When the government first announced the Small Business Act, it detailed a series of measures to reduce the administrative burden placed on small businesses. The act was created with the help of business people, the general public and other organisations.
At present, all companies are required by law to file an annual return, these returns include information on the following:
- Company officers
- Registered office address
- Share capital
As of 30th June 2016, the annual return as we know it, will be abolished. It is to be replaced with the annual ‘confirmation statement’.
The confirmation statement is much simpler in nature, it is a declaration that since the last confirmation statement, no details have changed. This means companies will now just need to confirm that there have been no changes to the constitution of the company, or that all changes have been reported at the time they took place. If changes have taken place and Companies House hasn’t been notified at the time they initially took place, then the details of these changes will need to be submitted along with the confirmation statement.
There is very little difference between the information a company currently submits, and the information that will be required under the confirmation statement. The information required by Companies House hasn’t changed all that much, but the process in which information is submitted has.
However, there are some differences you need to be aware of.
Firstly, annual returns had fixed filing dates, whereas with confirmation statements, companies can submit them at any time they wish. Providing no longer than 12 months has elapsed between confirmation statements, companies essentially have free reign as to when they fill out their annual confirmation statements.
There will also be a reduction on the time companies are allowed between the due date and when they can actually file it with Companies House. This period has now been considerably reduced to 14 days. In other words, if 12 months have elapsed since you last submitted a confirmation statement, you will get an additional 14 days to file the conformation before your company is no longer considered to be in good standing.
The final difference to bear in mind is that the new Persons of Significant Control Register will coincide with the annual confirmation statement. This is to say that the PSC register will need to be delivered to Companies House alongside the annual confirmation statement.