Company solicitors' advice needed on avoiding Companies House penalties
Company solicitors who advise boards of directors on their responsibilities for filing corporate accounts will be reminding them, and their accountants or finance directors, of the need for care when submitting the firm's Annual Returns to Companies House.
The Government regulatory agency is warning that there has been an error rate of more than 11% in the returns it has received this year - a much higher percentage than usual and it points out the penalties if a subsequent re-filing misses the deadline and an automatic late filing penalty is issued.
It says that most of the mistakes are simple errors or omissions such as completing the incorrect Statement of Accounts or a duplicate from a previous year being returned without any amended dates.
Signatories at the bottom of balance sheets are often missed off when the accounts are submitted. A director, or designated member for a LLP, must sign at the foot of the balance sheet. Every sheet and Directors' Report must also state the name of the person who signed on behalf of the board.
There are other reasons for rejection of annual returns and Companies House says that many of the legal problems could be avoided if businesses used its Webfiling online service.
Commercial lawyers will be able to advise small and medium enterprises on the provisions of the Companies Act and how to avoid administration difficulties with the potential for fines when submitting Annual Returns and Accounts.