Friday, 9 September 2011

To File or Not To File.

Sometimes the information you want is just not available.

Frustrating, I know but when it comes to a company’s annual accounts, we’re only as good as the information supplied to Companies House. (The fact that our website is easier to use is a handy side benefit.)

So what are the filing requirements for UK Ltd companies? First off, under the Companies Act, all companies, even if they are not trading, must file accounts at Companies House each year. The only exceptions to this are small, medium sized or dormant companies, who can if they want, file abbreviated accounts. However, there are no exemptions for public companies (PLC), banking, insurance or shipping companies and their subsidiaries regardless of size.

The next logical question is what are the criteria that define a small, medium or large company? This varies depending on when your company’s financial year started. For those with financial years before 6th April 2008, two of the following three criteria have to be met:

Small Company

Medium Company

Large Company

Annual Turnover

Not exceeding £5.6m

Not exceeding £22.8m

More than £22.8m

Balance Sheet Total

Not Exceeding £2.8M

Not Exceeding £11.4m

More than £11.4

Employee Numbers

No more than 50

No more than 250

250 or more


For those with financial years after 6th April 2008, the definitions change slight, but there is still a requirement to meet two of three following criteria:

Small Company

Medium Company

Large Company

Annual Turnover

Not exceeding £6.5m

Not exceeding £25.9m

More than £25.9m

Balance Sheet Total

Not Exceeding £3.26M

Not Exceeding £12.9m

More than £12.9

Employee Numbers

No more than 50

No more than 250

250 or more


Having sorted the definitions of small, medium and large companies, the following table gives you the filing obligations:

Small Company

Medium Company

Large Company

Balance Sheet

Abbreviated Balance Sheet

Full Balance Sheet

Full Balance Sheet signed by a Director

Profit and Loss

Not Required

Abbreviated Profit and Loss Account

Full Profit and Loss Account.

Turnover

Not Required

Not Required

Yes

Auditor Report

Not Required

Special Auditor Report

Yes and signed by the auditor

Director Report

Not Required

Yes

Yes and signed by an officer of the company

Notes to the Accounts

Not Required

Yes

Yes and group accounts if appropriate


Hopefully this helps. As an information provider, we’d like all companies to supply all the information but as this is unlikely to happen, we’re just work with what we have.

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