The end of the annual return
4th July, 2016
The requirement for companies to send an annual return to Companies House has come to an end.
From 30 June 2016, companies instead have to file a Confirmation Statement.
What is the Confirmation Statement?
The Confirmation Statement, (Form CS01), is similar to the annual return in respect of information provided, but if no changes have taken place, a declaration can be made to this effect, making the process much simpler.
There are five parts to the Confirmation Statement that a company must complete when filing the CS01 for the first time, which are similar to the information in the current annual return process.
The most fundamental change is the requirement to file information on persons of significant control (“PSCs”). The Confirmation Statement will require companies to provide details of their PSCs. This information must be provided on the first Confirmation Statement and any changes registered on subsequent statements.
This brings the requirement for companies to complete a PSC register into sharp focus, as the Confirmation Statement requires this.
For more information on PSC Registers please see our previous bulletin.
Upon an application for incorporation, for companies incorporated on or after 30 June 2016, initial PSCs must be included.
When must the Confirmation Statement be filed?
The Confirmation Statement must be filed at least once every 12 months. It can be submitted at any time within the 12 month review period and a new review period of 12 months will be set from the date of the last confirmation statement.
This rolling 12 month window means that a company can combine making a Confirmation Statement with another filing at any point during the year if this is administratively easier, or to capture key events when they happen (for example a change in shareholders), rather than having to wait until a later date, when information may have been forgotten.
What is the filing period?
Companies were allowed a period of 28 days from the due date of the annual return to file it with Companies House. This has been reduced to 14 days for the Confirmation Statement.
Therefore, if 12 months have elapsed since the last filing of the Confirmation Statement, a company will only have an additional 14 days to file the Confirmation Statement before the company is no longer considered to be compliant. Failure to deliver a confirmation statement by the end of the 14 day period is an offence and gives rise to a fine.
What is the cost?
A filing fee must be paid when the Confirmation Statement is delivered. This is the same as for the annual return (£13 online, or £40 on paper). However, updates to the information on the Confirmation Statement can be made as many times as required throughout the year, without incurring an additional fee.
How can Ward Hadaway help?
We can help to guide you through the transitional phase, to give you confidence that your company has met both new and existing regulatory requirements.
If your company has not investigated who its PSCs are, this is now something to deal with urgently, in light of the new Confirmation Statement. We can provide fixed price compliance packages for PSC requirements, in addition to fixed price company secretarial packages.
For more details, please get in touch.
Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.
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