The introduction of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 means that from 30th June 2016 the annual return will be no more. In its stead will be the confirmation statement, which is intended to make filing company information just a little bit simpler, while also offering greater flexibility when it comes to deadlines for filing.
Under the annual returns process limited companies and limited liability partnerships had a statutory obligation to file a return with Companies House each year, confirming the names of the company’s officers, whether the company is private or public, what the company does (including up to four Standard Industrial Classification codes), the company’s registered address, its ‘single alternative inspection location’ (SAIL), and a Statement of Capital and details of shareholders if it’s a company limited by shares.
Since annual returns tended to reiterate the same information from year to year, the new confirmation statement will allow companies and LLPs to confirm that the details on record are still correct, and only provide specific information about any changes rather than repeating the same information each time.
A further change that will be introduced with confirmation statements is that most companies and LLPs will have a new obligation to also provide Companies House with a PSC Register, in order to publicly disclose who owns and controls UK companies.
A ‘person with significant control’ is defined as an individual or corporate entity who meets at least one of the following conditions:
The deadline for filing a confirmation statement
In contrast to annual returns, confirmation statements do not carry fixed deadlines. Instead, businesses must submit a confirmation statement at least once every 12 months, but they can choose their own date for doing so. This means that limited companies can file a confirmation statement at the same time they file their other accounts, which could help businesses streamline their administrative burden.
The filing fee
As with annual returns, businesses will have to pay a filing fee to Companies House when they submit a confirmation statement. Companies House hasn’t confirmed the price yet, but it’s likely to be the same as the fee for an annual return (currently £13). However, the filing fee for a confirmation statement will be an annual charge, and companies will be able to update the information on the confirmation statement as many times as necessary throughout the year without paying anything more.
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