XML coming to Companies House

Company formations specialist Jordans has broken new ground by being the first to set up a new company using XML technology. From October 2009, all companies must be formed using XML as part of the Companies Act 2006 which will replace the current email system.
Paul Townsend, director of corporate services at Jordans, says the initiative was not an academic exercise as the changeover will be immediate. “For decades, company formation was a purely paper-based process. Then with the advent of email, the process went electronic and in 1998, Jordans was the first in the field to form a company by electronic means. More recently, security concerns among some Companies House users means that XML is now being made mandatory.”
Not only will this change affect company formations, but by October 2009 any documents currently filed electronically with Companies House, including annual returns and accounts, will have to be sent using XML. This could mean that companies would be in default if they or their service provider are not set up to use XML and therefore did not file relevant documents on time.  
Townsend warns: “This kind of proactivity is doubly important in the switch to XML, as the Government has said that the change will take immediate effect, and that there will be no ‘grace’ in terms of being able to continue to use email for a limited period after October 2009.”

Comment: Yes, we know. Only the UK government would choose the middle of a recession to make it harder to create new companies.