Companies House increases registration fees

From 1 May 2024 fees for registering a new company are set to rise significantly for the first time since 2016

Currently, to set up a business or limited liability partnership it costs just £12; this is set to increase to £50 to incorporate a new company or LLP online and up to £78 for same day registrations.

The one-off registration cost is the only increase of this magnitude as Companies House said the charges were not revenue generating and only ‘cover the cost of the services we deliver’.

The cost for overseas businesses incorporating a company in the UK has increased from £20 to £71, which may not prove as much of a deterrent to potential fraudsters. The fee to register annual accounts will also be tripled to £62, from £20.

Alex John, product director at IRIS Software said: ‘The issue of inaccurate and dishonest information on Companies House records poses a serious threat to the UK economy, affecting the integrity of financial systems and hampering fair competition.

‘The filing fee, which has not increased since 2016, may seem large, but it will ultimately enable Companies House to deliver a better service and allow accountants to access accurate information on the register.’

The increases could have the potential to deter fraudsters from incorporating fake companies.

Dame Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking said on X (formerly Twitter): ‘£12 to set up a business essentially incentivised the creation of phony companies.

‘The new £50 fee is a welcome first step to deter mass fraud, promote good business, and empower Companies House to combat economic crime.’

This £50 fee may not be enough to discourage scammers from impersonating innocent people when they have the potential to achieve a lot more as happened with chef Heston Blumental recently.

There are also increases in the fee for overseas property owners to sign up for the mandatory register of overseas entities (ROE). The current £100 will go up by over double to £234, with an additional fee of £234 for any further updates. This is currently £120. The application for removal will also be increased to £706, a substantial rise from the current £300.

As well as fees increasing from May, there are set to be stricter policies for identification verification online when setting up a company.