On Friday 30th June, the good old annual return is being rebranded and rejigged to the confirmation statement. Let’s look at what this means for the UK’s limited companies.
As it stands, the annual return is a ‘snapshot’ of general company information that covers registered office, director, share, shareholder and SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) information. The first annual return must be filed with Companies House, the UK’s registrar of companies, one year and 28 days after a limited company has been formed and then yearly after that. The filing fee for the annual return is £13.
According to GOV.UK "You can be fined up to £5,000 and your company struck off if you don’t send Companies House your annual return."
From 30th June, all of the above are still relevant, with a few key updates.
Update 1 – Name Change
As we've already touched upon, the annual return is being renamed the ‘Confirmation Statement’. At the very least, this will put an end to any confusion between a company’s annual return and annual accounts.
Update 2 – The ‘People with Significant Control Register’
Now, here’s the major change. As of 6th April, all companies should be keeping a ‘People with Significant Control Register’ (PSC Register). As part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, this has been introduced to increase transparency and combat problems such as money laundering. The Government say a person with significant control is someone who:
- Owns more than 25% of the company’s shares
- Holds more than 25% of the company’s voting rights
- Holds the right to appoint or remove the majority of directors
- Has the right to, or actually exercises significant influence or control
- Holds the right to exercise or actually exercises significant control over a trust
- Or a company that meets one of the first 4 conditions
As well as including all of the ‘snapshot’ information, the confirmation statement will now include a section dedicated to a company’s PSC information.
Update 3 – Filing Fee ReductionPreviously, every submitted annual return had to be accompanied by a £13 filing fee, now, once an initial £13 filing fee has been paid, a company can file as many confirmation statements, within a year window, as it wishes. This has been introduced to encourage company directors to keep Companies House fully updated with company information.
As a final point, it’s worth mentioning that a company’s confirmation statement due date will simply take its current annual return due date.
There you have it, everything you need to know about the move from the annual return to the confirmation statement.
Guest Post by Mathew Aitken from Company Formation MadeSimple.
MadeSimple offer a number of services designed to help companies remain compliant. You can find more information on their annual return (soon to be confirmation statement) services here.