What is happening to the CRO? 

The Companies Registration Office (the “CRO”) has confirmed that on 16 December 2020 the new CORE customer portal will go live. In practical terms, what does this mean and what can be expected? 

The user experience is set to undergo an extensive overhaul with the CRO stating that this will be a more intuitive and streamlined system. There are many changes being made to the CRO forms that we can currently file and how they can be filed. For example, it will only be possible to file A1s (Application to Incorporate a Company) online. The deadlines around B1s (Annual Returns) are being changed and simplified. There will now be one 56-day period from the annual return date (the “ARD”) to complete the filing and submit signature pages and accounts. 

This is different to the current system where you must file an annual return within 28 days of the ARD and from that point you have 28 days to submit accounts and signature pages. The CRO has revealed that 20 new online forms will be added and these additions will make it possible to file 95% of all CRO forms online. The biggest and most welcome change is that it will be possible to file scanned signature pages for all submissions as opposed to having to send original hard copies to the CRO. 

Furthermore, the CRO will accept counterpart signatures as part of this new filing system.

What's important to know? 

The CRO will close its office from 10 December 2020 to 16 December 2020 to process all outstanding signatures pages and documents. The cut-off date for receipt of signature pages is Monday 7 December 2020. Once the new system goes live, all electronic forms and signature pages generated under the current CORE system will not be accepted.

The cut-off date for receipt of electronically signed C1/C1A/C1B and F8/F8A/F8Bs is 10 December 2020. It will not be possible to file charges electronically during the period that the CRO is closed (C1/ C1A/ C1B, F8/F8A/F8B). If you intend to file a C1 or F8 during this period, the CRO has suggested that a C1A/F8A is filed in advance to give notice of the intent to create a charge. File a Form C1A (notice of intention to create a charge), followed within 21 days by Form C1B (confirming the creation of the charge) This will secure priority from date of filing of the Form C1A.

If you have any questions on the changes being made to the CRO and what that means for you and your company, please get in touch with either Mark Roberts or Kris O’Shea in our Corporate department.