Companies House Prosecutions

The Law

Under s.242 of the Companies Act 1985, the directors of a company shall, each year, file with Companies House a copy of:

  • the company’s annual accounts,
  • the directors’ report,
  • (in the case of a quoted company) the directors’ remuneration report; and
  • the auditors’ report on those accounts or (in the case of a quoted company) on those accounts and the auditable part of the directors’ remuneration report.

If these requirements are not complied with, each director of the company is liable to prosecution by Companies House.

The Penalties

If prosecuted, directors are liable to a fine as well as a daily default penalty if the information is still not supplied to Companies House.

In addition, the Court is able to order directors disqualifications for up to 5 years if it is the third or more offence of this nature committed by the director.

The Defence

It is a defence to any prosecution under s.242 for a director to show that they took all reasonable steps for ensuring that the requirements were complied with.

How we can help

Our professional and experienced team can be on hand at short notice to advise in relation to all aspects of this offence from dealing with Companies House to representing you before the Magistrates Court.

The “reasonable steps” defence is one which is open to interpretation and varies from case to case. Our solicitors are able to advise you on your prospects of success and on how to present this defence to the Court to have the best opportunity of defending the prosecution.

In addition, if you are convicted or have to plead guilty to an offence, we are able to assist you in keeping any penalty you receive to a minimum as well as helping you defend any application by Companies House to ask the Court to disqualify you.

We are also able to act as agents for solicitors who are not conveniently located.

Contact Us

If you have been, or believe that you are about to be, prosecuted by Companies House or if you would simply like to discuss these issues with one of our solicitors then please:

  • request a free call-back using the call-back form on the home page,
  • phone us during office hours on 0845 216 2000,
  • email us at