Companies House Annual Returns

Every year small limited companies have to re register their business with companies house through an annual return. This requires the use of 2 levels of authorisation code from Companies House, one sent by email and one sent in the post.  They send a letter that threatens legal action or a fine if this rigmarole is not done on time.

Every year so far the details of my company have been unchanged and all one is doing is re confirming the exisiting situation.  What should happen is that companies house should ask for  an annual return only if there has been a change.  So Change the procedure.

On a similar note I receive a business survey form from the Census office in Swansea. It required 15 hours to complete as its sales categories do not tally with those used by modern retail businesses. I was assured that this would be required once every 5 years but got one a year for the first 3 years.  Again backed up by the threat of legal action if not completed. Surely the government can find a more efficient was of identifying changes and trends in grocery sales than this.  Does government need to know at all? Scrap it.  

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Every year small limited companies have to re register their business with companies house through an annual return. This requires the use of 2 levels of authorisation code from Companies House, one sent by email and one sent in the post.  They send a letter that threatens legal action or a fine if this rigmarole is not done on time.

Every year so far the details of my company have been unchanged and all one is doing is re confirming the exisiting situation.  What should happen is that companies house should ask for  an annual return only if there has been a change.  So Change the procedure.

On a similar note I receive a business survey form from the Census office in Swansea. It required 15 hours to complete as its sales categories do not tally with those used by modern retail businesses. I was assured that this would be required once every 5 years but got one a year for the first 3 years.  Again backed up by the threat of legal action if not completed. Surely the government can find a more efficient was of identifying changes and trends in grocery sales than this.  Does government need to know at all? Scrap it.  

 

 

 

Industrial and provident societies to come under ordinary company law

I am involved with two industrial and provident societies as a director and a shareholder.  The process for setting up and having to justify becoming an IPS is burdensome, lengthy, expensive, unnecessary complicated as you have to go through an approved umbrella body to use a model set of rules, and every time you amend your rules you have to get permission first.

Why not instead simpy bring IPSs under ordinary company law and transfer their registration to Companies House.  They are very similar to Community Interest Companies with their public interest aims and asset locks, with CICs being registered at Companies House and under the CIC Regulator as well, so this would make sense.  Perhaps the CIC regulator could also approve IPSs in the same way.

Ultimately, perhaps a limited company should be be permitted to have both members and shareholders and to be able to sell withdrawable shares publically like an IPS which is the main reason why most are set up.

Why is this idea important?

I am involved with two industrial and provident societies as a director and a shareholder.  The process for setting up and having to justify becoming an IPS is burdensome, lengthy, expensive, unnecessary complicated as you have to go through an approved umbrella body to use a model set of rules, and every time you amend your rules you have to get permission first.

Why not instead simpy bring IPSs under ordinary company law and transfer their registration to Companies House.  They are very similar to Community Interest Companies with their public interest aims and asset locks, with CICs being registered at Companies House and under the CIC Regulator as well, so this would make sense.  Perhaps the CIC regulator could also approve IPSs in the same way.

Ultimately, perhaps a limited company should be be permitted to have both members and shareholders and to be able to sell withdrawable shares publically like an IPS which is the main reason why most are set up.

Overhaul The Companies Act And Various Revisions For SME’s

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have an annual accounts audit.

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have to make an annual return to Companies House.

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have to file annual accounts.

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have to have their information publicly displayed.

 

Why is this idea important?

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have an annual accounts audit.

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have to make an annual return to Companies House.

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have to file annual accounts.

Remove the requirement for SME's that are largely or principally owner-managed to have to have their information publicly displayed.

 

Companies House Criminal Offences

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 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why is this idea important?

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 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Abolish the need to submit an annual return to companies house

Abolish the need to submit an annual return to companies house for small businesses. Every year it costs me £15 just to log on to a web site, tick a box and click send. £15 may not sound like much but there are penalties for failing to submit the return and it can lead to losing your limited company.

Why not make it mandatory to submit a return only if something changes? There must be millions of small limited companies in which nothing changes from year to year, yet we have to jump through this stupid revenue-raising hoop.

Why is this idea important?

Abolish the need to submit an annual return to companies house for small businesses. Every year it costs me £15 just to log on to a web site, tick a box and click send. £15 may not sound like much but there are penalties for failing to submit the return and it can lead to losing your limited company.

Why not make it mandatory to submit a return only if something changes? There must be millions of small limited companies in which nothing changes from year to year, yet we have to jump through this stupid revenue-raising hoop.

Company Law – Necessary Reforms

I agree that most of the regulation as currently set up is not fit for purpose. Companies House and the FSA require complete rationalisation and reform. Let's start with a simple question – what do we want company law to achieve? We want responsible and productive companies to be protected, we want shareholders to have meaningful protection from rogue companies and directors, we want the general public to be protected from scam artists, and we want to instil confidence in our national economy. To take a concrete example, the new regulatory body would have the power to compel rogue companies and directors to produce overdue reports and accounts. What is the point of prosecution, fines and disqualification, when the perpetrators can legally withhold the evidence of their fraud indefinitely?

To summarise, I am asking for the entire body of company law to be reformed from this perspective. This will involve substantial repeal of unnecessary and ineffective legislation, combined with enactment of meaningful and effective laws.

Why is this idea important?

I agree that most of the regulation as currently set up is not fit for purpose. Companies House and the FSA require complete rationalisation and reform. Let's start with a simple question – what do we want company law to achieve? We want responsible and productive companies to be protected, we want shareholders to have meaningful protection from rogue companies and directors, we want the general public to be protected from scam artists, and we want to instil confidence in our national economy. To take a concrete example, the new regulatory body would have the power to compel rogue companies and directors to produce overdue reports and accounts. What is the point of prosecution, fines and disqualification, when the perpetrators can legally withhold the evidence of their fraud indefinitely?

