Deadlines are inevitable in owning a company. Business directors have many responsibilities on their plate, and it all comes with specific clearing times. This includes submitting your annual accounts and confirmation statement to Companies House. These are required to be submitted annually. So what happens if you miss a companies house deadline?
All limited companies and limited liability partnerships are legally required to register with Companies House for regulation and public record-keeping. In order to keep records updated, they require businesses to submit their annual accounts. This applies to all companies, even dormant ones or those registered but haven’t traded yet.
However, what if you forget that you have to submit your accounts or remember at a later date and submit it way after the deadline?
Let’s take a look at what documents are required when they should be submitted and the consequences of missing the deadlines for filing them.
Formerly known as an Annual Return, a confirmation statement is simply a document that updates Companies House of your business’s current status. In other words, it confirms the details of your company’s current standing. It is also used to notify Companies House of significant changes in your company’s structure, capital, or shareholders, if any.
The following are details that should be included in your company’s confirmation statement:
- Date of review
- Registered Office Address
- Director’s information
- Address where you keep your records
- Standard Industry Classification (SIC) code
- PSC (Persons of Significant Control) register
- Statement of capital
- A declaration that all filings are up to date
You can report changes to your statement of capital, shareholder information, and SIC codes within the confirmation statement. However, changes to your company’s officers’ registered office address, where you keep your records, and PSCs should be filed separately. The confirmation statement just serves to confirm those changes mentioned.
When is it due for submission? – Companies House Deadline
Every incorporated company needs to file its first confirmation statement no later than one year and 13 days after the completion of their Company Formation Process. So if your company was formed on July 10, 2020, you would need to submit your first confirmation statement before July 23, 2021.
Afterwards, your statements are due within a year from the last filing date.
What happens if I miss the Companies House deadline?
The good news is: there are no late submission fees for a confirmation statement. The bad news can lead to a possible lawsuit, get your business to shut down, and a possible fine of up to £5,000 charged to the directors.
According to the Companies House, all companies are required to submit their confirmation annually, even dormant ones. Non-submission could lead to the assumption that your business is no longer in operation and will be struck from the register. Once the registrar strikes a company off the register, it ceases to exist, and all its assets will belong to the Crown.
Suppose a company fails to submit their confirmation statement and is found to still be in operation. In that case, this is considered a criminal offence and can lead to the prosecution of its directors and other officers, plus a fine of up to £5,000.
An email alert or reminder letter will be sent to your email address or registered office address when your confirmation statement is due. You are allowed a grace period of 14 days to submit it, either online or via post.
A notice or warning will be sent if you fail to submit within the time allowed, and continued inaction will lead to severe punishment.
An annual account (also called a statutory account) lists all of a business’s financial details throughout the year. Like confirmation statements, all companies, including dormant ones, must submit their annual account (a dormant company account for businesses who didn’t trade that year).
It should include a balance sheet, a profit and loss account, notes about the accounts, and a director’s report (unless your company is dormant). Sometimes, depending on the size of your company, an audit’s report might have to be included.
All accounts must meet either the International Financial Reporting Standards or the new UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice. You can find more information about these standards online, or you can consult an accountant or adviser.
When is it due?
Your first annual account can be filed for newly formed companies within 21 months from the registration date (the date the company was officially incorporated). Subsequent filings should be submitted within 9 months after your accounting reference date.
The accounting reference date refers to the period that should be covered in the annual account.
What if I miss the Companies House deadline?
There is an automatic penalty fine for the late submission of your annual account. The worst-case scenario is to owe a huge fine and have your company struck off the register. If you miss the deadline, submit your annual account as soon as possible because the longer you delay, the bigger you have to pay.
The fine is imposed on a sliding scale as follows:
- 1 day up to 1 month late: £150
- 1 to 3 months late: £375
- 3 to 6 months late: £750
- More than 6 months late: £1,500
Moreover, companies who submit late for two years in a row find that the penalties listed above are doubled for the second year. So don’t make it a habit to submit your annual accounts late.
Establish a good administrative process, especially where government deadlines and submissions are concerned. This way, you avoid paying fines and stay on the right side of the law. You also avoid losing the business you put a lot of capital and effort into.
If you are new to handling a business and all its statutory obligations or having difficulty managing them, it is recommended that you seek help from an accountant. It pays to have someone who knows the ropes to assist you in your official paperwork and government requirements.
If you still have more concerns regarding cash management and financial issues you can have a call with Annette here. And if you want more practical business ideas such as this one, make sure you go around our website, and connect with us on social media. We are on Facebook, Instagram, iTunes and Youtube. See you there!