What is an annual returns or Confirmation Statement Document?
All limited companies in the UK must be registered or incorporated with the UK Companies House before they can operate and start trading. Every year, these companies are required to submit an annual returns and a confirmation statement form, AR01, to the Companies House. However, contrary to its name, the document have no relations with a company’s accounts or Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
The annual returns or confirmation statement document provides an overview of the specific company’s details, to be displayed on public record (the Companies Register). This includes the company’s name, registered address (headquarters), details of the company’s shareholders, directors and secretaries, details of the company secretary (if appointed) and the SAIL address. SAIL stands for “Single Alternative Inspection Location,” which means that if the company’s records are not housed at the registered headquarters, the details of the alternate location where they are stored has to be provided. If the company has issued shares for trading, details of those, along with that of the shareholders, must also be provided in a “Statement of Capital.”
The annual returns or confirmation statement document has to be filed on a yearly basis, usually on the date of incorporation of the company. However, if there is any change, with regard to company ownership and management, this document can be filed with the Companies House any time of the year. Please note that from June 2016 onwards, the annual returns document has been replaced by the “confirmation statement” document.
Legalisation of the annual returns or confirmation statement document is an important process, when the document has to be used in jurisdictions outside the UK. The annual returns document, issued by the UK Companies House, certifies that the company is legally registered with the regulatory body and all the company details are up-to-date in the UK public register. This can be a necessary piece of information, required in international business transactions, legal proceedings, IPOs in foreign stock exchanges and other necessary documents. The process of legalisation imparts legal status to the annual returns document, in order for it to become acceptable for the concerned authorities outside the UK.
In this process, the apostille certification of the annual returns document by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is the first step. However, the FCO will issue an apostille certificate on the original document, only if it carries the signature of an official of the UK Companies House. In the absence of this signature, the document has to undergo verification, attestation and ratification by a notary public or solicitor in the UK. Similarly, any copies of the annual returns document also need to be notarised before the FCO issues an apostille.
It is to be noted that in case the country where the document is intended for use is not a member of the 1961 Hague Apostille Convention, the annual returns document will need further legalisation by the Embassy of the respective country, situated in the UK.
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The annual returns or confirmation statement document document issued by the UK Companies House can be a vital document if you would like to engage in international business transactions, legal deals, court proceedings or open branches of your company on foreign shores. In such matters, the local authorities of that jurisdiction would demand the annual returns document to be legalised, along with all other UK Companies House documents.
The annual returns or confirmation statement document legalisation must take place through the FCO, which will attach the UK apostille stamp on the original. Prior to that, the document will have to be notarised by a UK solicitor or notary public. Further, embassy legalisation will be needed for countries that are not signatory members of the 1961 Hague Apostille Convention.
The consultants at Legalisations.org.uk have years of experience in document legalisation at the concerned offices. They will also check whether the documents are in the correct formats to be accepted by the FCO, or the respective consulate missions in London, UK. Trust us to handle all your official documents safely and discreetly, and return to you at the earliest. Our agency is known for the rapid turnaround times.
For our services, we charge a fee of £50.00 + VAT, where you can get your documents legalised within the same day. We will return your documents through courier at your provided address, if you would like us to. A postage fee will also be applicable.
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Frequently Asked Questions
For the apostille certification, you will need to first approach the FCO with your annual returns or confirmation statement document document. Prior to that, you might require certification and signature of a notary public or solicitor in the UK. Legalisations.org.uk can take care of the entire process of annual returns document legalisation on your behalf, right from checking the document for the correct format, to obtaining appointments with the concerned authorities and finally returning the documents safely to you. We complete the process in the following manner:
Step 1: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 0845 224 9482 for your queries and requirements regarding annual returns document legalisation. Our team will advise you accordingly, regarding the further steps.
Step 2: You can send us the required documents, either through courier or by personally visiting our office.
Step 3: We will take your company’s annual returns or confirmation statement document to an accredited notary public or solicitor in the UK for certification, if required.
Step 4: The notarised annual returns or confirmation statement document document will be submitted to the FCO for the apostille stamp.
Step 5: The document will be safely returned to you. We will courier you the document or you can personally pick it up from our office.
Legalisations.ork.uk is known for its reliable, efficient and fast services. We can get your annual returns document ready for international purposes in the shortest time possible.
For apostille certification, the FCO office charges a fee of £75.00 per document. Legalisations.org.uk further charges a service fee, based on the package you choose. For the standard package, we charge a service fee of £105.00 + VAT, and for the express package the service fee is £135.00 + VAT.
Our service charges are inclusive of the services provided by our in-house solicitor, who will notarise the documents before submission to the FCO. A postage delivery fee will also be applicable.
Legalisations.org.uk strives to provide the most competitive rates in the market for document legalisation.
You can visit our office personally and drop off the documents or send them through courier or Royal Mail special delivery. We will use the same means to return the documents to you safely.
If you are not a UK resident, you can send your annual returns document for legalisation through UPS or DHL international delivery.
You can send your documents to be legalised in the UK from anywhere in the world. Send your annual returns or confirmation statement documents for legalisation through DHL or UPS delivery services. Please remember to email us a photocopy of the original document beforehand, in order for us to verify them and ensure you have sent the correct documents. This prevents any confusion and saves time.
We would recommend you to check whether your document requires embassy legalisation as well. If the country where you would like to use the document is not a member of the 1961 Hague Apostille Convention, the document will have to be further taken to the consulate of that country in London, UK, for further verification and attestation.
If your document bears the signature and stamp of an official of the UK Companies House in the original, it might not require notarisation. However, this has to be checked with the FCO office. Notarial certification by a UK notary public or solicitor is required in most cases, prior to the FCO apostille certification.
Your annual returns or confirmation statement documents will need an apostille certification from the FCO office. Please note that in case the destination country is not a member of the 1961 Hague Apostille Convention, the document will have to be further legalised by the respective embassy in London, to be accepted as a legal document. This has to be completed after the FCO apostille certification.
The above image is a representation of the UK apostille certificate, which is accepted in all member nations of the 1961 Hague Apostille Convention, without the need for further consular legalisation. This is a 15cm2 certificate that is attached to a document, and then embossed with a red seal, which is the apostille stamp representing the UK government crest. This is attached on the reverse of the original document.
The UK apostille certificate will usually contain 10 sections:
- Country: The United Kingdom, which is the issuing nation
- Has been signed by: Solicitor or UK FCO official
- Acting in the capacity of: The official’s capacity as an authorised signatory
- Bears the seal/stamp of: Can be blank
- At: London, the place of issuance
- The: date of issue
- By: Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
- Number: The number of apostille registration
- Seal/stamp: The apostille red embossing seal is attached here.
- Signature: The issuing officer will put their signature here
This process of certification can be witnessed by a UK solicitor. Remember that this seal is permanently glued to the document. It is not an ink stamp, but an embossed stamp, placed through an embossing machine.