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What is a Person with Significant Control (PSC)?

A PSC or Person of Significant Control is the person who owns or controls a company. Persons of Significant Control are sometimes called Beneficial Owners (BO). PSCs are likely to be people who hold more than 25% of shares in the company, more than 25% of voting rights in the company and have the right to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors. PSCs must be identified and their details must be recorded on a company's PSC register. You will usually need to record the name, date of birth, nationality and country of residence of the PSC and the date they became a PSC of the company, and also include details about their shares and voting rights within the company. This information must be kept up to date, and if anything changes, must be amended on the companies register within 14 days.

All PSCs must also be registered with Companies House on the PSC register. This was introduced in April 2016 with the aim of improving corporate behaviour and deterring money laundering. The idea was to help sanction those who try and facilitate illegal activities through a company by hiding their involvement in that company. The details of your company's PSC must be named on the PSC register at Companies House, and it must be kept up to date.  If any changes are made to your company's own PSC register, this must be provided to Companies House within 14 days of the change. Not providing accurate PSC information is a criminal offence.

The SmartSearch system is able to check the PSC of any company, even if that company is part of a complicated corporate structure, which is often the case when criminals are attempting to hide the true beneficial owner or PSC of an organisation.

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