Business compliance: Regulators

Each business must abide by the rules set out by its regulator(s). The regulator(s) you need to be accountable to will be determined by the legal structure of your social business. Your business may also be accountable to other regulators dependant on the specific nature of your activities. Key areas to consider are set out below. 

Annual returns need to be submitted (or 'filed') with your regulator. This return provides a general snapshot of information about your business and your Board. Format, specific content and deadlines are determined by each individual regulator. 

Companies House refer to their annual return as a ‘Confirmation Statement’. There is also a requirement for companies to separately identify and register Persons with Significant Control, a list of people who own or control the business because of their proportion of voting rights or shares. 

There is also a requirement to keep your regulator informed of changes in your governance arrangements, e.g. registered office, Board members, company name etc. 

There are specific rules on the preparation of accounts, format of accounts, the need for audit and the deadline for submitting accounts to your regulator (formally referred to as the filing of accounts). There are also specific rules on the retention of records. 


A requirement to register with HMRC and meet all tax obligations by accounting (or seek exemption) for tax on your business’ activities:

  • Corporation tax on any profits or surpluses generated
  • VAT where vatable supplies exceed £85,000 in any 12-month period
  • PAYE and National Insurance on staff costs.

Company law requires that your stationery and publicity materials (including website) clearly identify your business’ identity and legal status. 

A requirement to comply with specific regulation set out for certain activities, e.g. social care registration, licenses, DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks, food safety etc.