To summarise, I am asking for the entire body of company law to be reformed from this perspective. This will involve substantial repeal of unnecessary and ineffective legislation, combined with enactment of meaningful and effective laws.

Abolish abbreviated accounts for small companies

I recommend that the ability of small companies to file an abbreviated version of their accounts at Companies House should be abolished by appropriate amendments to sections 444, 449 and 450 of the Companies Act 2006.

All limited companies, including small companies, are required to produce a full set of accounts for their shareholders. Additionally however small companies are permitted by section 444 to produce a second version of their accounts, known as abbreviated accounts, for filing and public disclosure purposes. A main feature of abbreviated accounts is the omission of a profit and loss account.

The Company Law Review recommended after thorough consultation in 1998-2001 that small companies should be allowed to produce accounts with simplified format and content, and that in consequence the ability to file an abbreviated version of such accounts for public disclosure should be abolished as being no longer necessary or desirable. Ministers ignored the latter part of this recommendation, and abbreviated accounts continued to permitted under the new Companies Act 2006.

In the last 10 years the size criteria for small companies have been greatly increased, so that today companies with substantial assets or turnover can benefit from the small company provisions of the Companies Act. The only purpose of filing abbreviated accounts, in place of the full accounts circulated to shareholders, is concealment of the financial state of the company from third parties. This is contrary to the public interest. Companies which meet the small company criteria may supply services and products to the general public on a substantial scale, particularly in this internet age, and should not be permitted to conceal their financial condition. Furthermore, such companies may have other small companies as their suppliers, who are put at risk by not being able to check the financial condition of their customers quickly and cheaply at Companies House.

Abolition of abbreviated accounts would not increase the regulatory burden on small companies. If anything, it would reduce the burden by restricting the production of accounts by such companies to a single version rather than two versions.

Why is this idea important?

I recommend that the ability of small companies to file an abbreviated version of their accounts at Companies House should be abolished by appropriate amendments to sections 444, 449 and 450 of the Companies Act 2006.

All limited companies, including small companies, are required to produce a full set of accounts for their shareholders. Additionally however small companies are permitted by section 444 to produce a second version of their accounts, known as abbreviated accounts, for filing and public disclosure purposes. A main feature of abbreviated accounts is the omission of a profit and loss account.

The Company Law Review recommended after thorough consultation in 1998-2001 that small companies should be allowed to produce accounts with simplified format and content, and that in consequence the ability to file an abbreviated version of such accounts for public disclosure should be abolished as being no longer necessary or desirable. Ministers ignored the latter part of this recommendation, and abbreviated accounts continued to permitted under the new Companies Act 2006.

In the last 10 years the size criteria for small companies have been greatly increased, so that today companies with substantial assets or turnover can benefit from the small company provisions of the Companies Act. The only purpose of filing abbreviated accounts, in place of the full accounts circulated to shareholders, is concealment of the financial state of the company from third parties. This is contrary to the public interest. Companies which meet the small company criteria may supply services and products to the general public on a substantial scale, particularly in this internet age, and should not be permitted to conceal their financial condition. Furthermore, such companies may have other small companies as their suppliers, who are put at risk by not being able to check the financial condition of their customers quickly and cheaply at Companies House.

Abolition of abbreviated accounts would not increase the regulatory burden on small companies. If anything, it would reduce the burden by restricting the production of accounts by such companies to a single version rather than two versions.

Synchronise Accounts Submission HMRC & Companies House

Companies must currently submit the same end of year accounts to both Companies House and the Inland Revenue.  Each has different deadlines.  This is a waste of time.  As they must be submitted electronically from next year, the deadlines should be made the same and the filing achieved with a single submission.

Why is this idea important?

Companies must currently submit the same end of year accounts to both Companies House and the Inland Revenue.  Each has different deadlines.  This is a waste of time.  As they must be submitted electronically from next year, the deadlines should be made the same and the filing achieved with a single submission.

Reduce Companies House late filing penalties for small businesses

Introduce bands for Companies House late filing penalties, according to company turnover (or net profit).

The levels introduced in February 2009 are extremely harsh for small companies.

Why is this idea important?

Introduce bands for Companies House late filing penalties, according to company turnover (or net profit).

The levels introduced in February 2009 are extremely harsh for small companies.

Make Accountants Accountable

Make accountants accountable and liable for late Company account submissions in place of the company where accounts have been submitted to them in good time.  It appears that an increasing number of accountants all over the country are  driving their clients into statutory penalties by submitting company accounts beyond the deadlines.  

As fee charging professionals they escape scot free while a company receives a fine and a 'black mark' . It is not practical to terminate the agreement with the accountants close to the deadline as the subsequent accountancy firm will have no time to submit the data in time. Where accountants and auditors do this they should take the whole blame in place of the company. 

 Where a company can show simply and clearly that the accountants have received the accounts in good time. The the complete blame and penalty should be shifted to the accountants. The same should apply to tax returns.

Why is this idea important?

Make accountants accountable and liable for late Company account submissions in place of the company where accounts have been submitted to them in good time.  It appears that an increasing number of accountants all over the country are  driving their clients into statutory penalties by submitting company accounts beyond the deadlines.  

As fee charging professionals they escape scot free while a company receives a fine and a 'black mark' . It is not practical to terminate the agreement with the accountants close to the deadline as the subsequent accountancy firm will have no time to submit the data in time. Where accountants and auditors do this they should take the whole blame in place of the company. 

 Where a company can show simply and clearly that the accountants have received the accounts in good time. The the complete blame and penalty should be shifted to the accountants. The same should apply to tax returns.