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Companies House fees increasing from 1 May 2024

23 April 2024

In this article, we look at the reasoning behind the fee increases and what they mean for charitable companies and social enterprises.

Companies House fees are set to increase significantly from 1 May 2024. These changes will affect companies limited by guarantee and companies limited by shares, including charitable companies and community interest companies (“CICs”).

The significant jump in fees is a big change to the ongoing compliance costs payable by charitable companies and social enterprises using governance structures with Companies House as the registrar.

Why is Companies House increasing its fees?

Companies House has been asked to obtain more information and undertake wider checks to help tackle fraud as a result of new legislation in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023. Changes are being introduced to Companies House processes to comply with this new responsibility.

Companies House sets its fees on a “cost-recovery basis” (i.e. the fee is calculated on the basis of the costs of providing the service) and the increased fees are as a consequence of this widened remit for Companies House.

Key Fee Changes

The most notable fee changes that will impact charitable companies and social enterprises are:

• filing of annual Confirmation Statements online - £34 (currently £13)

• incorporating a new company online - £50 (currently £12)

• filing a company name change online - £20 (currently £8)

• Applying for a voluntary company strike-off online - £33 (currently £8)

In addition, the fee for incorporating a Community Interest Company (“CIC”) online will increase to £65 (currently £27).

Fees are higher still when making paper filings.

The full list of new charges for transactions can be found here.

Companies House fees have often been seen as a nominal cost of running a charitable company or social enterprise, but charities and social enterprises are already factoring in Companies House fees when deciding on appropriate structures for their entity. For example, the charity-only Charitable Incorporated Organisation (“CIO”), for which the Charity Commission acts as registrar, has no annual fees for filings, whilst the Financial Conduct Authority’s fees for community benefit societies, which are higher than current Companies House fees, may be more comparable to Companies House fees going forward.

It is unlikely that fees alone, at their current level, will encourage companies to convert to alternative structures, but it is important to consider all available structures and their ongoing compliance costs when deciding upon the most appropriate structure for a charity or social enterprise.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact Nick Dunn or any member of our Charities and Social Economy team on 0113 244 6100.

You can also keep up to date by following Wrigleys Charities and Social Economy team on X.

The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature.  The law stated is correct at the date (stated above) this article was first posted to our website. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors.

 

 
 

 

 
 
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Nick Dunn

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