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Businesses at risk of being struck-off the Companies House register

Company directors late in filing their company accounts are being warned that their business could be struck-off the Companies House register and cease to exist.

The procedure, set out in the Companies Act 2006, requires the Companies Registrar to send out a minimum of two formal letters to a company, and if no written reply is received they can publish a public notice in the Gazette stating the company will be struck-off within three months of the dated notice.

Previously the legal process under the Companies Act 2006 used to take up to six months to complete, but now it can take just four months.

The periods between sending the formal warning letters have been reduced to just 14 days and the notice period in the Gazette has been reduced from three months to two, highlighting the need for company directors to act fast to avoid such sanctions.

Companies House appears to have changed its internal practices to kick-start the process of removing a company from its register much sooner than was otherwise the case.

Accountants have been notified that if Companies House doesn’t receive a response from a company to three formal remainders during a two-month window it will commence proceedings to strike-off the company.

Jo Nockels, senior training and technical communications manager, TaxAssist Accountants, said: “If you meet your company deadlines in good time, you have nothing to fear. But if you do miss the deadline for filing the company accounts, you must get your affairs in order as quickly as possible.

“Firstly, the penalties you’ll incur will increase the longer the delay. But Companies House could shut your company down after prolonged delays, because they’ll assume the company is no longer trading.

“If that happens, all the remaining assets will pass to the Crown, including any cash you have in company bank accounts.

“Reviving a company is possible, but it’s an expensive exercise. So the best advice is to make sure you keep on top of your deadlines and avoid letting things get to this stage in the first place.”

As your company grows your bookkeeping and accounting requirements naturally grow with it. Whether you’re a sole trader, partnership or limited company, take some time to arrange a free initial consultation with your local TaxAssist Accountant who specialises in the preparation of year end accounts, providing you with accurate, timely management information.

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