Companies House is the register of limited companies in the UK. It incorporates and dissolves limited companies, registers the information companies are legally required to supply, and makes that information available to the public.
There are approximately 4.3 million companies on the Companies House register and all companies must submit their accounts and a confirmation statement each year. Companies that file accounts late are issued with an automatic penalty, which in turn will also affect things such as their Credit score. Companies House also has powers to strike off a company from the register if these documents are not ultimately filed.
Even in times like these, it is still essential that companies keep their accounts up to date and submitted. However, Companies House have understood that in these tough times and with companies having to be more agile and concentrating from the shift of office working to working from home, this can be difficult. To avoid these failings, Companies House are providing businesses with the ability to apply for a 3 month extension to file their accounts.
This will give businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak the time they need to update their records and help them avoid being struck off the register. Businesses will be pleased to hear that companies issued with a late filing penalty due to COVID-19 will have appeals treated sympathetically.
Although companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension to be granted, those dealing with direct issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension which hopefully will provide these business with comfort, and provide them with the time needed to file their accounts with Companies House.
Currently the government has advised that the COVID-19 situation is being monitored and may possibly offer further extensions in the future if required.
Everyone has been affected by the current situation, so a short relief from submission deadlines from Companies House is a welcomed opportunity by many, but can create additional pressures on due diligence processes. Company filings and financial statements are just one piece of a robust due diligence assessment which must be updated ongoing. With increased fragility in supply chains and ever changing circumstances in the business world, RegTech solutions are fast becoming must have tools in a firm’s risk management processes.