This law is designed to make the bureacrats life easier, it does not provide any addittional safeguards to the the population and is an added burden on business particularily during the recession.
Failure to submit documents on time to companies house is a criminal offence. This is totally wrong and if an offence at all should at most be a civil offence.
The primary documents are Company Annual Accounts and the Annual Return. There can be numerous legitimate reasons why a business may wishe to delay submission and that delay will cause no damage to any stakeholder. For instance:-
1) Any supplier who wishes to get credit information would use the accounts as part of that process, if they are not filed that in itself is a warning and if the company needs credit they will make the information available, if not then they stop granting credit.
2) HMCE have a statutory right to demand the information and dont need it to be filed at Companies House.
3) Any lenders will also get the information direct and do not rely on Companies House.
4) In the majority of businesses the shareholders are involved in the business and agin would not use companies house information.
Companies House information is used by competitors, research companies and credit refering agencies. It is not vital that they have access to that information within a given timeframe, and again the argument about the lack of information being a warning holds true.
Equally for the business at times it could be important to withhold a bad set of figures until a better set can be released or for a variety of other reasons it can be dificult to meet the deadlines. Whatever the reason failure to comply should not be a criminal offence. This is a law designed to make the bureaucrats life easier, bin it please !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!