Now you have registered your new Limited Company there are a number of statutory requirements that you must follow. Thankfully over the years the government have simplified the administration requirements for smaller companies to encourage more individuals to adopt limited status. Further measures have been mentioned in the new Company Law Reform white paper published in early 2005 to simply the responsibilities for directors of smaller companies.
Basic legal requirements for limited companies.
There are a number of important compliance issues that all limited companies must adhere to in order to remain on the right side of Companies House and the law. Here are some of the more prominent issues:
The Company Register.
All companies must have a company register often referred to as the statutory books. The company register is used to record the current directors, secretaries and shareholders, any mortgages, charges or debentures as well as any movement in shares between the shareholders and the company. The company register is usually kept at the registered office address of the company.
Filing of Annual Returns and Accounts.
Each year a company must file an annual return and a set of annual accounts . The return is usually due within 28 days of the company’s anniversary of incorporation and is a snapshot of the company at that moment in time usually referred to as the made-up date. The accounts must be delivered after the companies accounting reference date (by default this will be set as the last day of the month you incorporated). The information filed in these documents is made available in the public domain and can be purchased from Companies House.
Certificate of Incorporation.
The Companies Act states that every limited company must have a Certificate of Incorporation that is available for public viewing in the main reception of the registered office.
Company Name Plate.
The Companies Act 1985 also states that the company must have a name plate displayed outside of the registered office address. This is interesting as many individuals setting up limited companies work from home and often find it unnecessary to have a name plate for the company outside their house. None the less this is stated in the Companies Act and until the Act is updated it remains mandatory.
Notification of Changes.
You must notify any changes you make to the company in terms of appointing, resigning and modifying officers, allotting shares and repurchasing shares, increasing, decreasing or creating a new share capital, changing the articles and any other change that would affect the records held at Companies House. Insolvency. To continue trading under your company name when you are aware that the company is insolvent is a criminal offence and may result in criminal prosecution.
Always be aware of the company’s financial position and exercise the correct procedures to wind up a company. How can you simplify your legal obligations with Companies House? The basic premise for remaining compliant with Companies House is to make yourself aware of the important dates that will affect your company and to inform Companies House of any changes to the structure of your company. In 2004 we launched Quick File, an online secretarial system for managing the responsibilities of a UK limited company.
Using this system you can change any details relating to your company including directors, secretaries, shareholders, accounting dates, share capital and the registered office address, many of which can be filed online without having to fill out any forms. You can also file your annual return on the system and create a fully compliant set of registers and share certificates. The software is now only £19.99 per year to use and is recognised at Companies House as an approved E-filing package. How can I find out more about my responsibilities? For your convenience I have compiled a list of detailed guides available at Companies House for many of the subjects that may be of interest to new directors and secretaries. A Guide for Directors and
Published by Companies House Annual Returns - Published by Companies House Filing your accounts - Published by Companies House Company Charges and Mortgages - Published by Companies House Company Secretarial Software - Our own in-house software for e-filing and company administration.