By Shannon Power, 6th July 2023
On the 21st of June 2023, the Stakeholder Forum Meeting took place, giving us insight into current changes and updates from within the Companies Registration Office (CRO). We are pleased to be able to provide a list of the key points discussed during the meeting:
PPS Number Update:
During the recent meeting, Maureen O’Sullivan, a representative from the Companies Registration Office (CRO), provided an update on the new requirement for Directors to submit their Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers. While implementing this requirement aims to enhance transparency and accountability, the members raised several issues related to using PPS numbers.
One of the concerns highlighted was the disappearance of PPS numbers on saved drafts. This issue was attributed to the delicate balance between functionality and the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regarding the retention of personal data. The CRO acknowledged this challenge and assured the members that they are actively addressing the issue to ensure a smoother user experience.
During the discussion, the significance of verifying directors’ PPS numbers before the filing deadline was emphasised. It was clarified that the CRO validates PPS numbers against the Department of Social Protection records rather than Revenue’s records. This ensures accurate identification and verification of directors’ information. Additionally, the CRO is actively working on finding a solution for the PPS number requirement for deceased directors, further demonstrating their commitment to resolving potential issues and improving the overall efficiency of the registration process.
With the successful procurement of a new mailing service provider, the CRO is poised to recommence the enforcement process. This involves issuing 10-week warning letters for potential strike-off. The letters will be sent out in batches to manage the substantial volume of cases, starting with the oldest cases. By enhancing enforcement measures, the CRO aims to maintain the integrity of the business registry and encourage companies to fulfil their obligations.
Ireland’s Companies Registration Office (CRO) has made significant strides in improving its processing efficiency, ensuring smoother operations for businesses. According to the latest updates, the majority of processing times are within target dates, reflecting the CRO’s commitment to timely service. Notably, the New Companies Schemes have been operating within the committed timeframes, facilitating swift incorporation processes for new businesses. Additionally, the backlog of B1 forms has significantly decreased, with the CRO now processing forms up to the start of June 2023. This progress signifies the CRO’s dedication to streamlining procedures and enhancing its ability to support companies in Ireland.
Central Register of Beneficial Ownership (RBO) Secures Prosecutions Against Non-Compliant Companies:
The Central Register of Beneficial Ownership (RBO) secured nine convictions last month against Irish registered companies that failed to make their RBO filing. Fines ranged from €750 to €500 and 3 companies received the probation act. This highlights the importance of ensuring that the statutory filing is made at the earliest opportunity, particularly on the foot of a non-compliance notice. There were 59,000 searches made on the RBO register in 2022 and 56,000 already made in the first 6 months of 2023. Other data made available from the RBO shows that there is an 87% compliance rate at present, which includes new companies that have five months from incorporation to make their filing. It is important to note that banks will not open accounts for new companies that have not made their RBO filing, so it’s important that this is filed for clients shortly after incorporation.
The Central Register of Beneficial Ownership has also recently released their Annual Report for 2022, which can be viewed here!
Cross Border Mergers:
Ireland’s Companies Registration Office (CRO) has made significant updates regarding cross-border mergers, in line with the new Cross Border Directive. With the finalisation of the legislation, the CRO has introduced conversion forms to facilitate the merger process. The CRO acknowledges the importance of smooth transitions for businesses involved in cross-border mergers and has allocated dedicated teams to handle applications. Existing applications received prior to the new legislation will continue to be processed by Mr Pat Daly’s team, while new applications will be managed by Mr Matt McDonagh’s team. By streamlining the merger procedures and providing specialised support, the CRO aims to facilitate cross-border business activities and foster a favourable environment for corporate restructuring in Ireland.
We will continue to keep you updated on any further news and developments from the Companies Registration Office (CRO) in the future. As new information and updates become available, we will ensure to provide you with the latest insights and key points discussed during relevant meetings.
Disclaimer This article is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Company Bureau for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this article. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of this article. Any and all information is subject to change.