Most people don’t realise how important it is to keep submitted documentation up to date at Companies House.  There have been recent subtle changes too which makes it easier for Companies House to strike a company or LLP from the register.

What happens if the company record is not kept up to date?

If the accounts or annual return are not filed on time, the registrar may take steps to strike the company or LLP from the register.  A forced strike off by Companies House will remain noted on the company record even if the record is brought up to date by submitting overdue documents.  As you can imagine, reference to a possible forced strike off on the public record would not be desirable for a company which continues to trade.

Up until recently the process to strike off a company used to take 3 months, giving a chance for objections to the strike off to be logged.  This period of time has now been reduced to 2 months, which means that a company can be dissolved a lot quicker.

Will there be a financial cost to a company for forms filed late?

Accounts received late incur an automatic financial penalty which increases with the period of delay:

Length of delay

(measured from the date the accounts are due)

      Penalty for private company

          & LLP

Not more than 1 month              £150
More than 1 month but not more than 3 months              £375
More than 3 months but not more than 6 months              £750
More than 6 months           £1,500


Furthermore, the above penalties will double if the company or LLP had also filed its accounts late for the previous financial year.  This can lead up to a maximum penalty of £3,000!

What should you do if you have overdue documents?

Don’t despair and bury your head in the sand if you have overdue documents.  The most important thing is to act quickly as it will most likely be less costly if you act sooner than later.

As you can see from the above, the situation can very quickly get out of hand.  Don’t delay if you have overdue documents and contact us if you would like any further advice.

Beth Judd, Accounts & Tax 

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