The directors are required to fulfill their statutory duties as set out in the Companies Acts and the Insolvency Act 1986.
Both the company and its officers (directors) can be fined for failure to comply with the statutory requirements, and persistent default can lead to disqualification from acting as a director or bar from being involved in management of a company for up to 15 years or imprisonment.
The new late filing penalty introduced under the Companies Act 2006 is £150 for deliver accounts late to Companies House even just by one day and up to a maximum from £1500. These late filing charges apply to companies with accounting periods starting on or after April 2008.
Paying the fines does not avoid the directors from conviction of criminal offences.
Directors must file annual return within 28 days of the anniversary of the incorporation, providing updated details of the company directors, secretary, shares issued, shareholders, registered office and principal activity. Failed to file the annual return or not at all is a criminal offence and the Registrar may remove the company from the register.
In addition, the directors must also notify the Registrar of companies and file relevant documents to Companies House when there is a change in directorship or secretary or personal particulars of the officers of the company.
Many small owners managed businesses tend to delegate these duties to chartered accountants so that they can concentrate on management of the company. This is an appropriate delegation of duty but it is reminded that it is still the directors’ responsibilities to ensure the company keeps proper records and meeting its legal requirements.
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