Guidance

Coronavirus guidance for Companies House customers, employees and suppliers

Companies House has robust plans in place to maintain services for our customers and protect the welfare of our employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

In response to the potential spread of the virus, we’re following Public Health England guidelines. The situation is dynamic and could change quickly, so we’re preparing for a number of scenarios.

At Companies House, our priority is to protect the welfare of our employees. We may not be able to process paper documents as quickly as we have done previously.

How to file your documents

Most of our documents can be filed electronically using our existing online services. If you need to file a document on this list, please use our online services to help us process your information as quickly as possible.

For the small number of filings that do not currently have an online service - we’re urgently working on a service to upload your documents and make a payment where necessary.

This will only be available for documents that do not already have an online service. We will update you as soon as this solution is available.

If your company cannot file accounts on time

Your company should take appropriate measures to make sure accounts are filed on time, like filing your accounts online if you’re able to.

If your accounts will be late because your company is affected by COVID-19, and your filing deadline has not yet passed, you can apply for an automatic and immediate 3 month extension to file your accounts.

Companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting reference period, may not be eligible for an extension.

 How to apply

To apply online you’ll need:

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

You must apply before your filing deadline.

We cannot accept your application by email. We’re experiencing delays in processing emails due to the impact of COVID-19.

Late filing penalties

If you do not apply for an extension and your accounts have been filed late, an automatic penalty will be imposed. The registrar has very limited discretion to not collect a penalty.

Paying your penalty

You can pay your penalty by BACS.

Our contact centre is now closed - we’re not able to take credit card payments over the telephone.

LFP appeals

Each appeal is treated on a case-by-case basis, and we already have policies in place to deal with appeals based upon unforeseen poor health. Appeals based upon COVID-19 will be considered under these policies.

To help us process your appeals while we’re working remotely - send your appeal form to us by email.

For more information, see our guidance on late filing penalties and appeals.

Access to our offices

There are restrictions to public access to our offices and the delivery of paper documents. We’re also experiencing delays in processing paper forms due to the impact of COVID-19.

Use our online services to help us process your information as quickly as possible.

Belfast

Our Belfast office is currently closed to the public.

You can deliver any paper documents, in a sealed envelope, to the reception desk on the ground floor of The Linenhall (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm excluding holidays). We are still accepting deliveries from Royal Mail.

We cannot produce receipts or proof of delivery.

Edinburgh

Our Edinburgh office is currently closed to the public.

You can deliver any paper documents to the Companies House letterbox next to the office building.

We are still accepting deliveries from Royal Mail (except Wednesdays) and DX post. Documents are still being processed daily.

London

Our London office is currently closed to the public.

There is no letterbox at the office - you must send all mail directly to our Cardiff office:

Companies House
Crown Way
Cardiff
CF14 3UZ

Contacting Companies House

For the welfare of our employees, our telephone contact centre is now closed.

Email us at enquiries@companieshouse.gov.uk and we’ll answer as soon as possible.

Document orders

We’re currently unable to offer our ordering service for older documents not shown on the filing history of Companies House Direct (CHD) or DVD-ROM / archived documents orders.

Repurchase of shares (SH03) and schemes of arrangement

HMRC has introduced an electronic service to temporarily replace their usual Stamp Duty process.

Find out how to pay Stamp Duty and more information about Stamp Duty on shares.

Your SH03 form is normally sent to HMRC for stamping if the purchase is above the duty payable threshold. You’ll still need to send your form to HMRC - they will issue your company with a letter instead of stamping the form.

Companies House will accept and register an unstamped SH03 form if it’s accompanied by the letter from HMRC confirming that the correct duty has been paid.

We will also accept and register court orders sanctioning schemes of arrangement which are accompanied by either:

  • the letter from HMRC confirming that the correct duty has been paid
  • a letter from HMRC confirming that no duty is payable

The letter will not appear on the public register.

Same day services

We have suspended all our same day services until further notice.

Secure and suppression applications

Applications to remove your home address from the public register (SR01)

To help us process your application without delay, you can email a digital copy to us.

You must also send us a completed paper SR01 and cheque or postal order (£55 per document listed) by post.

Any applications processed without receipt of the completed paper document or the correct fee may result in the redacted information being placed back onto the public register at a later date.

Complete form SR01 and email it as a digital attachment to DSR@companieshouse.gov.uk.

Applications to restrict the disclosure of your information

Due to the impact of COVID-19, we’ve suspended all paper applications covering sections 243, 790ZF and 790ZG of the Companies Act 2006.

To help us protect your details as quickly as possible, you must apply online to protect your details from being disclosed on the Companies House public register.

For more information, see our guidance on restricting the disclosure of your information.

Suppliers

Do not send us paper invoices by post. We’re experiencing delays in processing paper invoices due to the impact of COVID-19.

Email your PDF invoices to accountspayable@companieshouse.gov.uk

This will help us process your invoices as quickly as possible.

Stay up to date

For the latest information and updates:

More information

Guidance: Online filing and email reminders for companies

Guidance: Filing your company’s accounts

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

COVID-19: guidance for employers and businesses

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business support

Published 18 March 2020
Last updated 25 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. New HRMC process for SH03 stamp duty.

  2. Contact centre closed. Advice for accounts extensions updated.

  3. Guidance for secure and suppression applications.

  4. Belfast office closing to the public from 5pm on Wednesday 18 March.

  5. First published.