BIS proposes simpler company filing requirements

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07 Oct, 2013

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has today published proposals aimed at reducing the amount of information that companies need to file and the frequency that it is sent to Companies House. Responses are requested by 22 November 2013.

The proposals are part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge which is considering whether improvements can be made to existing regulation in order to benefit, predominantly, small UK companies.  

The consultation also seeks views on a number of areas such as 

      1. Annual Filings;
      2. Transparency;
      3. Communications; and
      4. Resolving problems. 

Among the proposals are changes to the rules regarding annual returns which all companies must currently file, by law, on an annual basis.  BIS propose that the requirement to complete an annual return could be scrapped with companies only being required to confirm, potentially digitally, that the information held on the register is correct.  Other options proposed by BIS are to require companies to file details as and when there is an event that drives the change or to maintain the current system of annual reporting but incorporate a number of simplified processes (such as allowing companies the opportunity to file both annual return and accounts on the same date). 

Further key proposals in the consultation are:

  • Aligning the filing dates for accounts at both HMRC and Companies House.
  • The removal of the requirement for companies to make their registers available at their registered office (or an alternative inspection location) as well as provide this information to Companies House for inclusion in the public register.
  • Simplified processes for Statements of Capital.
  • Changes to reporting and disclosure of subsidiary undertakings. 

For further details please refer to the press release and the full consultation on the BIS website.

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