ID requirements

ID requirements

The Law

We are regulated by the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019, London Local Authorities Act 2007, and Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines. Accordingly, we must verify the ID of all our customers and our customers' shareholders and officers where they meet pre-defined criteria.

How will you be affected?

Most of our customers are not affected by the verification process because it is automated and conducted electronically, with a 90% success rate. The information you supply on the order form is usually sufficient.

If the automated verification system fails:

If customers are not eligible for automated electronic verification, we use the SmartSearch platform to complete our ID checks. We will send you an invitation by email asking for any additional information we require and any documents that we may need. You will be given a choice to upload the documents and information directly to the SmartSearch mobile app or send it to us.

Who needs to supply ID?

When we email you, we will provide the names of the officers whose details we require. We are legally required to verify the ID and address of the following:

  • Anyone who purchases a company formation package.
  • Anyone using our address service or company secretarial services.
  • All shareholders who own over 25% of a company or LLP.
  • All directors of a company formed by us or placing an order with us.

What documents will we need?

None, if the automated verification is successful. If we have to carry out a SmartSearch check, you will need to supply the following:

For ID purposes:

  • Passport, or
  • ID card (Providing it can be recognised by the SmartSearch software), or
  • Driving Licence

For Proof of address verification:

  • Utility Bill (gas, electric or water bill within the last three months), or
  • Council Tax bill for the current tax year, or
  • Mortgage statement from a recognised lender issued within the previous 12 months, or
  • Bank/ Building Society Statement / Credit Card Statement) issued within the last three months, or
  • HMRC self-assessment or tax demand letter, or

Additional charges

There are no additional charges where it is possible to complete the verification by supplying documents. In more complex cases where you must use SmartSearch's facial recognition software, there will be an additional charge of £13+vat, which is not refundable.

KYC (Know Your Client)

As company formation agents and address service suppliers, the KYC guidelines referred to above obligate us to request additional information about clients when the purpose of their orders is not immediately apparent. Some clients may be asked to support their applications with additional information and documentation, which we will need to verify. Such documentation may include copies of contracts with third parties and websites with SSL certificates.

Clients ordering companies with which to trade on E-commerce websites such as those listed below may be asked to provide correspondence confirming their status as sellers:

  • Amazon
  • Ebay
  • Etsy

Agents forming companies on behalf of clients

As stated above, we are obliged to verify the ID and address of anyone who places an order with us, including agents acting on behalf of their clients. For agents resident in the UK, this does not pose a problem, and they are usually verified automatically. Once an agent is verified, they will only be asked to verify themselves again intermittently.Agents registered for AML business, Accountants, solicitors, etc., are obliged to carry out their own AML and KYC procedures. Once we have confirmed their registrations with the appropriate professional body or with HMRC, we will not ask them for ID and KYC documentation for their clients.

Agents who are not monitored for AML and KYC purposes will be required to submit their clients' documentation for us to verify if their clients' details have not been automatically verified through our online processes.

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