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Making your mind up

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Starting a business

It comes around annually and for fans it’s the most important weekend of the year. You’ve guessed it, the Eurovision Song Contest. The UK hasn’t won for a while, in fact it’s 21 years since Katrina and the Waves lifted the trophy in 1997 with "Shine a Light". All together now... no? I can’t remember how it goes either.

Making your mind up title with singer holding guitar and Eurovision logo.

But the UK is still one of the most successful countries in the contest, having won on 5 occasions. Can you name them? I’m sure, if you’re old enough, you’ll recall Sandie Shaw (put some shoes on), with the song "Puppet on a String" in 1967, Lulu with "Boom Bang-a-Bang" in 1969, Brotherhood of Man with "Save Your Kisses for Me" in 1976, Bucks Fizz with "Making Your Mind Up" in 1981, and of course, Katrina above. Surprisingly, Sir Cliff only came second with "Congratulations", and that was 50 years ago.

Are you sure? Yes, that was the 1961 entry by the Allisons. The competition has been around since 1956 and the UK has been present in all, bar the first. As with all competitions, there are rules which include: the maximum duration of every song being 3 minutes, live animals are forbidden on stage (but puppets may be brought on), and all artists competing in a semi-final or only in the final must be at least 16 years of age.

Representing your country brings with it great responsibilities, not unlike being the director of a company. Becoming a company director is not just a title, the role has duties and responsibilities that you cannot ignore. If you’re considering becoming a director, do not underestimate your obligations to the company and its shareholders.

Our joint webinar with HMRC and the Intellectual Property Office provides useful information for new directors, and those thinking of starting a limited company. You'll find out how to register the company (incorporation) and your responsibilities as a director to Companies House and HMRC. You'll also learn how intellectual property, such as patents and copyrights, could affect your business.

Join our next webinar on Thursday 24 May, 11am to 12pm - registration is quick and easy.

Like a Eurovision contestant, a director must be over 16 years of age and cannot have been disqualified from being a director. Directors are legally responsible for running the company and making sure company accounts and reports are properly prepared. If you do not do this, you could be fined.

Companies have limited liability. In most instances, this protects directors and shareholders if the company gets into financial difficulties. So, think carefully before you take on the role of a director and get advice before "Making your mind up".

For more information, here are some useful links to other webinars and podcasts:

Our recent Eurovision entries have had limited success, with our highest position in the last 10 years being Jade Ewen’s fifth place in 2009, with "It’s My Time" (it obviously wasn’t). Even the great Engelbert Humperdinck could only achieve twenty-fifth place in 2010.

This year’s extravaganza will be taking place in Lisbon on Saturday 12 May and we’ll be fully behind SuRie, or Susanna Marie Cork, and her track "Storm". Let’s hope we do not hear many "null points".

If you’re thinking of going to watch the live show in Portugal, please make sure you do not take any of the prohibited items. Understandably, these include explosives, toxic substances and drugs. But, if you were thinking of taking ladders, golf balls or a trolley... don’t. They’re banned.

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  1. Comment by Ron posted on

    A factor not mentioned here (before making your mind up) is that personally identifiable information (PII) about the director(s) will be made public. This will include information like date of birth, nationality and home address. This is a big considerations since the registry is not subject to the standard EU Privacy rights, the Right to be Forgotten or GDPR rules. Your PII details will be on the registry for quite a while even after you shut down your company. There is no option available to hide those elements. This data can be used and copied by anyone in anyway.

    A director needs to think carefully on whether they are comfortable with this information being made public and searchable via search engines like Google, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex and the rest. Also the complete database is setup in a way that allows it to be replicated to other aggregation sites which will display your details and you will have little control over those sites as well.

    There are consequences to this as the Financial Times newspaper reported last year that company directors are twice as likely as others to be victims of identity theft and have attributed this to the Companies House registry. This is just one way your information can be used against you along with the potential for ageism (which you wont be able to prove) when in future you are looking to find a regular job.

    I agree with the article: you need to think very carefully before Making Your Mind Up.

    • Replies to Ron>

      Comment by Jonathan Moyle posted on

      Hello Ron,

      We do not publish a new director's residential address or full date of birth on the public register.

      A director must give 2 addresses on appointment: a 'service' address used for correspondence, and their usual residential address (home address).

      A service address is one that can be used by a director to receive communications from third parties about the company. The service address can be the same as the person’s residential address, or the registered office address of the company, or it can be somewhere different.

      If a director gives their home address as the service address, or as the registered office of the company, this will appear on the public register.

      A residential address is the usual home address of the director concerned. It has to be filed with Companies House, but it won’t be available on the public record for everyone to see. It's held on a private register and is only available to predetermined organisations. We’ll only provide residential address information to credit reference agencies and specified public authorities, such as the police.

      Residential addresses won’t appear on the public record if only provided in the correct part of the appointment or change of details notice. For paper forms this will be a separate page, for electronic filings this will be additional address fields.

      There are new laws to help a director protect their home address on the public register, or remove it from publicly available documents:

      Options for further protection are also available for those at risk of violence or intimidation:

      A new director must provide their full date of birth on appointment, but this is held on a private register. Only the month and year of birth will be publicly available. The full date of birth is only disclosed in exceptional circumstances. For example, to credit reference agencies or to the police.