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COMMENTARY: Companies House Practice During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Does my business still have to file at Companies House?

All companies must file their accounts, reports and confirmation statements at Companies House every year. If a company’s accounts are filed late, the law imposes an automatic financial penalty.

Although we are facing daily changes and challenges as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is important to ensure that your company continues to meet its statutory filing obligations.

From 25 March 2020, businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts. If you believe that your accounts will not be filed on time due to your company being affected by Coronavirus, you may make an application to Companies House to extend the period allowed for filing. It is important that this application is made before the filing deadline date.

As part of the agreed measures, whilst companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system, which will take just 15 minutes to complete.

How can my business apply for the extension?

The application process is quick and easy. Companies should simply cite COVID-19 or Health matters as the grounds for their application. Full guidance on applying for an extension can be found here – gov.uk/ch/extend-accounts-deadline

It is important to note that companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting reference period, may be ineligible for an extension.

Companies House will keep this policy under review and amendments will be made as necessary in light of the progress of the pandemic.

Further information

If you have any concerns about this, or any other company secretarial matter, please do not hesitate to contact: