The annual return is being replaced for all UK limited companies and LLPs from June 2016. Instead, businesses will file a new ‘confirmation statement’ at least once-a-year as part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment (SBEE) Act that received Royal Assent in March 2015.
As part of the confirmation statement, businesses will need to ‘check and confirm’ the company information Companies House holds on them, with the onus on letting Companies House know if there are any necessary changes.
The purpose of the statement is exactly the same as the annual return, but it is said to be a more simplified process designed to make administrative life that little bit easier for busy small business owners.
There will be a filing fee to Companies House for delivering a confirmation statement. It’s possible to update the record as many times as you need to, but you will only be charged once a year. Presently, companies pay a £13 filing fee per annual return and although the price has yet to be confirmed for a confirmation statement it’s unlikely to be more than the current charge.
Annual returns will no longer be able to be filed from 30th June 2016. From this date onwards, companies and LLPs will be required to submit a confirmation statement instead.
In the event the statutory filing deadline for your next annual return falls before 30th June 2016, you must still submit this to Companies House.
The vast majority of limited companies and LLPs will also be required to notify Companies House of their ‘People with Significant Control’ (PSC) along with their inaugural confirmation statement.
The PSC register was introduced this month as part of the SBEE Act 2015, designed to improve corporate transparency by outlining who owns and controls UK-registered corporations.
A person with significant control is regarded as someone who meets a minimum of one of the following conditions:
They hold more than 25 per cent of the company’s voting rights.
They own more than 25 per cent of the company’s issued shares.
They have the power to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors.
They have the right to exercise significant influence or control over the company.
They have the right to exercise control over a company or trust that meets one of the other four conditions.