Please note that this article has been archived as the Annual Return has now been superceded by the Annual Confirmation Statement – please see for more information

One annual duty that all limited companies must undertake is the filing of an annual return. Even if your company has not traded, the annual return must still be completed at least once every 12 months. All annual returns must be filed online at Companies House. Failure to comply can result in the limited company being removed from the Companies House Register. Failure to deliver these documents on time can also result in the company and its directors being prosecuted. In some cases a criminal record and a fine of up to £5000 can be received. Generally annual returns should be filed within 28 days from when the company was incorporated. Failure to deliver your company’s annual return to Companies House will result in the company being removed from the register and a notice of intent being published. Eventually the company will be dissolved and struck off the register. Any Limited Companies that are removed from the register will have their bank accounts frozen.

What is an annual return?

An annual return is an official document that will set out specific company information. The document will provide details about the company at a given time which is referred to as a made up to date. It is this date that all information that has been provided should be accurate. An annual return is a separate document from the limited company’s annual accounts.

Which Companies must complete an annual return?

Every registered company will be required to deliver an annual return to Companies House. This must be completed at least once every 12 months.

Responsibility for delivering the annual return will fall to the company director (s) and the secretary. It will be their job to ensure annual returns are filed on time.

All annual returns should be delivered to Companies House within 28 days of the anniversary of incorporation of the company or on the anniversary of the made up date of the last annual return.

Completing your Annual Return

All registered companies will receive a letter to their registered office which will remind them when their annual return is due. The form can be completed electronically online by using the Company House web filing services. You can also use Company Formations 247 who offer advice and assistance to companies requiring help with their annual returns. See here for information.

What is the made-up date?

The made-up date will refer to the date of the incorporation of the company or the made-up date of the previous annual return that was registered at Companies House.

What information is contained in an annual return?

  • Company Name and Registration number
  • The main business activities of the company
  • Company Registered office address
  • Date to which the return is made-up-to.
  • Details of all company directors
  • Details of any company secretary
  • Details of shareholders and share capital.
  • Any SAIL address where any or all of the company’s records are kept.

Generally in most cases, the information that is submitted on the annual return will be the same as the information already kept at Companies House. However it is still a legal requirement for all companies to submit this information every year which ensures that all details are accurate and up to date.