Corporate

As several of my colleagues have highlighted in recent blogs, the COVID-19 outbreak is having significant implications for the day-to-day operations of many companies across the country. Our blog on the impact of COVID-19 on the filing of annual accounts at Companies House considers the particular issue of what companies should do in terms of filing accounts in the next few weeks and months. Beyond making provisions for upcoming filing deadlines, how is Companies House operating generally in the current climate?

The Government has provided guidance for Companies House customers, employees and suppliers. You can read the latest guidance in full here.

Reassuringly, our practical experience is that Companies House online services are holding up well and company formations are still being processed. Same day services have however been suspended until further notice.

How can you send documents to Companies House?

If you have a filing to make at Companies House, you may have to alter your usual practice for doing so.

Companies House offices in Belfast, London and Edinburgh are now closed to the public. However, documents can still be delivered as follows:

  • paper documents to the Belfast office can be delivered to the reception desk on the ground floor of The Linenhall;
  • paper documents to the Edinburgh office can be delivered to the Companies House external letterbox next to the office building; and
  • there is no letterbox at the London office so hard copy documents cannot be delivered to this address – you must instead send all mail directly to the Cardiff office.

Remember, of course, that you can file your company accounts and confirmation statement online. Read more about how to do so here. Note, however, that this option is not available to limited liability partnerships.

How can you apply to Companies House to extend our filing deadline?

If your business has been affected by COVID-19 and your accounts filing deadline is fast approaching, you should apply for an automatic and immediate 3 month extension to file your accounts. The online application process takes about fifteen minutes and can be accessed here. Remember to do so before your filing deadline.

What should you do?

  1. Make use of the online services provided by Companies House – file your accounts, file your confirmation statement and notify Companies House of any changes to your company.
  2. Apply for an extension to your filing deadline early – applications must be made before your filing deadline so do not leave matters until the last minute.
  3. Note that same day services at Companies House have been suspended and plan accordingly.

Should you have any further questions about this or any other matter relating to the impact of the COVID-19 on your business, please do get in touch with your usual Brodies LLP contact.

Alasdair Madden