Directors warned not to be complacent as more and more directors are prosecuted for late filings

Recent press coverage has reported that more and more directors have been prosecuted for failing to file company annual returns and accounts on time and that many of the convicted directors are running small firms, following the increase of start-ups and self-employment. Francesca Messina, Senior Associate at Stevens & Bolton LLP comments:

The financial penalties can be severe and failure to file annual returns or accounts is a criminal offence which can result in directors being fined personally. This highlights how important it is for directors to ensure that they are on top of the company’s filing deadlines. It is a misconception to think that Companies House will take a relaxed approach in relation to this issue. It is not only the financial and criminal sanctions that can be imposed, there may be other adverse consequences, such as the impact on the company’s credit rating, the risk of the company being struck off, or having to disclose any compliance breaches if any potential buyer or investor is carrying out due diligence on the company.”

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