The joint initiative between the UK government and Companies House will mean that around 4.3 million businesses are able to delay the submission of their annual financial reports without incurring a late fee.
Under the agreed terms, companies will still have to apply through a fast-tracked online system for the three-month extension to be granted. However, those citing issues around Covid-19 will be automatically and immediately granted the extra time penalty-free.
The agreement builds on an initial two-month extension which Companies House made available last week.
The government is also consulting with representative bodies and legal practitioners to determine the impact the virus outbreak may have on companies’ ability to hold annual general meetings.
Companies House boss Louise Smyth said: “By easing the burden, we can help businesses through this period and enable them to thrive in the future. I would encourage companies who believe they would benefit from this new flexibility to make an application in good time.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma added: “We have outlined a business support package on an unprecedented scale. But it is important that our support is not limited to financial assistance.”