Statutory Filing for Incorporated Organisations

Incorporated groups (such as Company Ltd by Guarantee or Community Interest Company) are legally required to send a signed copy of their Annual Accounts (in the required format) to Companies House. It is the collective responsibility of your group’s board of directors (or committee) to be aware of, and to abide by, these legal requirements.

Annual Accounts

Your group or organisation has nine months from the date of your financial year end (otherwise referred to as Accounting Reference Date or ADR) to submit your Annual Accounts to Companies House in the required format (making sure that they comply with all relevant legal requirements).

In addition to statutory filing to Companies House, your group may also be required to submit your Annual Accounts to a funder as part of the conditions of grants received during the financial period in question.

If your group or organisation is incorporated and a registered charity in Scotland, the format and requirements for Annual Accounts are set out in the Charity and Trustees Investment (Scotland) Act regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Register (OSCR). This includes a legal requirement for all charities to have their Annual Accounts externally scrutinized, as well as statutory filing to OSCR.

Abbreviated Accounts

If your group is an incorprated organisation (such as a Company Ltd By Guarantee) and is classed as a 'small' company, under special provisions in the Companies Act 2006 you may be able to prepare and file simpler, less detailed abbreviated accounts than those required by large and medium companies. You are still required to prepare full accounts for your members.

To class as 'small', your company must meet at least two of the following conditions:

  • annual turnover must be not more than  £6.5 million

  • the balance sheet total must be not more than £3.26 million

  • the average number of employees must be no more than 50

Unless your company is exempt from audit, if you choose to submit abbreviated accounts, you will also be required to include an auditor's report. 

To qualify for audit exemption, a company must meet any two of the following criteria:

  • annual turnover must be not more than £6.5 million

  • the balance sheet total must be not more than £3.26 million

  • the average number of employees is no more than 50

Dormant companies may also claim exemption from audit and need only prepare and deliver to Companies House an abbreviated balance sheet and notes. Abbreviated accounts may be submitted using Companies House WebFiling service.

Annual Return

As an incorporated organisation, your Directors also have a legal duty to file an Annual Return with Companies House every year. The deadline for submission is twenty eight days after the anniversary of your company’s incorporation

WebFiling Service

Companies House offer an online Webfiling service for submission of Annual Accounts and Annual Returns. The service can also be used to inform Companies House about any changes to your Directors details.

Penalties for Late Filing

It is important that your Board of Directors and your accountants (and where applicable your auditors) are aware that if you miss the deadline for submission for either your Annual Accounts or Annual Return, there is an automatic late filing penalty.  Companies House have the power to prosecute, so persistent late filing could potentially lead to a criminal record for your Directors (if convicted).