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Legal Updates

UPDATE: extension to file your company accounts

02 April 2020 #Commercial #Corporate

This update applies to both limited companies and limited liability partnerships (LLP’s).

It is a well-known general requirement that all corporates must submit their accounts and reports to Companies House each year. Under normal circumstances, corporates that file accounts late are issued with an automatic penalty.

In light of the global COVID-19 crisis, Companies House has issued an immediate 3-month extension for companies to file accounts. This should not be treated as an application to extend your company’s accounting reference date.

Applications for extensions need to be made and will only be granted if delays to filings are as a consequence of something happening outside of your control. For example, you may find that the current travel bans make it difficult to meet with accountants to sign off your accounts or to host meetings to approve them. 

Corporations across all sectors are implementing un-precedented crisis-management strategies to limit the detrimental impacts of the virus to their businesses. This extension is another attempt by HM Government to alleviate the operational pressures and financial impact of missing filing deadlines.

To benefit, corporates should make an online application which takes less than 20 minutes. Full guidance can be found on the government website here.

Corporates will receive a notification from Companies House within 5 working days as to whether they have been successful with their application. There may be instances where corporates will be invited to submit more information for further clarity.

If a corporate is unsuccessful with its application, it will incur a late filing penalty. Corporates should therefore instruct their accountants to prepare their accounts within the company’s usual time frames. There is no guarantee that an extension will be given.


There are conditions, relating to this relief, for example, a corporate that has extended its filing deadline or shortened its accounting reference period may not be eligible.

We have a dedicated team undertaking company secretarial matters for private companies. Should you require assistance with any matters relating to Companies House in light of COVID-19 or otherwise, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Clarkslegal, specialist Commercial lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Commercial matter please contact Clarkslegal's commercial team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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