There are various documents that are required to be filed at Companies House each year and there can be serious consequences for both the company and its directors if filing deadlines are not met.
A company’s directors must prepare accounts for each financial year. A parent company must also prepare group accounts, although this is optional if they qualify as a small company.
For a private limited company, these must be filed within nine months of the accounting reference date, whilst a public company has six months.
Accounts must be filed for all companies, whether they are trading or not. If a limited company has not traded at all during the financial year however it may file simpler ‘dormant’ accounts. Small and medium companies also have the option to file abbreviated accounts which contain less information than full accounts.
If the filing deadline falls on a Sunday or a bank holiday, the financial statements are still required to be filed by that date so you must make sure you’ve given sufficient time that they may arrive before then. Likewise, Companies House has the power to reject accounts; no additional time will be granted in such a case so it’s essential that plenty of time is given for filing.
Every company must also deliver an annual return to Companies House at least once every 12 months. The annual return is a snapshot of company information at the made-up date; this is the anniversary of incorporation or of the made-up date of the previous return. The company’s directors and secretary are responsible for filing the return within 28 days of the made-up date.
Failure to deliver documents is a criminal offence and all directors of a company risk facing prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000. The company itself also faces a penalty for the late filing of accounts; the amount depends on how late the accounts are filed and if it is a public or private company whilst it also faces being struck off if the Registrar deems it no longer to be needed.
For further information please contact Robert Nordon who will be happy to assist with any queries.