Is my company required to keep accounting records?

It is a legal requirement that all limited and unlimited companies, whether or not they are trading, must keep accurate and proper accounting records.

In your records you must keep:

Records about the company itself include:

  • The company’s directors, shareholders and secretaries
  • Shareholder vote results and resolutions
  • Mortgages and/or loans that are secured against the company’s assets
  • The transactional details of anybody buying company shares
  • Company debentures and whom they must be repaid to
  • Indemnities

What will a set of company accounts include?

Generally, company accounts include:

  • Profit and loss accounts (or income and expenditure accounts if the company is not trading for profit)
  • Balance sheets signed by a director
  • Auditor's reports signed by the auditor (if applicable)
  • Directors' reports signed by a director or the secretary of the company
  • Any notes to the accounts
  • Group accounts (if appropriate).

Some Limited Companies choose to hire a professional accountant to help them with their tax, however this is not compulsory. HMRC may check your records to ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.

How long does a company need to keep its accounts records?

Company records must be kept for a minimum of 6 years from the end of the last company financial year that they relate to.

It may be necessary to keep your records for longer if:

  • They contain a transaction covering more than one of the company’s accounting periods
  • The business has invested in a piece of equipment or machinery that is expected to last more than 6 years.
  • The Company Tax Return was sent late
  • HMRC are undertaking a compliance check into your Company Tax Return
< Back to FAQ's