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What is an Annual Return

Dec 17, 2014

An annual return is a record of information given to Companies House about a company’s directors, secretary (where one has been appointed), registered office address and share capital.

An annual return must contain the following information:

  • the name of the company
  • its registered number
  • the date to which the annual return is made-up
  • the principal business activities of the company
  • the type of company it is, for example, private or public
  • the registered office address of the company
  • the address (single alternate inspection location - SAIL) where the company keeps certain company records if not at the registered office, and those records held there
  • the details of the company secretary (corporate or individual), where applicable
  • the details of all the company's directors (corporate or individual)

Every company must send an annual return to Companies house within 28 days of the anniversary of the incorporation of a company or the anniversary of the last annual return.

Companies House will send a letter to each company’s registered office to remind them when their annual return is expected. It gives guidance on how to file the form electronically by using their Software Filing or WebFiling services.

If you do not deliver the company’s annual return, the Registrar might assume that the company is no longer carrying on business or in operation and take steps to strike it from the register. It is a criminal offence not to deliver the company's annual return within 28 days of the made-up date, for which Companies House may prosecute the company and its officers.


Karen Horne


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