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Thousands of new businesses could fail to file important paperwork, as business registrations boom

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More than 95,000 newly incorporated business could join the quarter of a million firms that failed to meet recent Companies House accounts deadlines this year, following a record boom in new business registrations.

According to official government figures there were 397,135 new incorporations in Q2 and Q3 2020 combined, with HMRC reporting that one in four businesses required to file a month-to-date VAT return failed to do so on time, as well as more than a quarter of a million companies missing the September accounts deadline.

The proportion of business that fail to meet the important filing deadlines may also increase due to the added pressures of Covid, despite deadline extensions, as business owners and directors deal with the pressures of running a business during the pandemic.

Simon Wallwork, Partner & Head of Corporate and Commercial at Slater Heelis, said: “The pandemic and resulting rise in redundancies have accelerated entrepreneurship over the past few months with many forced to register a company who wouldn’t have ordinarily. Although it is promising to see so many people creating their own opportunities, there is a lot more to running a business than many realise. Our Company Secretarial Services offering aims to take pressure off business owners and allow them to focus on growth and development opportunities by putting their admin work and continued statutory compliance into our safe hands.”

The Company Secretarial Services give clients secure, around the clock access to their company’s electronically held statutory books. It is suitable for any private limited company and offers to look after the maintenance and compliance of legal statutory records for businesses in all sectors.

Following business disruptions caused by the pandemic, Companies House has introduced a 42-day extension to file certain documents, such as the annual confirmation statement, changes to directors, persons with significant control or registered office. With this extension set to come to an end in April 2021, there is increased potential for owners and directors to put off important administrative work resulting in fines being incurred. 

Wallwork, continued: “Although many aspects of filing are staying the same, digital transformation within Companies House could lead to more missed deadlines for busy company directors. The Company Secretarial Services team will provide organisation of correspondence by forwarding any post or emails, giving directors more time to invest in running their companies.”

These changes also come at a time when Companies House is updating to paperless correspondence, increasing the risk of missed communications and deadlines. Rather than sending out physical posted filing reminders business directors will be emailed.”