I have compiled a short guide relevant to anyone thinking of forming an LLP or existing members of an LLP. It will give you a good idea of your responsibilities and explain the filing requirements at Companies House during the life of your LLP.
1. Members and designated members
An LLP has to have a minimum of 2 designated members in the form of individuals or corporate members.
Any changes must be submitted to Companies House within a 14 day period using the following forms
· Appointment of an individual member LL - AP01
· Appointment of a corporate member LL – AP02
· Change of individual member’s details LL – CH01
· Change of corporate member’s details LL – CH02
· Termination of appointment of member LL - TM01
2. Registered Office and Service address
The LLP’s registered office address is used by Companies House for communication purposes and does not have to be the same as your service address. This address can be used by a member to receive communications from third parties about the partnership. The residential address can be used for both the registered office and service address, this will however make it appear on the public record.
You can change your registered office online via WebFiling or by sending form LL AD01 to Companies House.
3. Annual Return
An LLP’s designated member must deliver an annual return to Companies House within 28 days of its made-up date. If you do not deliver an annual return the registrar may assume that your LLP is no longer in business and take steps to strike it off the register.
Companies House currently charges a £13 online filing fee for online WebFiling and £40 for paper documents, payable at time of filing.
An annual return is a snapshot of information at the made-up date.
· Name of the LLP
· Its registered number
· The date of which the annual return is made up
· The registered office address
· The SAIL address ( the place where the LLP keeps its records)
· Details of all members (corporate and individuals)
The made-up date can be changed to an earlier date but not later. An annual return can also be filed by paper using form LL AR01. (Be sure to use the newest version)
4. Accounting reference dates
A financial period is usually a 12 month period for which you prepare accounts. The accounting reference date is the last day in the month in which the LLP’s first anniversary falls. For example, an LLP was incorporated on 1 October 2013 will have its first accounting reference date as 31 October 2014 and 31 October for every year thereafter.
The accounting reference date can be changed to extend or shorten the accounting period immediately after the previous period has ended. You may shorten the period as many times as you like but there are restrictions on extending a period:
· You may not extend a period so it lasts more than 18 month You may not extend more than once in a 5 year period unless the LLP is in administration or the Secretary of State has directed that this can happen
· You can also not extend the period once the accounts are overdue
5. Accounts preparation
There are 3 types of LLP's: small, medium and large.
A small LLP must have an annual turnover below £6.5 million and must not have more than 50 employees. I will concentrate on small LLP's only below.
The members of a small LLP are responsible for the preparation of annual accounts. Small LLP's can prepare much simpler, less detailed accounts than those required from medium and large LLP's. They are entitled to deliver abbreviated accounts even though that does not affect the LLP's obligation to prepare full accounts for its members.
Small LLP's do not have to deliver a copy of the profit and loss account to Companies House.
The accounts must be send to every member of the LLP and they must be send to Companies House in paper form.
Please note: Companies House will not accept a typewritten name as a signature
You can check the date Companies House expects your accounts to be delivered by using the WebCheck Service on their website.
The normal time allowed for delivering accounts to Companies House is 9 month from the accounting reference date.
Note that when the LLP has shortened its accounting period then the new filing deadline will automatically be the longer on the 2 options:
1. 9 month from the new accounting reference date
2. 3 month from the date of receipt of form LL AA01 (change of reference date)
Failure to deliver the accounts in time will incur penalties for late filing of the accounts.
Please be aware that the accounts can NOT be delivered online and adequate time has to be given when sending the accounts to Companies House with regards to the filing deadline.
If your accounts do not meet the requirements of Companies House then they will be returned to you for correction. It is therefore necessary to make sure you file them well before the deadline.
One of the reasons your accounts could be rejected is for printing them on glossy paper with pictures. Companies House will only accept them black on white with a matt finish.
A typed unbound version of a printer’s proof is ideal providing it has the necessary signature.