What information is required to file an annual return for your business

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annual return

What information is required to file an annual return for your business?

An annual return is basic information about a limited company. Although getting it together might be stressful, this article will show you everything you need to send one successfully. 

Contact Details. 

The first thing the government will expect from you is your contact details. 

You were probably asked for these details when you went for your first accountant consultation. Why? So that if someone needs to get in touch, ask a question, or clarify information, they have a means of doing so. The same applies to HMRC. 

annual return

The most important part of your contact details is your registered address. This is where your company is legally based, and people send mail when they wish to contact you. 

You should also provide your SAIL (if you have one), meaning “Single Alternative Inspection Location”, where your records are kept. 

Of course, provide additional details such as phone number and email address too. 


The government will also want to know who works at the top of your company. This includes everyone on your board of directors and your company secretary. It doesn’t matter if your board of directors consists of the best accountant in London, the owner’s kid, or anyone else; you must provide their details. 

What do we mean by “details”? Their full name, date of birth, and nationality. The government wants this information to ensure everything is safe and nobody is using your business to do anything they shouldn’t be. 

Principle Business Activities

You will get a list of Standard Industrial Classification (Often shortened to SIC) codes when putting through your annual return. In layman’s terms, this is a list of many different industries. 

Select from the list to explain what your business does. What do you sell? What services do you provide? For your annual return, you need to select just one of these. 

When the government knows what industry you’re in, they know to ensure you’re following industry-specific laws and paying industry-specific taxes. 

The type of company

When we say “type”, we’re talking about stocks. If you need clarification on what your company’s stocks are, we recommend finding an account for small businesses since these accountants are usually good at helping those new to the stock market navigate the complexity. 

The government needs to know whether your stocks are private or public- i.e., can anyone buy and sell them? Or only specific people? 

They also need to see a history of your stocks and how well they have done in the past year. And in some cases, even details of your shareholders. 


How to get the information for an annual return? 

Here are some pieces to help you ensure you always have the information you need for an annual return. 

  • Always keep records of your company details. 
  • Use HR to keep on top of everything. 
  •  – Larger companies will have an HR department. 
  • – But, small businesses can hire external HR. 
  • Ask a London Accountant if you need extra help.