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Every limited company is required to file a Annual Return at Companies House.

Just a few points on these:

~ first don’t confuse the Annual Return to Companies House with Tax Returns or Business Accounts – the Annual Return is separate from your accounts and tax – its a confirmation of the names and address of directors and shareholders, share capital, registered office and similar.

~ the date of the annual return is normally around the anniversary of the company’s incorporation – its not tied in to accounts or tax year ends

~ in addition to the annual return you also have to send annual accounts to Companies House, normally within 9 months of the business year end – this is a separate requirement.

~ there is a filing fee for the annual return of £15 if done online, or £30 if done on paper.

~ Companies House don’t send out pre-printed returns anymore by post, if you want to do the return on paper you have to ask for a blank return or download it, and it won’t be pre filled – by contrast online most parts are pre filled and just need confirmation.

~ Companies House only send reminders to do the return after its overdue! But don’t worry a moderately late return isn’t penalised and, indeed, its unusual to get any penalty for a late return – that said if accounts are late as well (and there are strict and onerous penalties for late accounts) then Companies House may start strike off proceedings and / or prosecute the directors. Broadly speaking annual accounts are more important than annual returns.

If you need assistance with your annual return, we’ve got some guidance notes n our web site.

For most of our clients (other than PSC clients on entry level service) we can file your return for you free of charge. All you need to do is:

~ ask us to do so

~ make sure we have the company security code (there are two parts to the security, a filers login, which all our staff have, and which you may have personally – these are personal to a person, and then the company security code which is unique to the company and is sent by post to the registered office)

~ let us have a remittance for £15 – we can’t file without this, but you can pay us by cheque, card or paypal.