The Company You Keep

Companies House

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Task

We were asked to acquaint new businesses with their filing responsibilities, as well as the functions of Companies House.

Insight

Company directors are busy at the best of times. But the ideal time to get their attention, and teach them new and best practices, is when they are first starting up their businesses.

Solution

We developed an interactive ‘Welcome’ DVD for new businesses. The DVD covered directors’ responsibilities as well as the information services available to support them, complete with interactive tutorials and live links to relevant Companies House web pages.

The centerpiece of the DVD was a light-hearted 15 minute film starring comedian and Cold Feet star, John Thomson, which we wrote and created to show what could happen to a small business taking a haphazard approach to maintaining their company records. The film was entitled “The Company You Keep – A Cautionary Tale”.

The DVD was neatly divided into easily accessible sections, with helpful introductions from the Companies House Chief Registrar. The individual films were also posted on the Companies House web site.

Results

The DVD was sent out nationwide to newly registered limited companies from 2009 onwards, and was also used for all live events and seminars as a way of introducing Companies House to business owners, accountants and solicitors.

One significant benefit of the interactive DVD over previously produced printed materials was the seamless transition of viewers and customers from the menu interface to the Companies House web site itself. The DVD therefore played a key role in facilitating the dramatic shift in customer behaviour as we migrated the audience of 2.6m limited companies away from paper forms towards online filing and other related services.

Compliance rates, the hard measures of overall filing of company information across the country, were also improved to reach record levels in 2009 and 2010.

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