If you have formed a limited company, you have two filing obligations with Companies House; annual returns and annual accounts. Due to the wording, these two are often mistaken for each other – the aim of this post is to put an end to this confusion!
The return is a yearly update with Companies House to inform them whether there have been any changes to the structure of the company. These could be changes to directors, shareholders, share structure, the nature of the business, or the registered office. Even if there have been no changes, it’s still necessary to file an annual return. The annual return is due (at the latest) 1 year and 28 days after the company is formed (but can be filed any time before, as long as the company is 1 month old) and then subsequently for each year following.
We offer two annual return services; the Annual Return Preparation and Filing Service (also included in our Comprehensive and Ultimate register a company packages) and the Annual Return DIY Online Services.
The company accounts refer to financial transactions made in the company name. These are filed at the latest 21 months after the company is incorporated and then subsequently 9 months after each accounting reference date. You are required to file these even if the company has never traded, if this is the case then you can file dormant company accounts.
Accounting Reference Date
It is also worth mentioning the accounting reference date as this too can cause some confusion. The accounting reference date determines the period of time that you need to produce accounts for. Your accounting reference date is normally the last day of the month that the company was incorporated in. For example, if a company were formed on 13/02/14, the accounting reference date would be 28/02 – the first set of accounts would then need to cover from the date of incorporation up to 28/02/15. These should be delivered to Companies House no later than 13/11/2015.
There you go – I hope this post has cleared up any confusion. Of course, if you do have any questions, simply comment and we’ll be in touch.
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