Higher Companies House Fees for UK Businesses From May 2024

From 1st May onward, British companies filing various documents, forms, and declarations will need to pay higher charges due to an uplift of the Companies House fee schedule. While the filing costs remain nominal, some have risen by as much as 300% or more, which may impact smaller businesses and newly incorporated companies.

The organisation, an executive agency of the UK Department for Business and Trade, says that the higher costs are necessary to finance new activities and generate break-even revenues as Companies House adapts to new powers, part of the introduction of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act (ECCTA).

Under the ECCTA, officially introduced on 4th March this year, Companies House will have greater autonomy to demand supporting evidence or raise queries over information, including running more robust checks against company names.

Reviewing the 2024 Changes to Companies House Charges

The major reforms are as follows – while not an exhaustive list, these are the most frequently used filing services and charges that have risen by the biggest margins:

  • Filing an Annual Confirmation Statement will increase from £13 to £34.

  • Registering a newly incorporated company will cost £50, rising from £12.

  • Charges linked to changing a registered company name will increase to £20 from £8.

  • Requesting the voluntary strike-off of a company will spike from £8 to £33.

Although these adjustments are fairly wide-ranging, higher fee increases will apply to the remaining processes that accept paper-based submissions.

For example, new company incorporations rise to £50 for owners and shareholders filing online, with a far greater rise to £71 for those sending hard-copy documentation. Likewise, a business submitting an Annual Confirmation Statement in paper form will pay a charge of £62, compared to the newly increased fee of £34 for submissions made either digitally or through a compatible software system.

Higher fees will affect all companies with a legal duty to file documentation with Companies House, covering incorporated companies, limited liability partnerships (LLPs), overseas companies and entities, limited partnerships (LPs), and qualifying partnerships in Scotland.

Understanding Reforms to Companies House Powers

Companies House has been keen to reiterate that it is not a profit-making organisation. Higher charges are intended to ensure it can continue to deliver mandatory and statutory services without creating a deficit.

The costs of the reforms to Annual Confirmation Statement fees alone are anticipated to raise as much as £105 million per year in additional revenues, with over 5 million incorporated businesses across the UK. The impact, of course, may be far more significant for small and micro enterprises, especially those with a finite budget to incorporate a company.

However, the primary objective isn’t to boost the earning potential of the executive agency but to give it the capacity to meet its obligations and strengthen previous controls, which have sometimes been perceived as insufficient due to stretched resources and the growing volume of actively trading businesses.

Analysts have noted that fraud, inadvertent errors and deliberate disinformation filed through Companies House that go undetected are a serious risk to the British economy and mean that legitimate, honest businesses don't receive the support or credibility they are due.

Although higher fees are unlikely to be welcome, particularly during a time when the cost of doing business is already climbing, the end outcomes may be beneficial, where registered companies will be verified, investigated and penalised if they are found to be filing misleading or dishonest information.

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act (ECCTA)

Part of the drive behind higher filing charges is the ECCTA, as we've mentioned. This new Act is intended to apply to larger organisations, categorised as companies that turnover over £36 million per year and hold balance sheet assets of £18 million and above.

The ECCTA will be rolled out in a staggered way, but in short, means that Companies House will impose tighter rules applying to areas such as registered office addresses, prohibiting PO boxes. It will also mandate that every registered business provides an email address, and the organisation will have a greater ability to remove information it finds to be factually inaccurate.

Most UK businesses will see little impact other than the higher filing fees. Still, the idea is that these new, broadened powers will make it easier for legitimate businesses to succeed.

The full list of changes to Companies House fees is available HERE, and you are, as always, welcome to contact the SAS Accounting team if you have any queries about these reforms or how they may apply to your business.


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