Consequences of Late Submission of Company Accounts

What happens if you file accounts late at Companies HouseFiling your company’s annual returns and accounts at Companies House is a legal requirement. If you fail to do so or file late a late submission of your accounts you could be subject to a range of penalties, including a fine and or even a prison sentence.

In addition, failing to file could damage your company’s reputation and make it difficult to raise finance in the future.

As a result, it is essential that you ensure that your company’s annual returns and accounts are filed on time. If you are unsure of how to do this, there are many resources available online or you can seek professional advice.

Ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure that your company complies with the law.

What happens if you file accounts late at Companies House

Filing accounts late at Companies House can have a number of consequences for your business. Firstly, you may be subject to late filing penalties, which can range from £100 to £1,500 depending on the size of your company. In addition, your company may be listed as being ‘in default’, which could damage its reputation and make it difficult to secure funding or new contracts.

Additionally, the late filing of accounts may trigger an investigation by the HMRC. If your accounts are found to be inaccurate, you could face criminal charges and unlimited fines. As you can see, it’s essential to file your accounts on time to avoid any negative consequences for your business.

Failure to file accounts on time is a criminal offences under the Companies Act 2006

Companies in England and Wales must file their accounts with Companies House on time, or face criminal sanctions. The Companies Act 2006 sets out the rules for account filing, and failure to comply can result in a fine and/or imprisonment.

This is a serious matter, as late filing can hamper a company’s ability to operate smoothly and efficiently. It can also lead to loss of confidence from shareholders and creditors.

That is why it is important to make sure that accounts are filed on time, every time. If you are unsure of the requirements, seek professional advice to avoid any penalties.

Your company could be struck off the register

If your company is dissolved, it will be removed from the register at Companies House. This can have serious consequences, as it will no longer exist as a legal entity. This means that any assets or property belonging to the company will be forfeit, and any debts will become the responsibility of the directors.

In addition, dissolving a company can damage your reputation and make it difficult to raise finance in the future. For these reasons, it is important to ensure that your company is in good standing before dissolution proceedings are started. If you are struck off the register, you can apply to have your company restored, but this can be a complex and time-consuming process. As such, it is always best to avoid dissolution if possible

You could be held in breach of your duty as a director

As a director of a company, you have a number of important responsibilities. One of these is to ensure that the company’s accounts are filed with Companies House on a timely basis. If you fail to do this, you could be held in breach of your duty as a director. This could lead to a fine or even imprisonment.

Therefore, it is essential that you make sure that the company’s accounts are up to date and filed correctly. If you are unsure about anything, seek professional advice. Filing accounts is an important part of being a director, and failure to do so could have serious consequences.

There are certain cases in which you can appeal against fines that have been issued, the following reasons don’t count as valid reasons for late filing and will not prevent action from Companies House:

  • Your company is dormant
  • You can’t afford to pay
  • It was your accountant’s (or anybody else’s) fault
  • You didn’t know when or how to file your accounts
  • Your accounts were delayed or lost in the post
  • The directors live or were travelling overseas


Late submission of company accounts can have serious consequences for a business. Firstly, it can damage the company’s reputation with stakeholders such as investors, creditors, and customers. Late submission may also indicate financial mismanagement or lack of transparency, which can lead to a loss of trust and credibility.

In addition, late submission can result in fines and penalties from regulatory bodies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission or Companies House. This can be costly and time-consuming for the company to deal with, and may also result in legal action. Late submission may also prevent the company from obtaining new funding or investments, as investors may be hesitant to invest in a company that is not financially transparent.

Overall, it is important for companies to submit their accounts on time in order to maintain a good reputation and avoid any negative consequences.

Next steps

Company director or secretary need to ensure that they instruct their accountants to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to comply with company filing obligations to avoid any personal liability.

You cannot dissolve the company while any fine is levied by companies house. Need help with a dissolution, simply make contact today to discuss your options.

Insolvency & Restructuring Expert at Business Insolvency Helpline | + posts

With over three decades of experience in the business and turnaround sector, Steve Jones is one of the founders of Business Insolvency Helpline. With specialist knowledge of Insolvency, Liquidations, Administration, Pre-packs, CVA, MVL, Restructuring Advice and Company investment.