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Top FAQs quick answers to our most frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Late Filing Penalties

Do all companies who file their accounts late get penalised?

Yes, irrespective of their size, status or whether they are trading or not. This includes dormant, flat management and charitable companies.

Is the size of penalty the same for all companies?

No. There is one scale of penalties for private companies and another, higher scale for PLCs.

What should I do if my company is penalised?

Read the booklet which accompanies the late filing penalty invoice which explains how to pay the penalty and also sets out the appeals process.

View a copy of the Late Filing - Next Step booklet (PDF 191KB)

View a copy of the Late Filing Appeals manual (PDF 572KB)

Will the Registrar accept any mitigating circumstances if the accounts are delivered late?

Yes. The Registrar has discretion not to collect a penalty, but exercises it in a company’s favour only in the most exceptional circumstances.

Directors have to fulfil all their legal duties despite being in ill-health or elderly. Any director whose ability is impaired should ensure that a replacement is appointed or that other directors know the situation and make appropriate arrangements. Neither ill health nor advancing years will allow the Registrar to exercise discretion and not collect late filing penalties. The nature of the Registrar's discretion was judicially reviewed in 2002.

View a copy of the ruling (PDF 3.75MB)

Will my company be penalised if the accounts are delayed in the post?

Yes. Accounts are only regarded as delivered when they arrive at Companies House.

Will the Registrar accept accounts, which are faxed to him?

No. Certain categories of accounts can be filed electronically using our Software Filing or the Companies House WebFiling service. All other accounts must be delivered by post.

What should I do if the filing deadline is close?

Use a guaranteed next day delivery service. Do not rely on first class post to deliver a letter the next day. Remember you will not get any extra time to file if your accounts are rejected. You must ensure that the accounts are complete and acceptable for filing.

Do late filing penalties apply to any other documents?

No only to accounts.

What should I do if I cannot meet the deadline?

Contact Companies House immediately. In special circumstances you may apply to extend the time for delivering accounts to Companies House.

For further information please see:
Guidance booklet GP5 – Late Filing Penalties