A limited company has annual filing requirements to Companies House which must be complied with. If a company isn’t compliant, there will be penalties issued to the company and it is possible that the officers of the company could face prosecution. A company’s officers are responsible for ensuring that all documents are submitted to Companies House in a timely manner and failing to do so is an offence. This is something that should be considered before deciding to form a limited company.
Each year, a company must complete and submit an annual return to Companies House. The return has to be submitted within 28 days of when it is due. This is the anniversary of the previous year’s made-up date of the return or 12 months following the date that the company was incorporated. The directors of the company along with the company secretary, if one has been appointed, are responsible for making sure that the return is delivered to Companies House by the relevant date. The annual return will provide the company name, the made-up date, the registered number, the main business of the company, whether the company is public or private, the address of the registered office, the details of all company directors and the company secretary, if there is one.
Every limited company has to keep accounting records which detail the company’s assets and liabilities and all money received by the company, along with money expended. If a company deals with goods, the annual accounting records must detail stock which the company holds at the financial year end. Other than goods sold by normal retail trade, all goods which have been purchased and sold must be listed, along with the sellers and buyers. The accounting records of a company must be kept at a place where company officers can gain access to them at all times, usually the registered office address. The length of time for retention of accounting records depends on the type of limited company. A public limited company must keep records for six years and a private limited company must keep records for three years.
Typically, a set of company accounts must contain a balance sheet which has been signed by one of the company directors on behalf of the board. The name of the director should also be printed. A profit and loss account must also be included, along with notes to the accounts and if appropriate, group accounts. Every financial year, a copy of the company accounts must be submitted to each member of the company. The accounts must also be sent to each person who would receive notice of general meetings.
The accounts of both public and private limited companies must be filed at Companies House each year. Filing requirements and regulations differ for small, medium and large companies and you should obtain professional advice for your individual company. The filing requirements for HM Revenue & Customs are different to those of Companies House. Company accounts, along with tax computations should be submitted to HMRC along with the company tax return every year to avoid a penalty being issued.
The filing requirements of a limited company depend on the size and type of the limited company. Professional advice will ensure that you don’t miss any relevant deadlines for submission of documents. When deciding whether to become a limited company or a sole trader, the amount of administration required and the filing requirements may become factors in your decision making. However, there are a number of advantages to forming a limited company which will influence your decision, including the limited liability and financial benefits.
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