How do I fix a filing mistake at Companies House?

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No matter how careful a company is with its filings to Companies House, errors can sometimes creep in and end up on the public record. In this post we examine the most commonly used way to correct errors in Companies House filings: the RP04 form.

First, a quick look at the RP04 within the context of correcting filing errors.

There are four main ways to change incorrect information at Companies House:

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1.   Make a second filing using form RP04 (Second filing of a document previously delivered)

2.   Apply for rectification or removal of information using one of the other RP forms

3.   Obtain a court order to have records changed

4.   For accounts only: revise defective accounts under the Companies (Revision of Defective Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2008.

This blog post looks at:

  • The registrar’s powers to change information held at Companies House
  • What form RP04 is used for
  • What information can be second filed
  • Whether it can be done electronically or only on paper.

The Registrar’s powers

The ‘RP’ prefix on forms for making changes to the record stands for ‘Registrar’s Powers’. These powers are defined in Part 35 of the 2006 Companies Act. The registrar is authorised to make only certain specific changes to information filed at Companies House, and for specific reasons. Any requests outside these bounds will require a court order to enable the Registrar to amend the records.

Companies House accepts submissions at face value. It does little to ensure the accuracy of the company information it holds on file, barring any obvious instances like a company name and number not matching. It enforces the 2006 Companies Act and checks all submissions for compliance but has no means of verifying that the information is correct.

The onus is on the company and its officers to file accurate information, and it is in their interests to do so. This can avoid headaches later, for example if the company is sold and the buyer examines the records only to find discrepancies.

What is form RP04 used for?

Most errors in filings to Companies House can be rectified by submitting form RP04 along with a corrected version of the originally submitted form. The original filing will remain, but Companies House will flag it as having a second filing that is the correct version. The previous document must have been properly delivered and accepted by Companies House before a second filing can be made.

Form RP04 can be used for forms accepted by Companies House on or after 1 October 2009, when the 2006 Companies Act came into force. For correcting forms filed before this date, i.e. under the 1985 Act, see correcting historic records below.

The previous document must have been properly delivered and accepted by Companies House before a second filing can be made.

How a second filing appears on a company's records at Companies House
Second filing RP04 company records

How the original filing appears after it has been second filed
Original second filing RP04

Second filing via electronic means

Most amendments to a company’s records at Companies House are made on paper. Only a few second filings can be made by submitting an RP04 via electronic means, and these were only permitted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.

For private limited companies, forms that can be second filed electronically are:

  • CS01 Confirmation statement (share capital and shareholders’ details only)
  • SH01 Return of allotment of shares
  • AP01 Appointment of director

These can also be second filed on paper with an RP04.

Companies House does not permit third party software to make second filings. They must be submitted via Companies House’s own web front-end (WebFiling). We have published a guide to using Companies House’s WebFiling service to achieve this. It can be found here: Guide to second filing via WebFiling.

WebFiling does not currently support online second filing for LLPs (Limited Liability Partnerships). The LL RP04 form must always be submitted on paper.

For correcting share capital or shareholders register errors, you can file a new confirmation statement (CS01) online as normal, which will quickly fix the error by superseding the old confirmation statement. However, we advise companies to second file the confirmation statement to clear up any discrepancies and leave a clean audit trail. Many companies do not bother with this and just do the quick fix, but they might have trouble explaining discrepancies if their historic accounts are later examined.

Most amendments to a company’s records at Companies House are made on paper.

Second filing on paper

When submitting a second filing on paper, the RP04 must be completed and attached to the corrected version of the previously filed form. An RP04 form (PDF) is available to download from our site here: download RP04 form.

  • AP01 Appointment of director
  • AP02 Appointment of corporate director
  • AP03 Appointment of secretary
  • AP04 Appointment of corporate secretary
  • CH01 Change of director’s details
  • CH02 Change of corporate director’s details
  • CH03 Change of secretary’s details
  • CH04 Change of corporate secretary’s details
  • CS01 Confirmation statement (share capital and shareholders’ details only)
  • TM01 Termination of appointment of director
  • TM02 Termination of appointment of secretary
  • PSC01 Notice of individual person with significant control (PSC)
  • PSC02 Notice of relevant legal entity (RLE) with significant control
  • PSC03 Notice of other registrable person (ORP) with significant control
  • PSC04 Change of details of individual person with significant control (PSC)
  • PSC05 Change of details of relevant legal entity (RLE) with significant control
  • PSC06 Change of details of other registrable person (ORP) with significant
  • control
  • PSC07 Notice of ceasing to be a person with significant control (PSC)
  • relevant legal entity (RLE), or other registrable person (ORP)
  • PSC08 Notification of PSC statements
  • PSC09 Update to PSC statements

The above applies to companies limited by shares. LLPs (Limited Liability Partnerships) can second file using form LL RP04. It can be used to file the LLP versions of the above forms, i.e. LL AP01, LL PSC01, etc.

Share class changes, share consolidations, redenominations and other share operations are fertile ground for errors, and it is sometimes necessary to make corrections. Share forms SH02 to SH19 can be amended on paper but there is no dedicated form for this. Instead, the corrected share form needs to be marked with ‘Amended’ at the top in pencil and submitted by post along with a covering letter which:

  • Makes it clear that this is a second filing
  • Includes the reference number for the barcode on the original form
  • Includes a statement explaining the reason(s) for the second filing.
Second filing RP04 companies house

Correcting a company officer’s date of birth

A common issue is an incorrect date of birth for a director, PSC or LLP partner. The correct forms and processes to use vary according to the role of the individual and the point at which the erroneous filing was made. Please see our blog post about this specific issue here: How to correct a date of birth at Companies House.

Correcting historic records

Companies House introduced new forms from 01/10/2009. The RP04 only applies for filings on the new style form; prior to that forms which are now archived were used. They are available to download as PDF documents from the government web archive here. They can also be corrected but rather than an RP04 they should be posted with the original date and the word ‘Amended’ written at the top. It would be advisable for a covering letter to be sent with them containing details of what is changing and the address to return the documents to in the event of any errors.

Some errors also date back to the annual return, which was superseded by the confirmation statement in 2016. The annual return contained officer, shareholder and share total information each year so is slightly more likely to contain errors. That would require a paper-based filing with a correct AR01 (also available from the government web archive) together with an RP04 form, also on paper.

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