Companies House suspends strike-offs amid Covid-19 crisis

Companies House has announced it has temporarily paused its strike off process to prevent companies being dissolved amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government announced changes to Companies House enforcement last week (16 April), which gives businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak the time they need to update their records and help them avoid being struck off the register.

In addition, companies issued with a late filing penalty due to Covid-19 will have appeals “treated sympathetically”, according to the organisation.

The announcement builds on measures already implemented by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, which give businesses the ability to apply for a three-month extension to file accounts with Companies House.

As part of the agreed measures, while companies will still have to apply for the three-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around Covid-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension.

Sharma has stated that the government will continue to monitor what companies are filing and will provide further extensions if needed.

He also announced that the government will introduce legislation to ensure those companies required by law to hold Annual General Meetings (AGMs) will be able to do so safely, consistent with the restrictions on movement and gatherings introduced to address the spread of coronavirus.

Companies will also temporarily be extended greater flexibilities, including holding AGMs online or postponing the meetings.

Martin Swain, director of strategy, policy and communications at Companies House said: “We know that many businesses are finding it difficult to keep up with their filing requirements at the moment. We’re committed to helping them meet their legal responsibilities while keeping the register as up to date as possible.

“We will continue to contact customers to remind them of their responsibilities, and we encourage all companies to file their statutory documents as soon as they’re able to do so.”

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