What is a Confirmation Statement?
Not to be confused with Statutory Accounts, another document that companies must file each year is a Confirmation Statement. Until 2016, this was known as an Annual Return.
A Confirmation Statement is essentially the same as the Annual Return in that it is a snapshot of the general information about a company, its directors, secretary, registered office address and share capital, and must be filed with Companies House annually confirming that the information held for the company is up to date.
Who, when, why?
Like an Annual Return, a Confirmation Statement must be made by all UK companies, no matter what size, and includes Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP), community interest companies (CICs), public limited companies and unlimited companies.
Confirmation Statements are made at least once a year. More often than not, they are due on the anniversary of the date the company was incorporated, or else a year after the date the last Confirmation Statement was filed, and you also have an extra 14 days from this date in which to file.
So why the need for change? Previously, companies would have to submit this information afresh every year, which is all well and good, but for many companies – especially smaller ones – there may be no changes during that time. The Confirmation Statement came about with the aim of simplifying this rather unexciting task and for many is now more of a ‘check and confirm’ exercise than before. If nothing has changed since the last Confirmation Statement, companies can indicate this without having to confirm each individual piece of information.
Having said that, perhaps the most significant difference between the Confirmation Statement and Annual Return is that, since 6th April 2016, all UK companies must keep a register of persons with significant control (or ‘PSC register’). A PSC is any individual who holds more than 25% of the company’s shares, controls more than 25% of the companies voting rights or has the right to appoint or remove a majority of the board of directors. This information must now also be filed as part of the Confirmation Statement.
The cost of submission and the cost of non-submission
Before the statement is made, companies do need to check that information held by Companies House is up-to-date, which can be done via Companies House online services. If any information held is out of date, it will need to be updated before, or at the same time that the Confirmation Statement is submitted.
Just to make this admin task even more appealing, is that you have to pay for the privilege of confirming the information. The fee for filing online is only £13, while paper filing comes with a fee of £40.
It’s worth mentioning that Confirmation Statements must be still be made even if there haven’t been any changes since the last time, and even if the company is dormant. We know it may seem unimportant and yes, we know it’s boring and you have 50 other things that are far more important to do, but there can be serious consequences for neglecting to file a Confirmation Statement. If it’s not filed Companies House get quite grumpy about it, and the company and its officers will receive letters about prosecution and Companies House may start the process of striking off the company if the confirmation statement is late.
So now you are thinking “I have no idea when this Confirmation Statement is due”...don’t worry, Companies House does help out by sending an email alert or reminder letter ahead of time. Of course, if you are a client that is signed up to our Company Admin service, we will take care of all of this for you.