The annual return was replaced by a "confirmation statement" on 30 June 2016.
The confirmation statement serves the same purposes as the annual return. The main differences as to content are that the confirmation statement also has details of any people having significant control of the company, as required to be shown on the PSC register (introduced by the same legislation, the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015).
The annual return legislation is in Part 24 of the Companies Act 2006, sec854 - sec859. The SBEE 2015 inserted new sections 53 A-L in Part 24 with the rules for confirmation statements.
The requirements for annual returns provided that every year a company had to make an annual return to Companies House. Traditionally this was a form setting out the registered details of the company: its name, number, registered office address, business activities, details of directors, secretary and shareholders, etc. An annual return can still be filed on paper, but most companies now file their annual return electronically using the Companies House webfiling service. The filing fee is £40 if done on paper and £13 if done by electronic filing.
The purposes of the annual return were:
- to keep the information about the company on the official register up to dat:
- it makes searching the information at Companies House much easier - it is only necessary to look for changes since the last annual return:
- the shareholders' details are only registered on an annual basis (in listed companies they are changing daily)
- the revenue from the annual returns is an important part of the Companies House's income, paying for the regsitration costs of maintaining the register.