Reopening a dormant company

Restarting a non-trading or dormant company

You must tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if your non-trading or dormant limited company starts trading again. You’ll also need to put together statutory accounts and Company Tax Returns after your company’s year-end.

You must register your company with HMRC if it hasn’t traded before.

  1. Tell HMRC that your business has restarted trading by registering for Corporation Tax
  2. Send accounts to Companies House within 9 months of your company’s year-end.
  3. Pay any Corporation Tax due within 9 months and 1 day of your company’s year-end.
  4. Send a Company Tax Return- including full statutory accounts – to HMRC within 12 months of your company’s year-end.

Deadlines for accounts and returns

You should have been sending accounts to Companies House each year while your company was dormant – so your reporting dates stay the same for annual returns and accounts.

Your Corporation Tax accounting period is different. It begins when your company restarts business activities.

You can:

  • keep your company’s accounting reference date the same with Companies House
  • prepare statutory accounts as usual for the 12 months up until your accounting reference date
  • send your accounts to Companies House and use them to complete your Company Tax Return

Your Companies House accounting reference date and the end of your Corporation Tax accounting period will be the same if you do this.


Your non-trading or dormant company’s accounting reference date is 30 September. You start business activities again on 1 May.

You make a set of statutory accounts for the usual period, from 1 October to 30 September.

You send your accounts to Companies House, and your Company Tax Return for the period 1 May to 30 September to HMRC.

After this, you’ll need to complete accounts and and a Company Tax Return from 1 October to 30 September each year.


What we can do

 At Sutton McGrath Hartley we can notify HMRC that the company has begun trading again for you, either with our engagement process for new clients, or once you notify us if you are already a client.

We will also ensure that all deadlines are met for the submission of your company tax return. To notify Companies House that the company has begun to trade again, we only need to file trading statutory accounts for the period since the last dormant accounts year end.

You may also need to consider areas such as VAT status, payroll and pensions, changes to your confirmation statement, and tax planning. We would be happy to advice in any areas necessary.

If you would like more advice on re-starting your company’s trade please contact us on 01142664432 or email us at

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