Is my company Dormant?
In any given period, a company is dormant if it does not carry out any accounting transactions, disregarding the following:
- payments for shares issued on formation of the company;
- fee paid to Companies House to change the company's name;
- fee paid to Companies House on re-registration of the company;
- fee paid to Companies House on filing an annual return; and
- payment of a civil penalty for late filing of accounts.
Dormant companies can file dormant company accounts with Companies House.
If a company commences trading or carries out any transaction (other than those listed above) then it will cease to be dormant and normal company accounts will have to be filed.
What is the difference between normal accounts and dormant company accounts?
Dormant company accounts consist of an abbreviated balance sheet and notes. These accounts contain far less information than a normal set of company accounts.
Do dormant company accounts have to be audited?
The following dormant companies do not have to have their accounts audited:
- a company which has been dormant since incorporation;
- a company which is dormant for the accounting period for which accounts are prepared provided that it is a small company (see 'Accounts' guidance);
- a company which is dormant for the accounting period for which accounts are prepared that is not a small company solely because it is a PLC.
Dormant companies that are members of a group of companies may be required to prepare a full set of accounts even if they are dormant. It depends on the nature and size of the other companies in the group.
As with normal company accounts the shareholders can demand that dormant company accounts are audited (see 'Accounts' guidance).
Standard Form Dormant Company Accounts
You can obtain a standard form for Dormant Company Accounts from Companies House. The standard form is known as Form DCA.
You can use this standard form if:
- the company has not traded since its incorporation; and
- it is not a subsidiary company.
You cannot use this standard form DCA if your company has become dormant after a period of activity.
What if I don't file dormant company accounts?
The penalties and offences are the same as those for failure to file normal company accounts (see 'Accounts' guidance).
When do I have to file Dormant Company Accounts?
The time limits are the same as for active companies (see 'Accounts' guidance).