As a limited company, one of the filing requirements is an annual return, which summarises the directors, company secretary (if you have one), registered office and shareholders of the company. Companies House have recently changed the reminder letters they send out, which are headed up “Annual Return Reminder – Urgent Action Required”. The following is a blanked out copy.
The final paragraph (in a box, filled in in red) is the statement “Failure to meet the above deadline will result in the Registrar starting the process to strike your company off the register. Please note that it is a criminal offence not to file an annual return on time. If prosecuted, directors can be fined £5,000”. A few clients have commented to us about the harshness of the letters, and we agree with their comments. The wording is rather strong and implies that they’ve been reminded before.
Companies House have started taking a firmer line on the filing of annual returns over the last couple of years. However, you cannot file a return early, so you will receive a letter like this whether you want one or not.
Our advice is simply to get the return filed ASAP and get on with the more important job of running your business.