Company formation Registration - HOME

Late filing penalties explained
How to avoid late filing penalties
Once a penalty has been imposed?
Late filing penalty appeals
Quality of documents
Further information


This guide applies to all private and public companies registered in the United Kingdom (UK) i.e. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It explains how a late filing penalty will be imposed against the company if its accounts are not filed by the filing deadline. It will also tell you how to appeal if a late filing penalty has already been imposed.

For the purposes of this guide the main legislation that applies to UK companies is:

The Companies (Late Filing Penalties) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Filing Periods and Late Filing Penalties) Regulations 2008 (SI2008/497) and;
Companies Act 2006.

This guide includes a number of terms which have the following meanings:

Financial year – The financial year is usually a 12 month period for which you must prepare accounts and reports. Financial years are determined by reference to an accounting reference period. The accounting reference period ends on the accounting reference date or a date up to seven days either side of it, if this is more convenient.

Accounting reference date – For all new companies, the legislation sets the first accounting reference date as the first anniversary of the last day in the month in which the company was incorporated. The subsequent accounting reference dates will automatically be on the same date each year. For example, if the company was incorporated on 6 April 2008 its first accounting reference date would be 30 April 2009 and 30 April for every year thereafter.

Filing deadline – This the last date that your accounts must reach Companies House.

For further information on accounts and accounting reference dates please see our Life of a Company Part 1 – Annual Requirements guide.