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30th July 2020

COVID-19: Companies House Services Update

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Companies House have adopted a number of measures to tackle the challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak with a view to maintain services for their customers and support businesses in these unprecedented times. These measures were presented in our previous article.

Below is an update of the recent further changes made to Companies House services:

• Filing of confirmation statements and event-driven filings

Companies and other types of business registered at Companies House such as LLPs and SEs have now more time to file their confirmation statement. The usual 14 day deadline (from the end of a company’s review period) has been automatically extended to 42 days.

Businesses also get more time to file details of certain events, such as changes to details of directors, change of registered office, change to PSCs. Again, the filing period has been extended to 42 days.

The filing deadline extensions are temporary and will not apply where the end of the review or filing period falls on 6 April 2021 or later.

• Filing of mortgages and charges

The period allowed to deliver the particulars of a charge to Companies House has been increased by 10 days to 31 days for charges created on or after 6 June 2020.

This is particularly helpful to companies (or the person(s) with an interest in the charge) who are filing such charges in paper form as the extension gives more time to deal with any rejection of the documents by Companies House. However, our advice is still to use online services (such as WebFiling) for such registration to allow plenty of time for any issues to be resolved in time well before the deadline.

• Filing of annual accounts

Companies House have extended further the filing deadlines for annual accounts from six months to nine months for public companies, and from nine months to 12 months for private companies and LLPs.

If a company’s filing deadline fell between 26 March 2020 and 29 September 2020, Companies House will automatically extend their filing deadline from the end of the last accounting reference period, and such extension will take effect retrospectively.

However, please beware that if the deadline has already been extended to the maximum nine months period for PLCs or the 12 months period for a private company or LLP, a further extension will not be granted. If the company has shortened its accounting reference period, you may benefit from a further three months extension. Our advice: check your company’s new deadline for filing accounts on Companies House beta service [].

Again, this is a temporary measure and deadlines will not be automatically extended for companies’ next financial year!

Companies House will look at late filing penalty appeals sympathetically if the late filing of accounts was caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. However, it is best to avoid the issue altogether and ensure that you file your company’s accounts on time.

• Filings: emergency online filing service

Companies House have extended further their emergency online filing service to upload the registrar’s powers forms, such as applications for second filings, and have now also included filing of resolutions to adopt or amend a company’s articles of association.

The full list of the registrar’s powers forms and the uploading facility can be accessed here.

• Striking off

Since March, the voluntary strike off applications have been suspended: Companies House register such applications and publish a notice in the London Gazette but does not proceed to dissolve companies.

From 10 September 2020, the Registrar will be resuming its service and will dissolve companies that have applied for voluntary strike off, provided there has been no objections to dissolution and the two months period from the publication of the notice of Gazette has expired.

All applications for voluntary strike off from 10 July 2020, will be processed through the normal procedure (i.e. a Gazette notice will be published and two months must pass from the date of the notice of the Gazette before the company may be struck off).

The compulsory strike off process, however, remains paused.

• Authentication codes

Authentication codes allowing companies (and LLPs) to carry out filings online have always historically been sent by post to the registered office of the company only (for security purposes). Since 15 July, it is now possible to request that the authentication code is sent to your home address if you are unable to access your company’s registered office address.

Such service is only temporary in response to the coronavirus outbreak and is available here.

Companies House is reviewing all the above processes on a regular basis. We will publish any further details as and when circumstances change. 

However, in the meantime, if you require further information or assistance with anything covered in this article, please click here to email Motunrayo Adeeyo or any member of our Corporate Team.