Companies House – Starting to resume suspended services

Sep 17, 2020

Previously we have reported on changes to certain services at Companies House because of the effects of the pandemic. Companies House is now starting to resume some of those suspended services. Directors and Company Secretaries should therefore take note of the following:

Applications for extensions
Earlier in the pandemic Companies House provided a service whereby companies could apply for an extension to file their accounts if they were having difficulty in complying with the timeline due to Covid, and the extension was granted in most cases. The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act and The Companies etc. (Filing Requirements) (Temporary Modifications) Regulations 2020 came into force on the 27th June 2020 and under those provisions Companies House have automatically applied an extension to the accounts filing deadline so that private companies were given 12 months from the accounting reference date to file their accounts instead of the usual 9 months and for public companies the extension was for 9 months instead of the usual 6 months, the automatic extension does not apply if companies had applied for an extension under the earlier provision. This extension has been applied to all companies whose accounting reference date falls between 27th June 2020 and 5th April 2021. In addition to this the filing of confirmation statements has been extended from 14 days to 42 days from the end of the review period, the filing of charge documentation has been extended from 21 days to 31 days and event driven filings such as changes to directors and PSC’s have been extended to 42 days.

Registrar’s Power to Strike Off
The registrar’s power to effect a compulsory strike off where deadlines for company filings were not met, letters sent by Companies House to the Company were returned undelivered or the company had no directors were temporarily suspended in April. From the 10th October the registrar will resume these powers and will start issuing the first of their two warning letters followed by notice in the gazette and finally striking off the company. As companies have received automatic extension to their filing deadlines there should be very few companies that this will apply to due to issues relating to the pandemic.

Voluntary Strike Off
Companies House also resumed their voluntary strike off process on 10th September 2020, in a phased approach whereby those companies that applied to be struck off before July 2020 will be processed first over a four week period and then the process will resume as normal in respect of any companies that applied for strike off from July 2020 onwards.

Same Day Service
Same day service for various services provided by Companies House remain suspended for the time being.

How can we help?
We advise companies, company directors and shareholders on their corporate rights and responsibilities. For strategic advice and representation, contact the expert company law solicitors at Herrington Carmichael as early as possible.

Please contact Michelle Lamberth on 0118 977 4045

This article reflects the law at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter.

By Michelle Lamberth

Senior Paralegal, Corporate & Commercial Law

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