For the first time in the show's history, anyone can enter the ITV1 singing competition, regardless of their professional background or current representation.
Gary Barlow, who is yet to sign a contract for the next series, told the Radio 2 Breakfast show yesterday: "They're letting people apply who already have managers. They're hoping for a more developed artist, more developed group, if they have management."
Thames TV chief Richard Holloway confirmed the news, telling The Sun: "The change means we won't miss out on any talent."
He added that anyone aged 16 and over can enter The X Factor, whether they are "an amateur artist, have had a management deal in the past or have one now".
Auditions with producers start in Liverpool next weekend and continue in Manchester, Cardiff, Glasgow, London and Newcastle over the coming weeks.
Simon Cowell recently confirmed a similar move for The X Factor USA, announcing that he has "torn up the rulebook" to improve the show.