A Quick Guide to UK’s Annual Returns
Every UK-registered company must file an Annual Return (AR) with Companies House once a year. The Annual Return contains general information about your company, such as the names of the directors and company secretary, the address of the registration office, contact information, the type of business, share capital, and shareholdings.
To learn more, continue reading this brief guide to Annual Returns.
The AR01 Form
Each year, you must file an Annual Return (AR01) with Companies House, including general information about your company, such as directors, company secretary, registered office, share capital, and shareholdings. A company’s annual filing date is frequently the anniversary of its incorporation.
In your annual report, you must contain the following items:
- Records are kept at a single alternative inspection site if they are not kept at the registered firm's address
- Names, dates of birth, and nationality of your company's directors and appointed secretary
- Your company's core business activity, which should be chosen from a list of SIC codes
- Your ownership structure, the number of shares you own, and, in some cases, the shareholders you have
Filing a Tax Return Online
You must first register with Companies House WebFiling before you may use the service. Allow for an adequate delivery time since Companies House will send an authentication number to the address linked with your registered firm. To add, Companies House WebFiling allows you to file your annual return online for a charge of £13, payable by credit card or PayPal.
You can also utilise a regular postal service if you choose, but your annual return form (AR01) must be filled out correctly, signed, and returned to Companies House. If you choose this method, make sure to include your company's phone number on the reverse of the check.
Submission of Annual Returns
Companies House will tell you by email or letter when your annual return is due. Annual returns are generally due a year after your company's inception or a year after the date of your prior annual return. Your annual return must be filed within 28 days of the calendar year's end.
If you fail to file an annual return, your company or its directors might face a £5,000 fine or criminal prosecution. In the worst-case scenario, your company may be compelled to shut down.
Required by Law
Failure to submit your Annual Return on time is a criminal offence. Penalties occur if you fail to file or file more than 28 days after your company's "made-up date," which may also potentially deregister your company by Companies House.
Companies House will send you a reminder letter each year to file your Annual Return. There are two ways to file: on paper or electronically. Companies that file their annual returns online House WebFiling is by far the most user-friendly method of submitting your Annual Return. You can file it yourself or have an accountancy service do it for you.
File an Annual Return with AR01
Even though Companies House prefers online filing, the physical form AR01 is still available. The charge for filing on paper is £40, which is much higher than the fee for filing online. First, you must register with Companies House before you can utilise WebFiling. Please allow time for them to issue you a password through email to your registered office address.
What Information Does an Annual Return Contain?
The following information is collected on the Annual Return form:
- The company's name
- The total number of registrations
- Business type
- Registrar's Office Commercial Activities
- Specifics about the Secretary
- Biographical information about the director
- The 'made-up date'
- Amount of shared capital
- Details about the stockholders
- Trading occurrences within the past year
- Shares of capital and equity
You must prepare an annual capital statement if your company has shareholders. The number of outstanding shares, the nominal value of each share, the amount paid or unpaid on each share, and the features of each share class are all part of this.
Following this, the first AR01 and each subsequent third return must include a complete shareholder list. You must, however, always have information on the previous year's share movements.
Properly filing your Annual Return is simply one of the most crucial responsibilities of a responsible business owner. Although it may seem daunting, intimidating, and complicated, learning the ropes can be quickly done with your trusted accountant. In this manner, you are guided every step of the way.
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