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Restarting a Non-trading or Dormant Company

There is a set procedure for restarting a non-trading or a dormant limited company in the UK. You would need to manage Company Tax Returns, Corporation Tax, and annual accounts if you start trading again.

Make a Non-trading or Dormant Company Active

  1. The first step is to register for HMRC taxes again to notify HMRC that your business has restarted trading.
  2. You must also send accounts to Companies House within nine (9) months of your company year end.
  3. You may need to pay a Corporation Tax bill within nine (9) months and one (1) day of your company year end.
  4. Then, send a Company Tax Return to HMRC within 12 months of company year end. It must include full statutory accounts for the business.

Note: If the company has not traded before you must register it with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). As a rule, that means you would need to create a Government Gateway account as a new business.

Deadlines for accounts and returns

As a rule, you would be sending accounts to Companies House for each year that the company was dormant. So, your reporting dates would remain unchanged for annual returns and accounts.

But, the accounting period for Corporation Tax will be different. It begins when your company restarts its ‘active’ business activities. Even so, you can choose to:

  • Keep the company accounting reference date the same with Companies House.
  • Prepare statutory accounts in the normal way for the 12 months to the accounting reference date.
  • Send in the accounts to Companies House and use them to complete the Company Tax Return.

Note: Choosing this option means the Companies House accounting reference date would be the same as the end of the Corporation Tax accounting period.

An Example:
The accounting reference date of a non-trading or dormant limited company is the 30th of September. The business starts trading activities again on the 1st of May.
You would make a set of statutory accounts for the usual period, running from the 1st of October to the 30th of September.\
You would also send the accounts to Companies House, and the Company Tax Return for the period of May 1st to September 30th to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).>
Afterward, in this example, you would need to complete the accounts and a Company Tax Return from the 1st of October to the 30th of September each year.


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Making a Non-trading or Dormant Limited Company Active in United Kingdom