Companies House


Companies House Fees - Frequently Asked Questions

Why was there an increase in some fees in 2005?

This was because Companies House has to recover its running costs through fees. Since the end of the 2001/02 financial year the number of active companies on the register has increased from less than 1.5 million to just over 2.5 million, with an increase of almost 400,000 in the last year alone. The cost of maintaining a growing company register has meant that a greater investment in infrastructure is required to meet the challenges of our growing workload.

The paper annual document processing fee remained unchanged from 1996 until 1 February 2005, when it increased from £15 to £30. This was necessary to recover the forecast cost of processing paper documents, which is a more labour-intensive and costly procedure than the electronic equivalent.

Which registration fees were increased in 2005?

  • the fee payable with annual returns sent on paper (increased from £15 to £30);
  • annual accounts submitted by oversea companies (increased from £15 to £30); and
  • registration of a charge (increased from £10 to £13).

Were any fees reduced in 2005?

  • the fees for Limited Liability Partnerships registration functions were reduced and brought in line with those generally lower fees applying to companies (the annual return fee for LLPs was lowered from £35 to £30), and
  • many search fees were also reduced.

What is the fee payable with an annual return?

  • the fee for filing an annual return on paper is £30. This applies to annual returns with a made up date on or after 1 February 2005 and delivered after 1 February 2005. Please note: For annual returns made-up to a date earlier than 1 February 2005 but delivered after 1 February 2005 the fee is still £15 (the old fee)
  • the fee for filing an annual return electronically is £15.

If I can’t file my annual return electronically will the old fee of £15 apply?

No. This is because the £30 fee for filing a paper annual return is set by statutory instrument and approved by Parliament; Companies House has no discretion to reduce the fee for filing on paper for any company or group of companies.

Why can’t all forms be filed electronically and so reduce the filing fee?

As Companies House must always recover its costs through fees, we have not been able to wait until we e-enabled all the forms for all company types and customer groups before amending our fees. Regrettably this means that some customer groups will be disadvantaged in the short term. (For example the annual return fee for Limited Liability Partnerships is £30 because it is not e-enabled, though this fee has been reduced from £35 to £30).

Overall, we estimate that some 5% of the register is unable to file online, but we are working on ways to enable these companies to file their annual return electronically.

What is covered in the fee payable when filing an annual return?

The fee is based on recovering the cost of processing all documents that are received and placed on the companies register during the year (most notably the annual accounts), other than those which attract a separate fee. It also covers the cost of maintaining a company’s record on the register. The fee does not just cover the work involved in processing the annual return form. To clarify this, the fee is now described as a fee for filing “relevant documents”.

To reduce costs to companies Companies House does not charge separately for all documents it receives. Many of these documents relate to changes of information on file, such as change of registered office address or change of directors. There is also no separate fee for filing annual accounts. A charge for each individual document would lead to a significant increase in the administrative burden on Companies House, which in turn would mean extra costs being incurred.

These extra costs would have to be passed back to companies in the form of increased fees, leading to a significant burden on business. Recovering most of the cost of registration annually through the filing of the annual return is more efficient and less costly for companies.

There have been some additions to the pricelist following 6 April 2007. Does this mean that your prices have changed?

Some parts of the Companies Act 2006 were brought into force on the 6 April 2007, including those sections relating to fees. We have taken the opportunity to publish all our products and services, and can confirm that none of our fees and charges has changed as a result.

Where can I get further information about your prices?

Click here for full details of our fees and charges.

How do I electronically file documents?

Click here for Information about our Electronic Services

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