Consultation outcome

Company ownership: transparency and trust discussion paper

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Detail of outcome

Outlines how we plan to proceed with the following policies:

  • establish a publicly accessible central registry of UK company beneficial ownership information
  • improve transparency of company ownership and control, including:
    • abolishing bearer shares
    • prohibiting the use of corporate directors (with exceptions)
    • increasing the accountability of those who control company directors
  • improve trust in the UK regime for disqualifying company directors
  • increase the likelihood of creditors being compensated where they have suffered loss from director misconduct

Read alongside the government response to the Company filing requirements consultation.

Read the final stage impact assessments for company ownership and director disqualification proposals.

Feedback received

Transparency and trust consultation responses

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Detail of feedback received

We received 314 responses from:

  • small and large businesses
  • non government organisations
  • academic experts
  • government
  • enforcement agencies
  • individuals

We’ve published all the responses in the above attachment, except for those received from individuals. Instead, we’ve provided a list of the individuals’ names. All responses are available on request.

Original consultation


Proposals to enhance corporate transparency by improving our ability to understand who really owns and controls UK companies.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

Business success, and therefore economic growth, depends on investors, employees, consumers and the wider public having confidence in business. When companies do business with each other, those transactions must also be built on trust.

An effective and trusted system that identifies and deals with poor business behaviour reassures people that we operate fairly, and encourages honest entrepreneurs to invest in activities promoting growth and employment.

This paper considers a range of proposals to enhance the transparency of UK company ownership and increase trust in UK business. This will help:

  • prevent illegal activity
  • better enable companies to be held to account
  • provide businesses, investors, employees and consumers with confidence that companies are acting fairly


Published 15 July 2013
Last updated 24 April 2014 + show all updates
  1. Adding link to final Part B impact assessment

  2. Added public feedback and government response to the consultation.

  3. First published.