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Blueprint Electronic Filing
Blueprint Electronic Filing enables users to electronically file forms with Companies House.
Filing even a large number of forms electronically will only take a matter of minutes and filing electronically is a low cost process, especially as Companies House do not charge any start-up or subscription costs. The E-mail connection to Companies House is also a private connection so you can file forms electronically twenty-four hours a day! Electronic Filing is a totally secure way for you to file your forms using the authentication code system for Companies and Directors.
Blueprint 2000 takes away the burden of manually checking forms, so your staff will be free to perform more valuable tasks, thus, saving time.
To ensure a secure system, certain PIN's (Personal Identification Number's) and passwords are required to submit forms for a company. Firstly, a person wishing to file electronically must register as a "presenter" of forms. Companies House will allocate an ID and PIN for that presenter. Secondly, the presenter must submit to Companies House a list of companies, for which filings are to be made electronically. Each of these companies must be allocated a PIN. This PIN can, however, be the same for some or all companies managed by the presenter. These steps will allow the filing of forms AD01, AP01, TM01, CH01 & AR01.
PINS Instead of Signatures
On appointment, Directors must confirm their "Consent to Act". As an equivalent to a paper signature, Companies House has requested that three pieces of personal information be supplied electronically for appointments. The first three characters or digits of each piece of information is then used to create a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for that individual. This number will then be used to sign documentation instead of an actual signature.
Documents filed electronically are automatically validated for compliance with the Companies Act prior to confirmation of acceptance or rejection being sent.
The service provided by Companies House is driven by the electronic transmission of documents to Companies House via the Email. These documents must conform to the structure, which is documented in the Electronic Filing Technical Interface Specification, supplied by Companies House and available on their website. Up to 50 individual documents can be sent in any single transmission. To apply to Companies House to join the scheme you will need to complete the Companies House Electronic Filing Service Credit Account Application form. This form can be obtained directly from Companies House, from the Companies House website www.companieshouse.gov.uk or from within our website under the Products section for Blueprint Electronic Filing.
What is Electronic Filing?
Currently forms 363a, 287, 288a, 288b and 288c can be filed electronically. These forms were chosen since they represent the largest volume of forms received by Companies House.
The electronic filing takes the form of electronic “data” being sent to Companies House (CH). The electronic data is then used to update the Companies House database. To facilitate searches through the Companies House Direct service, the Companies House system automatically creates a "fake" image of a form. This form is similar in format to a traditional paper-submitted form.
The electronic data is sent to Companies House as an e-mail message. This message is sent either via the Companies House Direct extranet service using a PC with a modem, or more recently through the Internet, bypassing the extranet, using an existing corporate Internet-connected e-mail system.
Responses to filed forms (acceptance or rejection notices) are returned either to a mailbox held and maintained by Companies House, or sent to any other nominated e-mail address.
To ensure a relatively secure system, certain PINs and passwords are required to submit forms for a company. Firstly, a body wishing to file electronically must register as a “presenter” of forms. Companies House will allocate an ID and PIN for that presenter. Secondly, the presenter must submit to Companies House a list of companies, for which filings are to be made electronically. Each of these companies must be allocated a PIN. This PIN can, however, be the same for some or all companies managed by the presenter. These steps will allow the filing of forms 363a, 288b, 288c, and 287.
The filing of form 288a is a special case, since the form, and the statutory regulations, require a consent “signature” from the director or company secretary being appointed. Given that Companies House does not check the signature of paper-filed forms for validity, the electronic version of this signature is not intended as guaranteed proof of consent. The signature is composed of three elements of personal data supplied by the appointee to the presenter.
How do I Register as an Electronic Filer?
If you wish to register, please complete the enclosed Electronic Filing Service account application and post to Companies House. On receipt, Companies House will create an account, allocate a credit limit and despatch a start up pack with all the information you need to get started.