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Filing your annual returns

The role of the company secretary has been an essential part of running a business since the introduction of the Companies Act 2006. From maintaining statutory registers and advising directors to arranging shareholder meetings and communicating with the authorities, the role of the company secretary is wide in scope.

A key part of the job is filing annual returns. As we approach the end of the 2014/15 tax year – and the end of the financial year-end for many businesses – we look at the documents companies are required to submit with their annual returns.

What documents do you need to file with your annual return?

You must submit your annual return to Companies House each year. They will typically cover a 12-month period and will be due 9 months after your accounting year-end date. There are however other important documents that you must file along with your annual return.

Directors' report

You must submit a directors' report with your annual returns. This should include:

  • the names and shareholdings of the company directors
  • a description of the company's main activities
  • information about the interests of directors
  • details of company dividends.

All companies must submit a directors' report.

Strategic report

The strategic report provides shareholders with information about how the directors have performed in furthering the interests of the company. It should:

  • analyse the business using key performance indicators
  • describe the potential threats and uncertainties of the business
  • highlight important events for the business during the financial year
  • provide forecasts of future performance.

Small businesses are not required to submit a strategic report.

Financial statements

Full financial statements including the company's assets and liabilities must be submitted to Companies House and HMRC.

Auditors' report

An auditors' report details a company's financial situation and assesses whether it's complying with financial reporting regulations.

Because small businesses are not required by law to undertake an audit, they do not need to submit an auditors' report.

We can handle your company secretarial duties

Complying with the Companies Act and keeping track of changes to company law demands time and resources that most business owners don't have. This is where we come in.

As well as filing your annual returns, we will:

  • advise on company formations
  • make sure you statutory registers are organised and up-to-date
  • pass on relevant information to Companies House and HMRC
  • ensure your business is complying with the Companies Act.

Contact us on 0208 515 2929 or email info@sterlingca.com to learn about our company secretarial service.