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The law is changing on annual returns for registered companies

Updated: Feb 16

What do directors have to do when making returns to Companies House? The requirements have now changed and directors need to know what the law requires. Our article gives you the information you need.

At present, directors of registered companies must send an annual return to Companies House once a year. The due date is usually a year after either the incorporation of the company or the date of the last filed annual return. A company currently has twenty eight days to file its annual return after the due date. Failure to send the annual return into Companies House is punishable with a fine of up to £5,000 and the company being struck off the register.

The annual return needs to include information on:

  • The business of the company, including its standard industrial classification code (SIC)

  • The status of the company – private or public

  • The company’s registered address

  • Details of the directors and – if there is one – the company secretary

  • The address where records are kept, if not at the registered address. This is known as the Single Alternative Inspection Location or SAIL

As well as this information, the following may need to be included:

  • a ‘statement of capital’ if the company has shareholders

  • details of shareholders, if required

However, in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act, which has now become law, the annual return will be replaced by a confirmation statement, which must be filed within 12 months of the previous statement, incorporation or annual return. Whereas the current filing period for the annual return is twenty eight days, the period for the confirmation statement will be reduced to fourteen days.

The statement must include confirmation that all information required in respect of the relevant period has been delivered. That information includes

  • any changes to the company’s registered office address,

  • any changes in the directors’ and company secretary’s details,

  • any changes to the residential addresses of directors

  • statement of capital, if the company has shares,

  • details on register of members and of the PSC (Persons with Significant Control) register.

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