Chief Executive, Registrar of Companies and Regulator of Community Interest Companies (interim)

Louise Smyth

Biography

Louise Smyth joined Companies House in September 2017 as Chief Executive and Registrar for England and Wales.

Before joining Companies House Louise held a number of senior positions at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), including Director of IT, Director of People, Places & Services.

Louise went on to become Chief Operating Officer in 2014, responsible for Corporate Services: IT, People, Places and Services and Finance.

Louise has also been appointed as interim Regulator of Community Interest Companies, an office holder established by the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004. The Regulator decides if an organisation is eligible to become, or continue to be, a community interest company and investigates complaints against community interest companies and provides guidance and assistance to help people set them up.

Chief Executive, Registrar of Companies

The Chief Executive and Registrar for England and Wales is responsible for:

  • incorporating and registering companies
  • taking action if a company fails to file the documents required under the Companies Act 2006, which may involve dissolving companies or penalising directors
  • making company data available to the public
  • the day to day running of Companies House

Companies House

Regulator of Community Interest Companies (interim)

The Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004 established the regulator as an independent public office holder appointed by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (previously the Department of Trade and Industry).

The appointment was subject to an open public recruitment process monitored by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The regulator is an independent official and their powers are set out in the Act and the Community Interest Company Regulations 2005. The Act requires the regulator to discharge their functions in accordance with good regulatory practice.

In particular, the regulator must have regard to the:

  • likely impact of their actions on those affected
  • results of consultation with stakeholders
  • efficient and economic use of their resources

The government expects the regulator to be a ‘light touch regulator’ who will encourage the development of the CIC brand and provide guidance and assistance on matters relating to CICs.

Read more about the status, role and function of the Regulator of CICs.

Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies

Previous roles in government

  • Chief Operating Officer, IPO
  • People, Places & Services Director, IPO