What Changes in Legislation Affect the Submission of a Confirmation Statement in 2024?

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*Collaborative Post

Whether you are a business, not-for-profit, charity, public company, or limited liability company, you must be aware of the legal requirements of the UK regarding confirmation statement filing if you operate in the country. A confirmation statement (CS) is a document that business owners submit every year to Companies House, online, to ensure the accuracy of their company data. This document contains detailed information about the companies’ names, registered office addresses, directors and secretaries, shareholders and share capital, people with significant control (PSC), and other relevant details. A CS from Companies House demonstrates that the organization maintains its legal status and reputation in the eyes of partners, clients, and authorities.

To enhance the digitization of registration and reporting processes, new rules for submitting a digital confirmation statement will come into effect in 2024: From March 4, according to the new rules, new legal entities can begin filing confirmation statements, and from March 5, already registered ones. Regardless of their size and activity, these changes apply to all companies, even those just registered in Companies House through virtual office or email. To avoid sanctions, a commercial enterprise needs to know about these changes and react accordingly.

The purpose of this text below is to explain step by step to company owners the most important changes in legislation in the UK: it is about precise on the deadlines, the content, the methods of confirmation from 2024, and the business actions to avoid penalties and problems.

The deadline for submitting a confirmation statement

It states that a compliance statement must be filed every 12 months starting with the first registration and until an annual filing is done, and there is no change. This implies that companies have the discretion to determine any date for their annual returns and also get the privilege to file them at the last minute. The time countdown begins immediately after the company is registered with the Companies House or from the date of filing of the last document. The submission date of the CS is updated every time re-registration is required or organizational details change.

To avoid penalties in the form of commissions and fines, establishments should monitor deadlines, or better yet, plan in advance to submit confirmation statements. Companies such as The Hoxton Mix can help with this by reminding you of the deadline for submitting the CS. They also help clients obtain a prestigious London address to use as their registered office address with Companies House. If you miss the deadline by more than 14 days, Companies House will issue a fine of £150 per day until the document has been received, capped at £1,500 in total — for private companies, and a maximum of £5,000 for public ones. Also, your company may be prosecuted and struck off the register. This naturally entails damage to the reputation of the institution and its directors.

Changing the content of the confirmation statement

Previously, companies were not required to divulge extensive details regarding their operations, finances, and taxes, among other factors. Consequently, owners of business enterprises were permitted to submit a confirmation statement in a simplified format, containing only essential details about themselves, such as their name, address, directors, shareholders, and so forth. However, since 2024, everything has changed towards more granular reporting. Thus, companies must submit a confirmation statement in an expanded form, including additional information about their activities, including the following:

  1. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, which define the type and scope of a company’s activities (at Debitoor you can search for a SIC code by entering a keyword or phrase related to your business activity);
  2. revenue, profit, taxes, debt, and other financial indicators of the organization for the last year;
  3. the number and structure of the company’s employees, as well as their wages, social benefits and taxes;
  4. the presence and characteristics of the company’s main assets and liabilities, such as real estate, equipment, intellectual property, loans, contracts, etc.;
  5. the presence and characteristics of the main risks and threats to the business, such as competition, regulation, lawsuits, environmental and social issues, etc.

The goal of increasing the volume of available information is to facilitate control and analysis of the company by stakeholders, the state, tax authorities, investors, and consumers; thus, one should expect increased transparency and responsibility from the business community. Arguments for these changes — digital technologies, such as cloud-based big data servers, allow faster collection, analysis, and dissemination of information between stakeholders; the more information about a company is available in the company register, the easier it is to assess its activities, financial condition, tax burden, social responsibility, etc. As a result, data digitization helps governments better regulate and support small and medium-sized enterprises, tax authorities better monitor and collect taxes, investors better choose and finance projects, and consumers better understand and trust companies.

Changing confirmation statement submission methods

Changes also affected how to submit a confirmation statement. Previously, companies could file the CS annual report in paper or electronic form, but from 2024, you can only do this electronically through a special portal on the Companies House website. The process is as follows: you register on the portal to receive your unique code for submitting a confirmation statement and pay the appropriate fee, £13, which is lower than the previous fee of £40 for paper submissions.

The digital application is designed to speed up and simplify the application process for applicators, and also reduce bureaucracy for regulatory authorities. The benefits of electronic submission of a confirmation statement for a company are the opportunity to:

  • avoid errors, losses, or damage to paper documents;
  • save time and money on postage and supplies;
  • receive confirmation and receipt of document submission within a few minutes;
  • easily track and change your information in the company registry at any time;
  • interact with the corporation registry and other government agencies online.

Closing statement

Responding to changes in the legislation that the new requirement of the confirmation statement filing in 2024 comes as part of the digitalization process is our way of achieving our aims and objectives. Basically, the main differences are the content they may need to expand and the delivery method that should be online. The fines or penalties (£5,000 for late filing, £10,000 for incomplete filing, and £1,000 for failure to file electronically; otherwise, the company may be prosecuted and struck off the register) will encourage all types and kinds of businesses to change the rules in a more correct way. The GOV.UK allows you to quickly and conveniently search and obtain information about businesses like SIC, name, stakeholders, type etc. The failure to file a confirmation statement can give rise to criminal liability, and directors may be subject in criminal courts to substantial fines. To avoid problems and penalties for non-compliance, we recommend:

  • Registering on the Companies House online portal and obtaining a unique code for submitting a confirmation statement.
  • Checking and updating the firm’s details regularly and reporting any changes to Companies House as soon as possible.
  • Paying the appropriate fee of £13 for each confirmation statement submission, but only once per sub-period.
  • Keeping a record of the confirmation statement and the date of submission for future reference. Consider The Hoxton Mix to help with reminding you of the deadline for CS.
  • In case of problems, contact specialists for consultants regarding filing a confirmation statement.

*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.

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