New Government changes to data suppression laws will make it easier for company directors to remove home addresses from publicly available company documents. These changes are amid reports that fraudsters are utilising this information to commit identity fraud by posing as company directors and purchasing products online. Another concern is that the information is making company directors vulnerable to intimidation and acts of violence.
According to research by fraud prevention organisation Cifas, they are twice as likely to be the victims of identity fraud, with company directors being victims in one in five recorded cases. At present, personal addresses can only be removed if it can be proved that company directors are at risk as a direct result of the company’s work.
While the new laws will enable company directors to remove their personal address, these must be replaced with an alternative company address.
These changes will be seen by most as a positive step, as they enable company directors and others who were previously unable to satisfy this criterion, to finally remove their home addresses from publicly obtainable company documents.
These laws won’t just be limited to company directors, they will also be applicable for secretaries, LLP members and people with significant control (PSC) whose home addresses are publicly available on company documents.
Applications by individuals to suppress a residential address will need to be made using form SR01. To give notice of a new address on the public register, the form must be accompanied by a CH01 form or equivalent.
Applications made by companies to remove all of its shareholder’s addresses must be made on form SR03. Applicants must identify the form or document that contains the address they wish to suppress and ensure this is included in the form.
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