How long do I have to file my company’s first accounts?

If you are filing your company’s first accounts and those accounts cover a period of more than 12 months, you must deliver them to Companies House:

  • within 21 months of the date of incorporation for private companies
  • within 18 months of the date of incorporation for public companies
  • 3 months from the accounting reference date, whichever is longer

The deadline for delivery to Companies House is calculated to the exact day.

For example, a private company incorporated on 1 January 2011 with an accounting reference date of 31 January has until midnight on 1 October 2012 (21 months from the date of incorporation) to deliver its accounts, not 31 October.

If the first accounts cover a period of 12 months or less, the normal times allowed for delivering accounts apply

Unless you are filing your company’s first accounts, the time normally allowed for delivering accounts to Companies House is:

  • 9 months from the accounting reference date for a private company
  • 6 months from the accounting reference date for a public company
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