What Are The Annual Requirements After Company Formation?

Once you’ve formed your limited company, the responsibilities don’t end there. Every year you’ll have to submit an annual return, the company accounts, and a corporation tax return. When your business is in its first year, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the paperwork. That’s why we’ve put together some useful and easy to read information on how to get through your first year after company formation:

Annual Return

What is it?

This is a separate document from the annual accounts and is a snapshot of certain company information. This information includes new appointments, resignations, and any address changes etc. since company formation. Companies are also obliged to give a list of shareholders and a statement of total issued capital, unless it is a company limited by guarantee.

Can I do it myself?

Yes, this is the simplest of the three annual requirements to file. Visit the government website to find out how to create your annual return: https://www.gov.uk/prepare-an-annual-return-for-companies-house.

Although in theory it is a simple form to file, in practice we have seen numerous people make mistakes on completing the annual return form. If mistakes are made you have to submit a paper form by post.

It’s also important to note that there is a filing fee of £40 for filing by post and £13 for annual returns submitted online.

You can use our professional service to file an annual return to take the hassle and uncertainty away.


What do they include?

Every year you must prepare statutory accounts. These accounts will include profit and loss, a balance sheet, notes about the accounts, a director’s report, and an auditor’s report. Small companies can obtain exemption from audit and they are allowed to submit abbreviated accounts. This means that less information will be available to the public.

Can I do them myself?

If you’re organised and are confident that your accounts are correct, then you can do the company’s accounts yourself. If you’re less confident or are limited by time, our expert accountants can prepare your annual accounts for you.

Corporation Tax

What is it?

This is an annual tax return which must be submitted even if there has been no trading activity after company formation.

Can I do it myself?

Yes, you are responsible for filing a corporation tax return. There is a good guide on what needs to be included and how to complete your corporation tax return on the HM Revenue & Customs website: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/CT/managing/company-tax-return/returns/index.htm

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If you miss filing any of the above before the deadlines specified by each body, you’ll receive late filing penalties. It is a good idea to avoid incurring any penalties, but if unforeseen delays occur, this is the action which will be taken:

Annual return penalty

If you’re late filing your annual return, Companies House will send warnings to the registered company office. After three of these letters, the company may be struck off the register.

Late accounts penalty

There is a rigid structure of late filing penalties depending on how long the accounts have been delayed for. These penalties can cause financial damages of as much as £1500.

Corporation tax penalty

HM Revenue & Customs will issue a demand based on an estimate of the company’s tax. If the demand isn’t met and corporation tax still hasn’t been filed, assets may be seized.

We’re here to help your company succeed

As company formation experts, we understand how the first year of business can be a daunting one. If you’re having trouble with your business’s annual requirements, contact us on 020 8232 547 with your questions and we’ll be happy to help.

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