Companies to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts

Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

From today (25 March 2020), businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts.

This joint initiative between the government and Companies House will mean businesses can prioritise managing the impact of Coronavirus.

There are approximately 4.3 million businesses on the Companies House register, and all companies must submit their accounts and reports each year. Under normal circumstances, companies that file accounts late are issued with an automatic penalty.

As part of the agreed measures, while companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete.


  • The application process is quick and easy. Companies should simply cite COVID-19 or Health matters as the grounds for their application
  • Companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting reference period may be ineligible for an extension
  • This policy will be kept under review and amended as necessary in light of the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic

Full guidance on how to apply