15th Nov 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Companies House Returns

Paula Henderson picture

Paula Henderson

Payroll Team Leader

Every limited company is responsible for submitting information to Companies House on an annual and ongoing basis.

As a business owner, we understand that it can be challenging to keep an eye on and remember everything you need to do, when you need to do it and what information you need to give!

Which is why we’ll cover everything you need to know about Companies House returns, including confirmation statements and people with significant control (PSC’s) within this blog.

What’s a confirmation statement?

Every year, your business must file a confirmation statement (previously named an annual return) with Companies House. The confirmation statement gives Companies House a snapshot of your business.

You’ll be expected to share details on:

  • Your registered office
  • Directors and secretary
  • Statement of capital
  • Trading status of shares
  • Your standard industrial classification (SIC) code
  • Shareholder information
  • People with significant control (PSC)

When do I need to submit a confirmation statement?

Your confirmation statement is due annually, every 12 months. Your review period starts on either:

  • The date your company incorporated
  • The date you filed your last confirmation statement

You need to file your statement within 14 days of the end of your review period.

What happens if I don’t submit?

It’s a legal obligation to submit your confirmation each year, so it’s important to ensure that you’re doing so. If you miss the deadline, you may receive a chaser letter, and whilst there isn’t a penalty fee for missing it, Companies House are within their rights to start legal proceedings against you. This legal action can ultimately lead to your company being struck off the public register.

Being struck off, means your company is dissolved, your assets frozen and passed to the Crown. So, submitting them each year really doesn’t seem that much of a hassle when you compare it to what can happen when you don’t!

What else do I need to do on an ongoing basis?

Confirmation statements were previously annual returns, in which you’d declare any changes within your year of trade. However, this process has now changed meaning updates within your business need to be declared on an ongoing basis.

Think of the confirmation statement as doing exactly that, confirming the information that’s already on the database.

So, if there are any changes to things like your business address, directors, and shareholders, you should be updating Companies House as they happen.

You also need to declare people with significant control on an ongoing basis.

Who are people with significant control?

People with significant control are also referred to as beneficial owners. They have significant ownership or control over your business. You may be thinking it’s only you, your directors and shareholders who have that power, but if you have investors, they may need to be declared also.

A PSC Is declared when they meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • They have control over more than 25% of shares in the company
  • They have more than 25% of voting rights within the company
  • They have the right to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors

The individual may also influence or control your company through different means, directly or through someone else. An example being, the PSC influences the actions of your directors and/or shareholders.

Updating the PSC register

As we said earlier, you need to update PSC information on an ongoing basis. Any changes to your PSC’s (including new PSC’s) need to be filed on the PSC register within 14 days of the change/appointment.

The info you’ll need is:

  • The individual’s full name
  • Their Date of birth
  • Their Nationality and country of residence
  • Their correspondence address – known as the ‘service address’
  • The date on which they became a PSC
  • What makes them a PSC (All natures of control that they have)

The importance of getting it right

When you’re filing information on your company and any PSCs to Companies House, it’s extremely important that you get it right. If you file the information incorrectly, Companies House may let you file another upload with corrections, however the incorrect version will stay on your records for all to see.

To all business owners, but especially those who are looking for investors, networking, or growth opportunities, it’s important to remember that this is a public record. This means that those who may be thinking of investing in or working with you, can research and access the information if they’d like to.

If there are inconsistencies or information that isn’t included, that they know from other research or conversations with you, it could damage the relationship before it’s even formed.

How we can help

We understand just how busy business owners are, so we’re here to help make sure you get it right. Whether you need a second set of eyes to check you’ve captured everything accurately, some helpful reminders along the way, or for us to take care of the admin for you completely, feel free to give us a shout!