New IT Infrastructure at the Companies Registration Office: Will it Affect You?

PUBLISHED: 13th October 2020

Photo to illustrate article

The Companies Registration Office (“CRO”) is undergoing a digital transformation.  The existing CORE (Companies Online Registration Environment) system, which has in use for over 22 years, is being replaced. 

It was expected that the new system would go live during September 2020, but the launch has been postponed until December 2020 in order to limit disturbances to stakeholders during the peak annual return filing period.

The new CORE system

Users of the new CORE system can expect the following functionality from the new cloud-based system, which has been developed over the last three years.

  • A similar design and layout to the Register of Beneficial Ownership website (, which will contain integrated warnings and error messages to ensure a reduction in the number of submissions needing to be returned.
  • The annual return filing procedure will become a one-step process.  Companies have had to electronically file their annual return no later than 28 days after their annual return date, with financial statements subsequently required to be filed no later than 28 days after the date on which the annual return was electronically filed. Companies will now be able to electronically file their annual return and financial statements at any time within a 56 day period. For example, if an annual return date is 21 September 2021, all elements of the annual return will have to be filed by 25 November 2021. This will give effect to the provisions of the Companies (Amendment) Act 2019.
  • A1 applications to incorporate companies will become mandatory online electronic filings (approximately 95% of A1s are already filed electronically).
  • There will be over 20 new online submissions available, including B5 (return of allotments) and B1B (rectification of annual return).
  • There will be an increase in the maximum file upload size from 5mb to 8mb.
  • Counterpart signature pages on annual returns will now be accepted.
  • Payment can be diverted by the presenter to a specified individual, meaning late filing fees do not have to be paid by the presenter.

Please note, the CRO have advised that ‘docusigned’ documents will not be accepted.   All forms submitted to the new CORE system must be signed in wet ink, with a scanned copy uploaded to CORE.  The forms submitted to CORE will remain unchanged and will therefore look the same.

The CRO have further advised stakeholders to expect a full closure of the old CORE system for at least one week before the new system goes live.  During this period, paper filings will still be accepted by the CRO, but they will not appear on the public register until such time as the new system has gone live. 

How can we help?

Embracing change can be difficult.  If you require assistance with Company Secretarial matters throughout this period of change, our highly experienced Company Secretarial Team is on hand to assist.  Please contact a member of our team:

James Carolan

Colm Hanley

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