PSCs: who are they, and what do they do?

What is a person with significant control (PSC) and what is their role? Here’s what Companies House has to say…

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

Every company must identify their PSC and tell Companies House who they are. A company can, of course, have more than one PSC.

A company must record the PSC’s details on the register and send it to Companies House. A PSC must meet one or more of the following conditions of control. Most PSCs are likely to be people who hold:

  • More than 25% of shares in the company.
  • More than 25% of voting right in the company.
  • The right to appoint or remove the majority of board of directors.

If the PSC holds more than 25% of shares, they are likely to hold the same amount of voting rights.

A PSC may influence and control a company thorough other means. This could be directly or on behalf of someone else.

If a trust or firm influences or controls a company then the owners must decide if they meet any conditions of control. If they do, any person who controls the trust or firm is a PSC of the company.

Certain details of the PSC need to be recorded on the register:

  • Name.
  • DoB.
  • Nationality.
  • Country of residence.
  • Service address.
  • Usual residential address (not displayed to the public).
  • The date they became a PSC of the company.
  • The date they were entered into the PSC register.
  • Which conditions of control were met.

The level of shares and voting rights must also be registered, within the following categories:

  • Over 25% up to (and including) 50%.
  • More than 50% and less than 75%.
  • 75% or more.

A company is obliged to identify and contact anyone they think may be a PSC. If they refuse to provide PSC information they will be committing a criminal offence. You can place restrictions on the shares or voting right for someone who won’t give you this information. However, applying restrictions is a significant step and you should only consider this if they repeatedly refuse the request.

All PSC information is available to the public, apart from their home address. The actual date is also hidden on their date of birth, with just the month and the year given. In exceptional cases, some individuals can apply to protect their PSC information.

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