Companies House change strike off policy and late filing penalties (Covid-19)

On 16th April 2020, further policy alterations were made by Companies House in light of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Companies House previously announced that companies that were due to file their annual accounts, could apply for a three month extension and now it has revised its policies for company strike offs and penalties for late filing of documents. Companies House have stressed that these changes in policy are temporary, and will be reviewed during the course of the pandemic.

Company Strike Offs

Companies House have announced that they shall ‘ease strike off activity’ for the time being. In practise, this means that upon the company registering an application for strike off, Companies House will follow their usual procedure and publish a notice of the proposed strike off in the Gazette. However, no further action shall be taken by Companies House to strike off and dissolve the company. This is to protect those who may wish to object to the company being struck off. Companies House also has the power to strike off a company, should it fail to file its annual accounts and/or confirmation statement on time. Typically at this stage, Companies House would publish a strike off notice in the Gazette. However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Companies House will not publish the notice and continue to send reminders to the company that its filings are overdue.

Penalties

Companies House have confirmed that they shall ‘provide a break’ for companies to pay late filing penalties and shall ‘provide additional support including payment plans’ for those companies struggling to pay past penalties. Unfortunately, we have no further guidance as to how this will work, although it is likely that each case will be individually assessed and Companies House will take a sympathetic stance.

Legal Support

If you would like more information about the temporary modifications to policies at Companies House or if you require any legal support as a result of changes to your business as a result of Covid-19, please contact a member of our Corporate team on 02392 50 55 00 or email us enqs@donnelly-elliott.co.uk.