Director Disqualification Companies House Magistrates Claims
Under Sections 441 and 854 of the Companies Act 2006 there are statutory requirements for companies to file Annual Accounts and Annual Reports. In small companies (and sometimes in larger ones) this duty is overlooked by the company and its Directors, sometimes because the company is dormant or by reason of the cost of employing an accountant and the filing fee at Companies House.
Whilst in certain circumstances these filing responsibilities can be avoided for dormant companies by completion of certain documents, generally these documents are not completed and thus the company does not benefit from this exception.
The Registrar of Companies will almost certainly pursue Directors for such a failure seeking a director disqualification order. Whilst initially notice will be in writing, if the position is not quickly remedied (or even if it is) then criminal proceedings will be issued (usually at Cardiff Magistrates Court, where the Director will be required to attend).
The criminal penalty will usually be a fine. If this offence is repeated, the Magistrates can (and very often do) attach a director disqualification Order disqualifying the Defendant from acting as a Director for a period of between 1 and 5 years. This can have a sudden and drastic impact on that individual’s business interests and if the individual further ignores this Director Disqualification Order, s/he may then face a criminal proceedings leading to his/her imprisonment.
Early engagement with the Registrar of Companies is vitally important.
At Francis Wilks and Jones we have considerable experience of corresponding with the Registrar of Companies, negotiating withdrawals of proceedings or alternatively attending the Hearing at Cardiff Magistrates Court and making representations with a view to persuading the Court not to make a Director Disqualification Order. Indeed, one of the partners in our team, Stephen Downie lives in Cardiff making expert director disqualification representation there very easy.
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