February 14, 2024 in Companies

New Company Laws to Prevent Fraud

Fraud leads to changes for Companies.

Did you know that you can set up a company without any checks apart from a director -and that can be an identity stolen off social media.

Have you heard about the restaurant scam.?

The two are connected. Fortunately, the situation is about to change but more of that later.

What is the Restaurant Scam?

Apparently, restaurants owned by some top chefs have been cloned.

Scammers set up a company at Companies House without any checks. These are often very similar to existing names e.g. Zizzi in Caambridge or Heston Blumenthall (it is Blumenthal). Even Ritz Restaurant Limited was registered in December 2023 with no connection to the original.

They use the real address of the original business then open bank accounts in the new name.



Loans are obtained or high value goods are ordered as the supplier believes they have acquired an impressive new customer. The invoice remains unpaid. The original business is them bombarded with demands about orders they know nothing about.

People are finding they are directors of restaurants they have never heard of having had their identity stolen. One man found he was a director of 39 restaurants and to remove his name will require two complex forms and documentary evidence both done 39 times.

Changes to Company Law

Finally, the government are acting. It is not before time as it is easy to see how £4billion went missing due to fraud over Covid loans and is unlikely to be seen again.

We have the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act no less but not wanting to rush only some will be in force from 4th March 2024.

What will change?

  1. ID will be required from existing directors when they file their Confirmation Statement or are a Person of Significant Interest.
  2. You cannot use a PO Box as the registered office.
  3. You need to have a registered email to correspond with Companies House.
  4. Every year the directors need to confirm that the company is being run for a lawful purpose. – so cannot remain disinterested.
  5. Companies House will check names for new companies
  6. Fees will increase – of course- but they have not yet said by how much.
  7. Directors can apply to suppress their residential address and business occupation.
  8. Domestic Violence survivors can protect their information.

These are all sensible measures that should have been put in place long ago.

If you need any help, please contact us.