Companies House filing requirements – what do I need to send every year?
If you’ve only just launched your company, you will need to have a clear idea of what documents you are required to send to Companies House every year. Companies House filing requirements are compulsory and apply even if the company is dormant.
Failing to submit the required information on time is an offence and if Companies House does not receive the relevant documents the Registrar of Companies can potentially assume the company is no longer in business and remove it from the company register. If this happens all the company’s assets then become the property of the Crown (i.e. the State).
Here is a short guide therefore to the documents that companies need to send to Companies House every year. There are two main filing requirements – the Confirmation Statement and Annual Accounts – but companies are also required to notify Companies House of any changes which are made to key aspects of the company over the relevant time period.
A confirmation statement put simply is a snapshot of the key information about a company – the name of the company, whether it is a private company or a public one, its registered number, the principal activities of the company, the details of the directors and company secretary if there is one, the registered office address, the shareholders and the share capital.
These details will be familiar to anyone who was previously familiar with submitting an ‘annual return’ which was replaced on 30th June 2016 with the ‘confirmation statement’. The confirmation statement however now also requires almost every company to provide details of People with Significant Control (PSCs) . These are the individuals who are the ultimate beneficial owners and controllers of a UK company.
New companies formed or created after 30th June 2016 must also include a statement of initial significant control, detailing people with significant control when the company is formed.
When should the confirmation statement be filed?
The confirmation statement needs to be submitted at least once every 12 months (and can be submitted more than once at any time) and a new review period of 12 months will be set from the date of the last confirmation statement. If there have been no changes in the preceding 12 months though all you need to do is ‘check and confirm’ the information previously reported is accurate and up to date. You don’t have to re-input all the information which has previously been reported to Companies House.
The confirmation statement has to be submitted within 14 days of, the one year anniversary of company incorporation, or the anniversary of the date of the previous confirmation statement. It is the responsibility of company directors, and the company secretary if there is one, to ensure timely filing of the confirmation statement to Companies House.
Every company must prepare annual accounts that report on its performance and activities during the company’s financial year. A company’s financial year starts on the day the previous financial year ended, or in the case of a newly formed company, on the day of incorporation.
Annual accounts will contain a profit and loss account, a balance sheet recording the assets and liabilities of the company, together with some ‘notes’ to the accounts. They will also typically include a business review of the company and an auditor’s report unless the company is exempt from audit.
The board of directors of a company must approve the annual accounts before they are sent to its’ members and every member must be sent a copy. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), defined as any business with fewer than 250 employees, may however file ‘abbreviated accounts’ with Companies House which combine certain items and are less detailed.
When should the Annual Accounts be filed?
For newly incorporated private companies the first annual accounts must be filed within 21 months of the day of company incorporation and every 9 months thereafter from the last date of filing the annual accounts – the accounting reference date.
For public companies these periods are reduced to 18 months and 6 months respectively.
Other documents to be filed at Companies House
In addition to the confirmation statement and annual accounts every company must also submit documents to change any existing information about the company.
For example if a company changes its registered office address, it must submit a AD01 form to Companies House to officially make this change. Further common changes companies make which also need to be notified to Companies House include:
- Changes to company officers – directors or secretary
- Change of company name
- Change of accounting reference date / annual reporting date
- Change of company type.
We, at Lightwork Business, are experts in guiding companies through the legal maze and can provide you with peace of mind as we will take care of all the statutory filing requirements for your limited company for only £15 a month.
We know sorting out the boring fundamentals of compliance isn't your idea of fun. That's why we make dealing with us as easy as possible. So let us worry about compliance and you stay focused on the most important part - your business!
Get in touch and we'd be delighted to help.
The content of this post is up to date and relevant as at April 2017.
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