On 30th June 2016, the Annual Return, which provides a snapshot of a limited company’s personnel and structure at a given moment in time, will be replaced by a Confirmation Statement. Here we look at what this requirement means for company owners, and how communications with Companies House will change as a result.
What happens now?
Each year, company directors must file an Annual Return (AR) to Companies House. The deadline is either within 28 days of the company’s formation or the made-up date of the previous Return.
The information will typically be filed by your accountant electronically, for a £13 fee.
The AR contains fundamental data about every company on the register, such as the company name, registered number, registered address, and details of the company’s officers and its share capital.
Find out more in our concise guide to the Annual Return (AR01).
The Confirmation Statement
From June 2016, the Annual Return will be scrapped, and instead, company directors will update Companies House with changes to certain types of data at least once per year, via a Confirmation Statement. You may have received an email over the past week from Companies House alerting you to this change.
When the new online system goes live, company directors will need to check that the information currently stored about them is correct, and then provide any updates which may be required. Rather than re-submitting the same core data year after year, this new process is expected to be more efficient.
Unlike the current AR regime, there is no fixed date on which the Confirmation Statement needs to be submitted – although no more than a year must pass between submissions. This means that a company official can make a Confirmation Statement at the same time as an event-driven filing, for example, during the 12 month period.
An as-yet-undisclosed fee will be payable, however, you can make any number of changes throughout the year with no further charge.
Your company’s first Confirmation Statement should be made within 14 days of either your company incorporation anniversary or the made-up date of its last Annual Return.
Read our full guide to the confirmation statement.
People with Significant Control (PSC)
For the first time, Companies House requires directors to submit information about all people with significant control (PSC) of the company. All companies have been obliged to keep a register of such people since April 2016, and will subsequently update the authorities via the new Confirmation Statement.
This is the definition of a person who has ‘significant control’:
- owns more than 25% of the company’s shares
- holds more than 25% of the company’s voting rights
- holds the right to appoint or remove the majority of directors
- has the right to, or actually exercises significant influence or control
- holds the right to exercise or actually exercises significant control over a trust or company that meets one of the first 4 conditions.
The date-of-birth and residential address of PSCs will not be displayed on the public record, just as directors’ details are protected currently.
This additional measure has been put in place to provide greater transparency into the ownership of the UK’s companies.
The Confirmation Statement, and the requirement to record details of PSCs form part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act. You can find out more about the main components of the Act (which received Royal Assent in 2015) here.