In response to the Public Health guidelines, Companies House has made a number of changes to its services in order to protect the welfare of its employees during the COVID-19 outbreak whilst maintaining services for it customers. Companies House has published the following useful guidance:
What this means for businesses
This article focuses on the key aspects of this guidance and what it means for your business and using the Companies House services during these unprecedented times.
The London, Belfast and Edinburgh offices are now closed to the public. If you do need to deliver paper documents please refer to the different methods of delivery for each office at the above link.
If you wish to file documents to Companies House, it is quicker and easier to use their online services to file your company’s accounts and confirmation statement and make changes to your company.
Same day services
Companies House has suspended all its same day services until further notice.
If your company cannot file accounts on time
All companies must file their accounts, reports and confirmation statements to Companies House every year. The law imposes an automatic penalty to companies which file their accounts late.
Your company should take appropriate measures to make sure accounts are filed on time. Filing your company’s accounts online is by far the quickest and easiest way to do so.
From 25 March 2020, businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts. This joint initiative between the government and Companies House will mean businesses can prioritise managing the impact of COVID-19.
As part of the agreed measures, while companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension.
If COVID-19 has affected your company and means that you will be unable to file your accounts before the deadline you may make an application to extend the period allowed for filing. Please read the below link on making an application:
If you do not apply for an extension and your accounts have been filed late, an automatic penalty will be imposed. In this event, you may be able to appeal this penalty on the basis of unforeseen poor health. Each appeal is treated on a case-by-case basis.
The situation with COVID-19 is changing on an almost hourly basis. Planning ahead is vital, as is having access to trusted advice. If you have any questions about how the coronavirus might impact your business, get in touch with our team of expert lawyers today.