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News - 18 July 2014

Company information to become freely available

 Companies House is to make all of its digital data available free of charge. This will make the UK the first country to establish a truly open register of business information. 

 
As a result, it will be easier for businesses and members of the public to research and scrutinise the activities and ownership of companies and connected individuals. Last year (2013/14), customers searching the Companies House website spent £8.7 million accessing company information on the register.
 
Stuart Coleman, Manager of the Tax Department of ABDS comments:
“Currently, anyone wishing to view information held by Companies House must pay up to £1 per search. This, according to the Department for Business (BIS) is intended to improve corporate transparency, and could also create opportunities for firms that are now able to use and exploit the data in innovative ways.”
 
This change will come into effect from the second quarter of 2015 (April – June). 
 
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“The government firmly believes that the best way to maximise the value to the UK economy of the information which Companies House holds, is for it to be available as open data. By making its data freely available and free of charge, Companies House is making the UK a more transparent, efficient and effective place to do business.”
 
This commitment is part of a Public Data Group (PDG) Summer Statement that sets out a range of activities and planned data releases by Companies House, Land Registry, Met Office and Ordnance Survey. These include Land Registry expanding its monthly property price data to include commercial properties and Ordnance Survey supporting innovation around flood related issues through the release of river network information. The most recent estimate placed the value of the PDG’s Open Data to the UK economy at over £900 million a year. The Statement also commits PDG members to a review of how their licences can be more easily used by developers. 
 
Chair of the Public Data Group Claudia Arney said: 
“The Public Data Group’s vast array of data is already being used to power a great range of products. With the PDG Summer Statement we’re aiming to encourage even more people to explore and use their data.”
 
Stuart continues:
“The PDG Summer Statement forms part of an updated Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Open Data Strategy which sets out support for open data across BIS and its partner organisations. These activities include the creation of the Open Data Institute, Innovation Vouchers from the Technology Strategy Board and the work of the Research Councils, as well as activities in higher and further education.”
 
For those who are looking for a more personal approach on a range of individual and business related issues, contact us at ABDS.
 
ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900 E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net
 
Brilliant with numbers  
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals   
 
Helping Your Business is Our Business

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