Changes to the filing and registration process for UK companies - Kuits Solicitors Manchester
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Changes to the filing and registration process for UK companies

Changes to the filing and registration process for UK companies

7th January 2021 - Published by Kuits Corporate team

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption that has followed, businesses still need to make sure to comply with the administrative requirements and obligations placed on them that arise as a matter of course, such as filing accounts or confirmation statements; or that are event driven, perhaps arising in the context of a transaction or reorganisation.

Who has made these changes?

Companies House, HM Land Registry (HMLR) and HMRC, like most other office-based businesses, have been forced into reorganising their operations and processes so that they could be dealt with remotely; making changes seemingly overnight that might otherwise have taken years. These “paper heavy” institutions have adapted in order to allow UK companies to meet their filing, registration, taxation and other administrative obligations.

These changes in general make life much easier for businesses. Whether they are all temporary or are here to stay remains to be seen, but for now they can be taken advantage of.

How can the use of the changes assist you?

There are many ways that the temporary relaxation of requirements and increased ability to use technology could relieve the burden on your business during the pandemic, allowing you to continue to effectively operate the business. Here are some examples:

Companies House

  • Online filing: in addition to those documents that companies have been able to file online prior to the pandemic, Companies House have introduced an interim online filing service which operates within their existing WebFiling service for filing those documents which would usually be posted to Companies House for paper filing. Notably, this now includes the filing of company resolutions and articles.
  • Extensions: the statutory timeframes for making certain filings with Companies House have also been temporarily extended to allow for the extension of the following filing deadlines:-
    • Accounts: from 9 months to 12 months for private companies and from 6 months to 9 months for public companies
    • Annual confirmation statement after the end of a company’s confirmation period: from 14 to 42 days
    • Notice of “relevant events” (e.g. change of director or PSC): from 14 to 42 days
    • Registration of a charge: from 21 to 31 days

Naturally, Companies House are experiencing a backlog with paper applications which is expected to continue given the inability for offices to be fully staffed. We have found that applications made online are processed faster and therefore recommend that, where possible, companies file using the WebFiling service.

HMLR

  • Until further notice, HMLR will accept transfers and certain deeds executed using virtual signing procedures.
  • The use of e-signing has been introduced to combat difficulties encountered in obtaining original documents signed in “wet” ink.

HMRC

  • HMRC has introduced a temporary relaxation of its requirement that wet-ink stock transfer forms must be submitted for stamping and insists that they are not submitted by post.
  • Alternatively, HMRC will accept emails attaching an electronic copy of the transfer and will also accept e-signatures until further notice. Payment of the stamp duty can be made online.
  • HMRC will then review the stock transfer form, process payment and issue a letter via email giving assurance that HMRC will not pursue a penalty against the relevant company for registering the new ownership of shares.

Get in touch with a corporate solictor in Manchester

Our Corporate team can guide you through the changes to the obligations applicable to your business and new procedures available to you together with the best ways of ensuring you are meeting all of the compliance requirements for your business during the pandemic and beyond.

Please contact Solicitor Sheridan Broude on 0161 838 8175 or at sheridanbroude@kuits.com.

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