Guidance

People with significant control (PSCs)

How to identify and record the people who own or control your company.

This guidance only covers the most common case examples. For more complex cases, you should read the full PSC guidance and seek independent professional advice if necessary.

A person with significant control (PSC) is someone who owns or controls your company. They’re sometimes called ‘beneficial owners’.

You must identify your PSC and tell us who they are. This might be you, or someone associated with your company. A company can have one or more PSCs.

You must record their details on your company’s PSC register, and you’ll need to include this information when you set up (incorporate) your company.

If you cannot identify your PSC, or do not have one, you need to tell us.

Identifying your PSC

A PSC must meet one or more conditions known as the ‘nature of control’. Your register must show which conditions are met.

How to identify people with significant control (PSCs)

Most PSCs are those who hold:

  • more than 25% of shares in the company
  • more than 25% of voting rights in the company
  • the right to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors

You should check your company’s register of members for information on shareholders and voting rights.

Your company’s constitution and articles of association may also contain information on voting and other rights associated with ownership of shares in the company.

Other significant influence or control

Your PSC might influence or control your company through other means. This could be directly, or on behalf of someone else.

For example, someone may influence or control the actions of directors or shareholders.

This condition will only apply in limited circumstances. The full PSC guidance has more information on the meaning of ‘significant influence or control’.

This condition will only apply in limited circumstances. You should read the full PSC guidance and seek professional advice if you think this applies to your company.

If the trust or firm meets any nature of control, you’ll need to record all trustees or members/partners of the firm as PSCs of your company and register this information at Companies House.

Recording your PSC information

You must confirm certain details with your PSC, before you can record them in your PSC register. The details you’ll need are:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • nationality and country of residence
  • correspondence address - known as the ‘service address’
  • home address (this must not be disclosed)
  • the date they became a PSC of the company
  • the date you entered them into your PSC register
  • all natures of control which apply

You must include the level of their shares and voting rights, within the following categories:

  • over 25% up to (and including) 50%
  • more than 50% and less than 75%
  • 75% or more

If your PSC information changes

You must record any changes to your PSC information in your company’s PSC register, such as a change of personal details or nature of control. You must do this within 14 days of the change.

You must send these changes to Companies House within a further 14 days. It’s easier to do this online.

If you do not have an online account with us, you’ll need to register for online filing.

You can also send us PSC information using third-party software.

Contacting your PSC

You must try to identify and contact anyone who could be a PSC of your company.

Refusing to provide PSC information is a criminal offence, and you can apply restrictions on their shares or voting rights.

Applying restrictions is a significant step. You should only consider this if the person has repeatedly failed to respond to your requests for information.

See the full PSC guidance for more information.

Information in your PSC register

Your PSC register must contain information about all PSCs of the company.

If this is not possible, you must put a statement in your register to explain why this information is not available.

Your PSC register cannot be blank.

If the PSC has applied for protection

Some individuals might have applied to protect their PSC information from being published on the Companies House register.

If a PSC has applied for protection, you should record this on your PSC register.

Protection from disclosure applies from the date the application is made to us.

If you elect to keep your PSC information at Companies House

Almost all information about your PSCs will be available to the public, including their full date of birth.

The PSC’s home address will not be available to the public, unless it’s also used as their service address.

You must give all PSCs 14 days’ notice. If there are no objections, we can hold your register.

See our guidance on company registers.

Inspection of your register

Your PSC register must be available for inspection at the company’s registered office, or single alternative inspection location (SAIL).

Anyone can look at your register free of charge. You must provide copies on request - you can charge a maximum of £12 for each copy.

You must not disclose the home address of your company’s PSCs.

Failing to meet the requirements

If you think your company has a PSC, but you do not have all their information, you should send them a notice.

You could also notify any advisers to your PSC, such as their lawyers, accountants or business partners.

Anyone who does not respond to these notices within one calendar month, or gives false information, commits a criminal offence. They could receive a 2 year prison sentence, a fine or both.

Other company types

See Life of a limited liability partnership (LLP) for PSC guidance for LLPs.

Eligible Scottish partnerships do not need to keep their own register - but they must send their PSC information to Companies House.

Scottish limited partnerships (SLPs) and Scottish qualifying partnerships (SQPs) cannot keep their register at Companies House or an alternative address.

See the full PSC guidance for information on these business types.

Published 9 November 2020
  1. Step 1 Check if setting up a limited company is right for you

    1. Check what a private limited company is

    How you set up your business depends on what sort of work you do. It can also affect the way you pay tax and get funding.

    Check if you should set up as one of the following instead:

    1. Get help deciding how to set up your business
  2. Step 2 Choose a name

  3. Step 3 Choose directors and a company secretary

    You must appoint a director but you do not have to appoint a company secretary.

    1. Find out what directors are responsible for
    2. Check who can be a director or company secretary
  4. Step 4 Decide who the shareholders or guarantors are

  5. and Identify people with significant control (PSC) over your company

    For example, anyone with voting rights or more than 25% of the shares.

    1. You are currently viewing: Find out what counts as a PSC
  6. Step 5 Prepare documents agreeing how to run your company

    You need to prepare a 'memorandum of association' and 'articles of association'.

    1. Find out how to create a memorandum and articles of association
  7. Step 6 Check what records you'll need to keep

  8. Step 7 Register your company

    You'll need to register an official address and choose a SIC code - this identifies what your company does.

    1. Check the rules for company addresses
    2. Check what your SIC code is
    3. Register your company with Companies House

    Most people can register for Corporation Tax at the same time as registering with Companies House.

    If you cannot, register separately with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after you’ve registered your company with Companies House.

    1. Register with HMRC for Corporation Tax