01 August 2016

Limitation in Companies House WebFiling service for new confirmation statements

A limitation in the Companies House WebFiling service in relation to the requirement for companies to notify 'persons with significant control' when filing new 'confirmation statements' means some may have to file either multiple electronic confirmation statements, or a paper statement.

Limited companies must now file a new 'confirmation statement' at Companies House at least once every 12 months, instead of the former annual return.

The new rules require the company to check and confirm that the information held about it by Companies House is up-to-date and, if it is not, to file the necessary information to update the Companies House record.

Companies have had to maintain a register of persons with significant control since 6 April 2016. They must enter statements in this register noting the various stages they go through when investigating, identifying and collecting information from each PSC. This can result, over time, in multiple entries in the register for the same PSC.

Companies have to file information at Companies House about 'persons with significant control' (PSCs) in their confirmation statement. Under the new rules, a company must notify Companies House of 'the information stated in its PSC register' - which includes all the entries in relation to each PSC.

Confirmation statements can be filed electronically using the Companies House WebFiling service. However, Companies House has announced a limitation to this service: the WebFiling service cannot currently deal with multiple statements in relation to the same PSC in the same confirmation statement. A Companies House blog gives the following example:

"In April you hadn't identified your PSC, and you put that in your register. In June you established who they were and contacted them to confirm their details, and made a note of this in your register. And then in August you received this confirmation. In this case, when you come to file your confirmation statement via WebFiling, you'll only be able to tell [Companies House] about those PSC details, not all of those stages you entered into your own register.

If there have been any changes to their information between April 2016 - when you first started to keep your register - and the due date of your confirmation statement, you'll be able to show these changes by filing:

  • confirmation statements online at each stage of your progress (each time selecting the appropriate statement to reflect each stage of your PSC history);
  • a confirmation statement on paper, showing all historical changes in one go (although paper filing in general does take longer)."

If a confirmation statement is filed electronically via the WebFiling service the fee is £13. If it is filed paper format (on form CS01), the fee is £40. However, the fee only has to be paid once in each 12-month period, no matter how many confirmation statements a company files in that period.

Those licensing third party company secretarial software to file confirmation statements should contact their software provider for advice on which route to follow.

Recommendations

Companies with more than one entry in their PSC register in relation to a particular PSC should either file a fresh confirmation statement at Companies House whenever they make each entry, or file a paper statement showing the multiple entries in relation to the PSC.

For any further information, please contact Jennifer Chambers on 0113 297 8945 or at jchambers@shulmans.co.uk.