This week the government announced that it will bring forward legislation to implement proposals to simplify company filing requirements in order to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses.
The announcement from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills came in response to a consultation on cutting red tape for smaller companies. The new legislation will see the annual return replaced by a simplified system for confirmation of details which can be completed at any point during the year. If a company makes changes inside a twelve month period, it will need to report those changes and can confirm other information at the same time, which will require no further action for a further twelve month period.
This change removes the burden from companies who currently report changes to information during the year only to have to duplicate the effort in an annual return.
The government will also allow companies the option to not keep registers of directors, directors’ details, secretaries and members so long as the same details are kept up to date on the public register. Again this addresses the duplication of effort under existing legislation.
A final change will remove the need for companies to file information with both Companies House and HMRC, meaning that the majority of small companies will be able to meet regulations for both bodies by providing the data through a single channel. This will not be mandatory, so those businesses who already have a system in place to address this will not be negatively impacted.
“These are small but significant changes to company law requirements which should really benefit small companies and contractors working through their own Personal Service Companies.” comments Ben Dunn, Finance Director at JSA Services, “No doubt the changes will save business owners and directors time and that can only be for the better.”