Companies House Prosecutions
Our Companies House prosecuting solicitors regularly appear in Court defending companies and directors who are being prosecuted by Companies House.
Under s.242 of the Companies Act 1985, the directors of a company are obliged, each year, to file copies of the following with Companies House:
- the company’s annual accounts;
- the directors’ report;
- the directors’ remuneration report (in the case of a quoted company);
- 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. They could then be 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 can also disqualify directors for up to five years if it is their third or more offence of this nature. The best defence in this situation is for a director to show that they took all reasonable steps to ensure that the requirements were complied with.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I am summoned and plead guilty or am found guilty, is this a criminal conviction?
Companies House prosecutions are criminal convictions and will in certain circumstances need to be declared. If you are facing a summons issued by Companies House, you should contact us for advice to discuss how best to deal with the matter.
What evidence will help me defend myself?
If you are looking to defend the allegations, you will need to show that you took all reasonable steps. Evidence which may assist you could be a statement from your accountant or doctor helping to explain what went wrong and what steps you took to ensure the relevant documents were filed at the right time. Character references may also assist, especially if you are looking to mitigate any sentence. Our lawyers can assist you to make sure that the evidence is put in the correct format for use at Court and ensure that it is admissible.
How much will it cost for me to be represented?
Our team are happy to speak to you for an initial free consultation so that you can make an enquiry in confidence and without obligation. We are transparent about our fees from the outset and are usually able to offer fixed fees bespoke to your case so that you are aware of the costs from the outset.
Get in touch
Contact us if you are being, 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 in strict confidence and without obligation:
- Request a free call back using the form on this page
- Phone us during office hours on 0845 216 2000
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who Can Help You?
What we do...
Our professional and experienced team can be on hand, at short notice where necessary, to advise you on all aspects of this offence, from dealing with Companies House to representing you before the Magistrates Court. Our team is based a short distance from Cardiff Magistrates Court and regularly represent those defending Companies House prosecutions.
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 from acting as a company director.
In certain circumstances, we may be able to make written representations to the lawyers at Companies House to see if they will consider withdrawing the allegations. Our expert team have a great deal of experience in persuading Companies House that it is not in the public interest to proceed with a summons.