News for limited companies and LLPs: goodbye annual return, hello confirmation statement

This article was first published on 10 June 2016 and was last updated on 28 June 2016.

At the end of June, the annual return for limited companies and LLPs will be replaced by a new document called a confirmation statement. Here’s what you need to know:

What's changing

At the moment, limited companies and LLPs have to file an annual return every year. For companies, the annual return contains details of its directors and shareholders, while the annual return of an LLP lists its members. For both limited companies and LLPs, the annual return also shows the business's registered office address.

The annual return has to be filed every year, usually on the anniversary of the business's incorporation, and must include a full list of information, even if there are no changes to report from the previous year.

In order to save time and lighten the administrative burden for limited companies and LLPs, a new document - the confirmation statement - is being introduced to replace the annual return at the end of June 2016.

The directors/members of limited companies and LLPs can choose when to file the confirmation statement each year. For instance they could choose to submit it when they file their accounts or at a quiet time of the year. However, they must file each year’s confirmation statement within 12 months and 14 days of the previous year’s confirmation statement’s filing date.

Annual return vs confirmation statement: key differences

While both documents serve a similar purpose, there are a couple of key differences between the annual return and confirmation statement.

One of the biggest differences is the reduced burden in administration when there are no changes to report. The annual return has to be submitted each year with a full list of information, regardless of whether any changes had occurred. However, the confirmation statement will only need to be submitted with a note that effectively says ‘no changes this year’.

While there may be less admin to do if there are no changes to report, the confirmation statement does require a new piece of information: a list of ‘persons with significant control’ (PSCs). PSCs will mainly be individuals who are not directors and who own 25% or more of the business.

The filing fee for the confirmation statement will be the same as it was for the annual return: £13 a year.

Sole traders and partnerships that are not incorporated at Companies House will not be affected by this change and will continue to be exempt from having to file completion statements.

Further information on the confirmation statement is available on gov.uk.

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