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What is a Company Annual Return?

What is a Company Annual Return?

Every UK company is required to file an Annual Return.

This is not to be confused with the annual statutory accounts or annual corporation tax return. The Annual Return is a snapshot of the foundations of the Company at the made up date so it includes details such as:

  • Company Name
  • Registered Office
  • Directors / Company Secretary
  • Share Capital
  • Activities

It is due every year (the clue is in its name!) and it is often on an odd date as it runs to the anniversary of the date of incorporation of the company – so unless you incorporated your company on say 31 December then you’ll no doubt have some random odd date as your made up date. You can change it although Companies House do send you a reminder via fairly formal looking letter in advance.

You have 28 days from the made up date to file the return. It is a criminal offence not to file the return on time and, although I’ve never seen formal proceedings initiated where returns are late, the most likely impact is that your company will be unilaterally struck off! So say a month after the due date you mind find that your company is being listed in the Gazette as formal notification that it is due to be struck off and then a couple of months later you may no longer have a company! (Don’t quote me on exact timings but I would suspect this is in the right ball-park.)

You should file your annual return online if possible by visiting the Companies House website and filing it through the portal there. You will need your log in details including authentication code so make sure you have all your paperwork together. It is also cheaper to file it online (£13) compared to filing on paper (£40).

If you are having any problems, I suggest you get your accountants to help you as part of the annual service.

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