Changes to UK Company Law: Be prepared
Company annual return forms (AR01s) have now been replaced with confirmation statements (CS01s)
What does this mean for me?
The CS01 serves the same purpose as the AR01 and is an important process as it ensures that the information about your business registered at Companies House (and therefore displayed on the public register) is accurate.
The benefit of the introduction of the new CS01 is that a company can follow a simple ‘check and confirm’ process if their details have not changed throughout the year (i.e. if the directors, shareholders, shareholdings and registered address remain the same). This is a quicker and less resource intensive process than the previous requirement to complete the AR01.
Companies must submit a CS01 at least once a year but can submit more than one CS01 in a year if they wish. Companies will have 14 days from the date the CS01 is due in which to submit the form. The fee for submitting CS01s is currently the same as it was for AR01s (£13 for online filing or £40 for paper filing). The fee is only payable once a year, regardless of how many times a company submits a CS01
When a company submits its first confirmation statement, it will need to notify Companies House of any People with Significant Control over the company (PSCs) and this information will be displayed publicly.
Key points to consider now
- Find out when your due date for filing the confirmation statement is – this will either be the anniversary of your company formation or the date of your last annual return
- Check the information currently registered with Companies House to identify whether there have been any changes to your company details
- Ensure that you submit your CS01 within 14 days of the due date
Option to keep statutory registers at Companies House
Companies can now opt to keep their statutory registers (i.e. registers of members, directors, secretaries, directors’ residential addresses and PSCs) at Companies House. Whilst this may be an attractive option for some companies, as it potentially reduces an administrative burden, any companies considering this should bear in mind that information contained in its registers will be publicly viewable if kept at Companies House. This would include addresses of members and directors’ full dates of birth.
A company can elect to keep its statutory registers at Companies House only if all members consent to this and, in relation to its PSC register, only if it has notified the PSCs on its register in advance and receives no objection within 14 days.
Even if a company elects to keep its statutory registers at Companies House, it must still ensure that they are kept up to date, via the CS01 mentioned above.