible to prepare yourself for the change.


Registering an Overseas Entity to the Register of Oversees Entities

When the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 was introduced, we set out to provide a registration service for the Register of Overseas Entities, which we hope to go live mid-September 2022.

Here is a brief guide on registering an overseas entity:

For overseas entities who bought property or land on or after:

  • 1st January 1999 in England and Wales
  • 8th December 2014 in Scotland

You will have until 31st January 2023 to register with Companies House and tell us who their registrable beneficial owners or managing officers are. For Northern Ireland, overseas entities only need to register property or land bought on or after 1st August 2022. However, entities that dispose of property or land anywhere in the UK after 28th February 2022 will also need to register and give details of that disposal, even if that entity is now otherwise out of the scope of the requirement to register with Companies House.

After the registration of the overseas entity has been submitted, a statement must be filed by a UK-registered agent within 14 days.

The process for registering an overseas entity is as follows:

  • Gather information needed to register (on attachment)
  • Information on beneficial owners is to be verified by UK registered agent. Verification checks for individuals should involve looking at evidence to match their identity and proof of the condition met to be a beneficial owner (or managing officer).
  • Agent to register and file a statement

CRO Info can provide this service by completing the overseas searches on beneficial owners, verifying the identification and submitting it to Companies House.

What Information Will be Shown on the Public Register?

Most of the information given to Companies House about overseas entities, beneficial owners and managing officers will be publicly available on the Register of Overseas Entities.

Companies House will not show:

  • Home addresses
  • Full dates of birth – only the month and year will be shown
  • The agent assurance code
  • The date verification checks were completed
  • Information about trusts (however, it may be shared with HMRC)
  • Email addresses

What Happens After an Overseas Entity is Registered?

If the application is accepted, the overseas entity and its beneficial owners and managing officers will be added to the Register of Overseas Entities.

We’ll also email the notice of registration to the overseas entity. This will include the Overseas Entity ID, which must be given to the Land Registry whenever the entity buys, sells or transfers land or property in the UK.