FID Trust International

LLPs have to keep accounting records which enable the members to prepare accounts that comply with the requirements of the legislation.

Accounting records must in particular contain:

  1. entries showing all money received and expended by the LLP,
  2. a record of the assets and liabilities.

Also, where the LLP’s business involves dealing in goods the records must contain:

  1. statements of stock held by the LLP at the end of each financial year,
  2. all statements of stock takings from which you have taken or prepared any statements of stock,
  3. a statement of all goods sold and purchased, other than by ordinary retail trade. This should list the goods, the buyers and sellers.

A parent LLP must take reasonable steps to ensure that any subsidiary undertaking keeps sufficient accounting records so that the members of the parent LLP are able to prepare accounts that comply with the requirements of the Companies Act, including where the accounts are prepared using International Accounting Standards (IAS).

An LLP must keep its accounting records at its registered office address or a place that the members think suitable. The records must be open to inspection by the LLP members at all times.

If the LLP holds the records at a place outside of the UK, it must send accounts and returns with details of the business dealt with in the accounting records at least every six months and keep them in the UK. Those accounts and returns must disclose the financial position and enable the members to prepare accounts that comply with the requirements of the Companies Act, including where accounts are prepared using International Accounting Standards (IAS).

An LLP must keep its accounting records for 3 years from the date they were made.

The members of every LLP must prepare accounts for each of its financial years. These are individual accounts. A parent LLP must also prepare group accounts (but for parent LLPs defined as small this is optional).

A dormant subsidiary may be able to claim exemption from the preparation or filing of its accounts under certain circumstances.

Generally, accounts must include:

  1. a profit and loss account,
  2. a balance sheet signed by a designated member on behalf of the board and the printed name of that member,
  3. notes to the accounts,
  4. group accounts (if appropriate).
  5. And accounts must be accompanied by an auditor’s report stating the name of the auditor and signed and dated by him (unless the LLP is exempt from audit).

An LLP’s first accounts cover the period starting on the date of incorporation, not the first day of trading. They end on the accounting reference date or up to 7 days either side of that date.

Subsequent accounts start on the day after the previous accounts ended and finish on the accounting reference date, or up to 7 days either side of it.

For example, if a LLP is incorporated on the 6 April 2009 the accounts must cover the entire period of 6 April 2009 – 30 April 2010. Subsequent periods will start on 1 May each year and end on 30 April the following year.

Every LLP must send a copy of its annual accounts and auditor’s report (where applicable) for each financial year to:

  1. every member of the LLP,
  2. every holder of the LLP's debentures,
  3. to Companies House.

This will not apply to certain dormant subsidiaries that are exempt from preparing accounts.

Members may agree internally that an LLP may send or supply documents, including accounts, by publishing them on their website.

The LLP members must approve the accounts and have them signed on their behalf by a designated member who must also print their name. The printed name and signature must be on the balance sheet, and any statement about the accounts being prepared under the small LLPs regime must appear above these.

If the LLP has to attach an auditor’s report to the accounts, the report must include the auditor’s signature and their name must be printed.

Where the auditor is a firm, the auditor’s report must state the name of the auditor and the name of the person who signed it as senior statutory auditor on behalf of the firm.

There is no requirement for LLPs to use a professional accountant to prepare their accounts. However, members should be aware of their legal responsibilities regarding accounts and if they are uncertain about the requirements they may consider seeking professional advice.

The designated members (who are responsible for filing accounts at Companies House) can simply submit a copy of the accounts that have already been prepared for the members. However small and medium-sized LLPs may submit an abbreviated version of those accounts which has less detail by combining certain items. Qualifying dormant LLPs can deliver even simpler annual accounts to Companies House.

All LLPs must deliver accounts to Companies House. A dormant subsidiary may be able to claim exemption from the preparation or filing of its accounts under certain circumstances.

The accounts submitted to Companies House are in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 as applied to LLPs. You must still file with other regulatory bodies according to their requirements and filing deadlines.

If you are filing the LLP’s first accounts and those accounts cover a period of more than 12 months, you must deliver them to Companies House:

  1. within 21 months of the date of incorporation,
  2. 3 months from the accounting reference date, whichever is longer.

The deadline for delivery to Companies House is calculated to the exact day. For example, an LLP incorporated on 1 January 2011 with an accounting reference date of 31 January has until midnight on 1 October 2012 (21 months from the date of incorporation) to deliver its accounts, not 31 October.

You can check the date Companies House expects your accounts to be delivered by using the WebCHeck service on Companies House website.

If the first accounts cover a period of 12 months or less, the normal time allowed for delivering accounts applies.

Unless you are filing the LLP’s first accounts the time normally allowed for delivering accounts to Companies House is 9 months from the accounting reference date. This also applies to accounts prepared in accordance with the Companies Act 1985 or the Northern Ireland Order 1986 as applied to LLPs for the accounting periods starting on or after 6 April 2008.

Failure to deliver accounts on time is a criminal offence. In addition, the law imposes a civil penalty for late filing of accounts on the LLP. The amount depends on how late the accounts arrive. More information is in our guide on Limited Liability Partnerships Late Filing Penalties.

If your accounts do not meet our requirements we will return them to you for correction. It is crucial that you get your accounts to us well before the filing deadline as you will not be given any extra time if they are rejected.

If the Registrar believes that an LLP is no longer carrying on business or in operation, he could strike it off the register and dissolve it. In this event, all the assets of the LLP, including its bank account and property, generally become the property of the Crown.

Failure to deliver documents on time is a criminal offence. The designated members of the LLP risk prosecution. On conviction, a designated member could end up with a criminal record and a potentially unlimited fine for each offence. This is separate from the civil penalty imposed on the LLP for late filing of accounts.

FID Trust International can serve your Limited Liability Partnership. Our bookkeepers and accountants will manage your accounts and in time will deliver all nessesary documentation to all parties. To order bookkeeping and accounting service from us Please contact us by telephone 0207 439 3400 (0044 207 439 3400 – International) or E-mail.