Guidance

Applying for more time to file your company’s accounts

How to ask Companies House to extend your filing deadline if an unplanned event stops you filing your accounts.

All companies must send their accounts to Companies House every year.

Your company should take appropriate measures to make sure accounts are filed on time. The law imposes an automatic penalty if a company’s accounts are filed late.

You should also file your accounts online if you can.

When to apply

You can apply to extend your accounts deadline if you cannot send your accounts because of an event that’s outside of your control - for example, because of an unexpected illness or if a fire has destroyed company records a few days before your filing deadline.

You must apply for the extension (or file your accounts) before your filing deadline, or you’ll receive a late filing penalty.

You can search for your company to check your filing deadlines online - you do not need to contact us to find out when your filing deadline is.

You may not be eligible if you’ve already extended your accounts deadline. The law only allows a maximum filing period of 12 months.

How to apply

You’ll need:

  • your company number
  • information about why you need more time
  • any documents to support your applications (optional)

We cannot accept your application by email.

What happens next

We’ll review your application and make a decision about your extension request.

It’s important to file your accounts by the deadline date if possible. You should not wait for a decision about your extension request.

We’ll contact you by email to tell you if your application has been successful or not. We may also contact you if we need more information.

If we agree to extend your filing deadline, you must file your accounts before the new deadline date or your company will get a late filing penalty.

This will not change your future accounts deadline dates.

If you’ve applied for more time to file your accounts, but not yet had confirmation that it’s been accepted, you may still receive a letter from Companies House chasing for outstanding accounts.

More information

Guidance: Filing your company’s accounts

Guidance: Online filing and email reminders for companies

Published 15 November 2019
Last updated 6 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. The automatic extensions granted by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act have come to an end.

  2. The automatic extensions granted by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act will come to an end for filing deadlines that fall after 5 April 2021.

  3. The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 came into effect on 26 June 2020. Companies and other types of business registered at Companies House will get more time to file accounts. Link added to guidance.

  4. Advice for companies affected by Coronavirus.

  5. First published.