It is a legal requirement for all companies, regardless if they are trading, non-trading or dormant, to submit their annual accounts to Companies House before the due dates. Failure to do so automatically results in financial penalties imposed on businesses for late accounts filing.
Introduced in 1992 with the aim to encourage directors to file their companies’ accounts and reports on time, the late filing penalties are dependent on the length of the delay in the documents reaching Companies House after the deadline.
Under the amended Companies Act 2006, accounts filed after 1st February 2009 are subject to the increased penalties set out below. The level of penalty is different for private and public companies:
|Length of delay||Private
|1 day to 1 month||£150||£750|
|1 month to 3 months||£375||£1,500|
|3 months to 6 months||£750||£3,000|
|More than 6 months||£1,500||£7,500|
Double penalties apply for accounts filed late under the Companies Act 2006 where the previous year’s accounts under the 2006 Act were also late.
How to avoid late penalties?
The only way to avoid late filing penalties is to ensure that the company’s accounts are delivered to the Registrar before their due dates. If a filing deadline expires on a Sunday or Bank Holiday, the accounts must still arrive at Companies House before such deadline.
With the exception of the first company accounts filing, the normal times allowed for submitting the documents to Companies House after the end of the accounting reference date are presented in the table below.
|Accounts deadlines||Private company||Public company|
|For financial years starting on or after 6th April 2008||9 months||6 months|
|For financial years starting before 6th April 2008||10 months||7 months|
Help of a specialist
As company directors are usually busy with meetings, project deadlines and with other important dates to remember, it is easy for them to forget about the date by which the company accounts must be filed at Companies House.
This burden can easily be taken away from the top management and outsourced to specialist company secretaries. For a relatively small annual fee, an experienced company secretary will ensure that the accounts and all statutory changes are prepared and submitted to the Registrar before the due dates.
Apart from filing annual accounts, the company secretarial services offered by London Registrars include but are not limited to:
- maintenance of the statutory registers
- transfer formalities on a change of ownership
- regular reminders for company statutory accounts preparation
- timely submission of the documentation required at Companies House
- management of board meetings, annual general meetings and other general meetings, preparation and distribution of documents, notices, resolutions and minutes
- organisation of share placings and share incentive schemes
- compliance advice to ensure that the directors’ statutory duties, including the new provisions relating to managing conflicts of interest, are fulfilled.
Companies who use the knowledge and skills of our qualified company secretaries enjoy many benefits, the most important of which are:
- significant cost-savings
- improved organisational focus
- time-savings and better usage of top management’s core skills
- avoidance of penalties imposed by Companies House on those who fail to comply with filing deadlines
- assurance of legal compliance with the help of the ongoing advice provided by our specialists in business governance.
More information on London Registrars company secretarial services can be found on our website. Our staff are also available to answer any queries you may have on:
Tel. 020 7608 0011
Fax 020 7608 1373
Email: [email protected]