TT101: Companies House Annual Return

August 22, 2007

The way it was

In previous years Companies House always sent out paper copies of companies’ Annual Returns (form 363). These forms show details of all directors, company secretaries and shareholders known by Companies House. In the case of directors and secretaries, companies are obliged to notify Companies House as soon as any changes occur, and Companies House will update their records accordingly. However, it is only once a year on the Annual Return that a company is required to notify Companies House of changes to shareholders.

The way it is

Although it is still possible to make a paper submission, as many are aware, Companies House has now commenced WebFiling. Once registered, companies can now file certain documents, including their Annual Return, directly on-line. This costs a reduced filing fee of £15, whereas a paper return costs £30. Unauthorised filing is prevented by an authentication code.

Remember the change!

Once a company has filed on-line, Companies House will no longer issue a paper return to that company. They will simply issue a reminder letter that states the Annual Return is due. Helpfully this reminder letter will also contain the authentication code for reference.

There is a risk that some companies might still wait for the paper Annual Return to arrive and not take action when the reminder letter arrives. Thankfully Companies House will send a second reminder if the Annual Return is late.

Barnes Roffe Topical Tips:

  • Please send Barnes Roffe a copy of the reminder letter from Companies House if we complete the Annual Return – we will need this if we do not already know the authentication code
  • If Barnes Roffe files the Annual Return for you at Companies House using the on-line service the reduced £15 filing fee will be paid as a disbursement on your behalf
  • You can still request a paper copy of the Annual Return from Companies House if you so wish, but Companies House is no longer completing the shareholder details on the form from last year’s data
  • If you file your own Annual Return on-line, then take care to check all shareholder changes, as this is the only time Companies House becomes aware of the details.

Look here for further details

Consult your Barnes Roffe contact partner for guidance in this important area

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