The UK government introduced confirmation statements as a replacement for the rather clunky annual return AR01 form in June 2016. They essentially do the same thing, but the confirmation statement is quicker and easier to file.
Limited companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) submit confirmation statements to make sure that their details at Companies House are correct and up to date. It’s not meant to be a way of reporting any changes in your company (which is a separate process). In essence, the confirmation statement is just that – it’s a statement which confirms the information is accurate.
Companies House are also introducing requirements to include an email address and a statement confirming the companies activities are lawful. The new rules are expected to apply to confirmation statements from early 2024 onwards, although the exact date will be confirmed.
What’s the difference between an annual return and a confirmation statement?
Confirmation statements have actually replaced the old-style annual return, though they do pretty much the same job. The newer confirmation statement also includes space to record information about ‘People with Significant Control’ (PSCs). This information identifies the people involved in the management and ownership of a company, and will be made publicly available on the Companies House register.
Registering a Person with Significant Control
It’s essential that this information is reviewed regularly and always kept up to date, including:
The person’s name
Month and year of birth
Country of residence
Service and residential addresses
The date they took a position of significant control with the company.
It is also important to explain their position and standing in the organisation, and outline why they should be included as a Person with Significant Control (PSC).
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Do all businesses need to complete a confirmation statement?
If a company is incorporated on 1st January, the review period ends on 31st December.
For more established companies that have already filed at least one confirmation statement before, the review period begins the day after your last confirmation statement was submitted and then ends 12 months later. You can send your confirmation statement early if you want to, which resets the clock so the review period ends 12 months afterwards.
If nothing has changed since your last confirmation statement, then you don’t need to submit anything new and can simply ‘check and confirm’ the existing information held on public record.
What if my confirmation statement is filed late?
You must file your confirmation statement within 14 days of your review period ending. Don’t risk prosecution or being stuck off the register – file on time!
If you’re worried about missing the deadline to file your confirmation statement, it’s worth signing up for the Companies House email reminder service. It’s free to use and up to four people can receive a reminder. To make it even easier, you can also submit your statement using the link contained in the email. Sign up here.
How do I submit a confirmation statement?
The Companies House online service is the quickest and easiest way to complete your confirmation statement. Using this method also means that most of the information on the form will be pre-populated, so you only need to check the details and edit any changes, rather than start from scratch.
If you would like to update any of the information Companies House holds for your company, you can do this in the ‘additional information’ section of the form online. It can be used for updating your:
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code
Trading status of shares
Statement of capital
Exemption from having to keep a register of People with Significant Control
If you need to check the information that Companies House already has about your company, you can do so using the Companies House service.
Is there a fee for filing a confirmation statement?
It costs £13 to file a confirmation statement online in any 12-month period. You’ll only ever pay the £13 fee once in a year, so filing another one in the same period won’t result in an extra charge. If you do decide to file a paper submission, the charge jumps to £40. It’s also more laborious without any of it being pre-populated – plus the trip to the post box!
Who is responsible for completing the confirmation statement?
Larger or publicly owned companies often have a company secretary who will file the confirmation statement on the company’s behalf.
If your company doesn’t have a secretary then any of the directors or another designated company member can file it instead. In a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) you’ll normally have a ‘nominated partner’ who takes care of the paperwork, but all of the partners share responsibility.
The most important thing is that the statement is filed with Companies House on time every year. Our short video explains about the obligations you have as the director of a limited company.
Filing your confirmation statement is a legal obligation and is not optional. There are serious consequences for directors, including fines and prosecution, if it’s not done. Failure to submit the statement on time might also cause the registrar to remove it from the company register. Remember, your accountant may file on your behalf – but it’s still ultimately your responsibility.
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About The Author
I'm an AAT and ACA qualified Chartered Accountant with over 13 years experience working with businesses, contractors and sole traders. I also love watching live music, and quizzes!
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