Companies House

For today’s blog, I thought I would go a bit technical and talk about Companies House. I think this is the first time I’ve written a slightly accounts and tax-related blog in ages and I am so conscious of all the potential grammatical and maybe even technical errors. The last time I wrote an article like this, it was proofread and edited by technical editors but anyway here it goes.

Companies House is an executive agency where you can create your limited company in the UK. Once formed Companies House will keep a record of all the relevant details relating to your company along with all the other companies that are formed or have been formed in the UK. There are two ways you can go to see this list. The first is through Webcheck and the other is through this companies house link. I found the second link more useful when I was researching into my grandfather’s history and was looking up some old companies that have now dissolved. 

Forming a company is a fairly straightforward process. Once incorporated, you have to file your annual financial statements and your confirmation statement every year. The confirmation statement costs £13 to file. Confirmation statement confirms that all the information they have of your company is correct such as shares, directors, addresses etc. For financial statements, you have to file as the bare minimum, filleted accounts which show the financial health of your company at the company’s year-end. The year-end can be any date you choose although it’s more commonly 12 months after the date of incorporation, or at the calendar year-end, 31st December or the tax year-end 31st March. You can also change the year-end at any time. 

Companies House was established in 1844 has fairly recently undergone a big overhaul in an attempt to combat fraud and misuse. This means more checks will be undertaken before allowing companies to be formed. More information about this can be found here and on the Companies House blogs

Up until 30th June 2016, confirmation statements used to be called annual returns. The only difference now is that confirmation statements now also includes information about person of significant control. Other information that needs to be included are:

  • Company name
  • Company registration number
  • Statement of capital
  • Whether the company traded in the market
  • Details of the shareholders
  • Persons of significant control
  • Standard industry classification
  • Principal business activity
  • Company type
  • Registers office
  • Single alternative inspection location
  • Company secretary (if relevant) 

From 1st January 2016, the filing of accounts went through some changes. Previously abbreviated accounts were filed at Companies House. The accounts that are now filed are known as abridged or filleted accounts. Filleted accounts will show the balance sheet and since of the accompanying notes but the profit and loss and the directors’ report have been filleted away. Abridged accounts will show its information than the full accounts. The profit and loss can start from the gross profit while the balance sheet will not need to show a breakdown of debtors and creditors but will need to show the movement in fixed assets. These options are available to small and micro-entities. Micro-entities can show even less information than small companies. However, if you wish to you can file full year-end accounts showing details of your balance sheet and profit and loss account.
This is a very simplistic overview of the Companies House, and overview of the filing of the two main documents every year. In addition, there are still further reforms planned which can be read here in the companies house press release: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/reforms-to-companies-house-to-clamp-down-on-fraud-and-give-businesses-greater-confidence-in-transactions

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