Companies house getting tough

2nd April 2009

Companies house getting tough with late filers?

A leading corporate lawyer believes that Companies House is showing increasing signs of getting much tougher with businesses that file their accounts late.

Geoff Kettle, a member of Higgs & Sons' highly regarded corporate team, says that Companies House has taken the decision to issue notices of dissolution in just a matter of days after the accounts were due.

Geoff said: "In some cases, Companies House, is issuing dissolution notices only ten days after the documents should have been filed, illustrating a dramatic departure from previous practice where unwanted companies were left untouched for years."

Companies House has always had power to take dramatic action against companies whose directors had failed to file documents on time.  Various phases of the Companies Act 2006 have had an effect. 

First, provisions introduced last April resulted in the filing periods for accounts being reduced (in the case of private companies down from ten months to nine). Secondly, in changes which took effect in February, Companies House brought into effect greater filing penalties for documents filed late.  Not only were these penalties increased, but persistent offenders now run the risk of having their penalties doubled.

Geoff warns that failure to comply can lead to harsh repercussions. "Should the notice be ignored, then all assets of the company concerned will, following final dissolution, become vested in the Crown and an expensive and time-consuming application will be required in order to restore the company and claim its assets back.  If the company is restored, then costs will be increased because any applicable filing penalties will remain due."

Company directors are warned to ensure that they are aware of filing deadlines, particularly if the company has chosen to remove the secretary.  Being vigilant will help avoid penalties and the associated risks.

To find out how Higgs' corporate team can support your business, contact Geoff or Nick Taylor, head of corporate, on 01384 342100.

Higgs & Sons operates from three locations; Brierley Hill, Stourbridge and Kingswinford.  The firm is one of the largest in the Black Country.

Further information:
Hazel Crawford-Upton
Connect PR
Tel: 01902 714957



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