Limited companies are obliged by law to prepare a set of financial accounts each year and to file a copy with Companies House:
- private companies must file accounts within 21 months of the business' formation, and within nine months of the end of each financial year thereafter
- public companies must file accounts within 18 months of the business' formation, and within six months of the end of each financial year thereafter
Read Companies House guidance on preparing and filing accounts.
There are statutory penalties for late or incorrect filing, for which the directors are liable.
For more information, see Companies House annual returns and accounts.
For micro-entity accounts, a company must meet at least two of the following criteria:
- turnover is no more than £632,00
- balance sheet total is no more than £316,000
- average number of employees is no more than ten
For abridged accounts, companies must meet at least two of the following criteria:
- turnover is no more than £10.2 million
- balance sheet total is no more than £5.1 million
- average number of employees is no more than 50
To file micro-entity accounts, you should sign into the Companies House WebFiling service and choose the micro-entity accounts type.
To file abridged accounts, there are three options:
1. Sign into the Companies House WebFiling service and chosse the abridged accounts type.
2. Use the Companies House-HMRC joint filing service - you’ll need a Government Gateway account and you can file your tax return to HMRC at the same time.
3. Use third party software - this service benefits companies that file regularly.
Read Companies House guidance on accounts filing options for small companies.
A medium-sized company must meet at least two of the following criteria:
- annual turnover must not exceed £36 million
- the balance sheet total must not exceed £18 million
- the average number of employees must not exceed 250
Medium-sized companies may deliver a copy of the full accounts to Companies House or choose to deliver abbreviated accounts which include the following:
- full balance sheet
- abbreviated profit and loss account
- special auditors' report
- directors' report
- notes to the accounts