11 February 2021
The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “Agreement”) concluded with the EU on 30 December 2020, ensures that UK companies can continue to access the EU market. While the Agreement sets out the level of access to each Party’s domestic market, there are important changes to be aware of now that UK businesses no longer operate under European Economic Area (EEA) regulations relating to cross-border services.
Your business may now face restrictions on your ability to own, manage or direct a company registered in the EU and Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (the “European Free Trade Association”).
UK companies should now be prepared for additional requirements on the nationality or residency of senior managers or directors of the company and limits on the equity which can be held by non-nationals. For example, UK businesses who provide services in Austria may now require authorisations and/or licences and certain EEA nationality requirements are now in place in some sectors.
As there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach, the UK Government website provides country specific advice for UK businesses who operate in the EU and European Free Trade Association countries.
UK companies whose principal place of business is within the EEA must now report the same information as overseas companies to Companies House. Companies have 3 months from 1 January 2021 to provide Companies House with:
- information on the law under which the company is incorporated
- the address of the company’s principal place of business or registered office
- the company’s purpose
- the amount of share capital issued
- the company’s accounting period and period of disclosure (for companies that are required to disclose accounts under their parent law)
On public facing material (such as websites, letterheads and order forms) companies must publish:
- the location of the company’s head office
- the legal form of the company
- its limited liability status
- if applicable, notice that the company is being wound up, or is subject to insolvency or any other similar proceedings
- for companies that choose to refer to their share capital on public facing material, they must do this by reference to paid up capital
If your business operates or trades within the EU and/or the European Free Trade Association and you have any questions, please get in touch with our corporate team who would be happy to assist you.
Contact: Scott Wyper, Partner T: 0141 221 8012 E: firstname.lastname@example.org