Protected On-line Filing (“PROOF”) was introduced by Companies House following numerous instances of corporate identity theft. Registration with the PROOF scheme means Companies House will only accept certain forms electronically. This means that if a fraudster tries to hijack a company by filing a form (e.g. change of director/secretary/registered office) on a piece of paper, then Companies House will automatically reject it.
When PROOF was first introduced, companies needed to file form PR1 at Companies House, which had to be signed by all the directors of the company. Now Companies House has introduced a system whereby a company can sign up to the scheme electronically online via the WebFiling service. Using the company’s unique efiling code (which can be applied for from the WebFiling service if not already known), the company simply ticks a box confirming that they have read and agreed the terms and conditions to join PROOF. This means that the written consent of all directors is no longer needed.
Even if you are already a PROOF customer, Companies House are encouraging companies to sign on and subscribe again to accept the new statutory PROOF terms and conditions.
Within the next few years, Companies House hope to ensure that subscription to PROOF is the default position when incorporating a new company so that all companies are protected.
© EMW 2012