9th March 2021
Over the last year many companies have needed to downsize, relocate, or diversify their businesses in order to survive the various challenges that the covid-19 pandemic has presented. Others have thrived due to the nature of the services or products they provide and have required new Head Quarters or opened more commercial units.
Company directors have endured a demanding year and there is a strong possibility that some tasks will have slipped the net. Particularly those administrative tasks that can quite easily fall to the bottom of a busy business owner’s ‘to do’ list.
A complex court case over conflicting dispute resolution provisions has highlighted a simple but vital takeaway point on the importance of corporate reporting requirements.
The case involved an aircraft operating lease for a Boeing 737 between Helice Leasing and PR Garuda, an Indonesian company with a UK office. When Garuda defaulted on payments, the leasing company claimed for unpaid rent. They served notice of the claim on Garuda using the address shown at Companies House, however, Garuda had ceased operations in the UK and moved to a different address. The public records had not been updated by the time notice was served, which Garuda argued made it invalid. The High Court held that the notice was valid and that the company should have ensured that arrangements were made for receiving and collecting correspondence during the period between notifying the change of address and is being recorded at Companies House. They also should have made their suppliers aware of the change.
In giving the decision the judge highlighted the need for everyone to be able to rely on the information available via Companies House.
Most businesses and public services are experiencing more delays than usual given the unexpected circumstances we find ourselves in. Processes may be slower due to home-working, reduced staff or increased sickness. The postal service is also running slower during the pandemic.
To minimise delays it is important to notify Companies House of any change within the required period of 14 days. Double-check that all information you are providing is accurate, as further errors or changes can increase the delays.
As an extra precaution it is recommended that you use a post re-direction service, even if your premises is only temporarily not in use or appoint someone to check the post regularly.
Ensure that all suppliers, contractors, customers and debtors are aware of any changes of address or commercial sites that are no longer in use – either temporarily or permanently. This can be done by a generic mailshot in the post or via email. It is also good practice to announce changes clearly on your company website and update email signatures. This is often where people will look for your details.
As your business progresses there will be various changes and updated that you will be required to report to Companies House, aside from your accounts and returns submitted by your accountant.
Common updates that businesses need to report include:
There may be many other changes that you should update companies house depending on your business and business activities.
The easiest way to make these changes is to use the online web filling service. You will need to register for this service if you have not used it before. Once you have access you will be able to make updates to company details, file annual confirmation statements and file audit exempt or dormant accounts.
Company Directors face real challenges at the moment, and they will have a number of pressing things competing for attention. This recent case acts as a reminder of how critical maintaining your director duties can be. Especially not neglecting the small tasks or failing to report changes within the given timescales.
For legal assistance with your business and your duties as a director, please contact our Company Commercial department on 01256 844888 or email email@example.com. We continue to offer guidance and legal support during the lockdown via video conference, email and phone.
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The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.
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