Companies Office annual return requirements: more than you may think

Business Woman In Office

You’d be forgiven for believing you had met your Companies Office requirements when you file your annual return every year. The fact is, that updating the names and address of any shareholder or directors for your company does not fulfil all of your obligations under the law.

Records required

Amongst other things, a director of a company is required to keep certain records such as the constitution, meeting minutes and accounting records. You might be surprised to learn that you are also required to keep an “interests register”, a share register as well as details of any certificates given by directors (for example the directors would certify the solvency of a company prior to declaring a dividend).


It would be a safe bet to say that most small businesses, who manage their own Companies Office filing, do not have all of the records above. It is really important that they do. If the Companies Office views that there has been a breach of the law they have the following options: 

  • give a formal warning
  • issue an infringement notice
  • suspend or cancel the registration of a company or an individual
  • prohibit or disqualify a director from managing companies.

If the breach is considered to be serious, the Companies Office can choose to prosecute the company or directors. Sometimes the penalties are significant.

For peace of mind, we recommend getting a professional to assist you to maintain your company records. Of course, if you’d like us to help with this, please get in touch.


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