⚡ Flash Sale 20% Discount for New Clients, use code "QUICK20" at Checkout! ⚡
Call our team
+44 (0) 207 566 3939

Blog

Useful advise, tips and business news.

Blog

Useful advice, tips and business news.

Jul 30, 2020
Apr 10, 2024

read

Companies House Company Registration Number (CRN) Explained

Key insights on Company Registration Number (CRN) and how Companies House uses it to trace company information of incorporated businesses in the UK.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • A company registration number is a unique alphanumeric code provided by Companies House upon registration for used to identify businesses incorporated in the UK.
  • It is also called the ‘Company Number,’ especially on the certificate of incorporation or ‘Companies House Registration Number.
  • Sole traders and general partnerships, not registered at Companies House, do not have a CRN. However, limited companies, including LTDs, limited liability partnerships (LLPs), and limited partnerships (LPs), have one.
  • A company registration number remains the same for the entire lifetime of the company.

What Is a Company Registration Number (CRN)

A company registration number comprises 8 numbers or 2 letters followed by 6 digits. It is issued by Companies House to identify limited companies in the UK. 

Sometimes, it may also be referred to as a company number, Companies House number, incorporation number, or business registration number. 

What Is the Format of a Company Registration Number

A CRN can take several forms depending on the jurisdiction of your company formation or the type of company you incorporate. See the table below for details.

Jurisdiction of incorporation

Company Type

Description

Example

England and Wales

Limited Company

An eight - digits that start with 0 or 1

01234567

LLP

Alphanumeric comprises a two-letter “OC” prefix followed by six numbers.

OC121212

LP

Alphanumeric comprises a two-letter “LP” prefix followed by six numbers.

LP222222

Northern Ireland

Older (pre-partition) companies

Alphanumeric comprises a two-letter “NI” prefix followed by six numbers

NI1212121

Limited company (post-partition)

Alphanumeric comprises a two-letter “OR” prefix followed by six numbers.

R0333333

LLP

Alphanumeric comprises a two-letter “NC” prefix followed by six numbers.

*NC123456

LP

Alphanumeric comprises a two-letter “NL” prefix followed by six numbers.

NL444444

Scotland

Limited Company

Alphanumeric comprises a two-letter “SC” prefix followed by six numbers.

SC555555

LLP

Alphanumeric comprises a two-letter “SO” prefix followed by six numbers.

SO888888

LP

Alphanumeric comprises a two-letter “SL” prefix followed by six numbers.

SL111111

Table notes: *While the Northern Ireland Limited Liability Partnerships prefix is NILLP, when a user signs into webfiling, only the prefix NC, not NILLP, is required and displayed. Some older Northern Irish companies have CRNs with the letter ‘R’ followed by 7 digits, but these numbers are no longer issued.

How to Find Your Company Registration Number?

One of the main places to find the number is on your incorporation certificate from Companies House.

Other places you can locate your CRN number include —

  • Official correspondence with Companies House or HMRC.
  • Visit Companies House - GOV.UK register and search for a company by name, the result will show the CRN.
  • If you’ve changed your company name recently, you can locate the CRN in the change of company name certificate.
  • Review emails or correspondence from your company formation agent or accountant. They may regularly cite your incorporation number in their communication.
company-incorporation-certificate

Insight

Your company’s Certificate of Incorporation, along with any statutory mail sent by Companies House, will display your company registration number. The company registration number is usually printed alongside or beneath headings such as “Company number.”

To find your company registration number in the public register run a Companies House search free of charge by following the steps below.

  1. Go to https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/
  2. Enter the name of your company in the search box
  3. Click the “SEARCH” button
  4. You’ll see your company number just below the company name.

Your CRN Is Different From Other Numbers

Your Company Registration Number (CRN) serves as a unique identifier for your company within government records. However, it's crucial to distinguish it from other numbers used by various agencies. Below is a breakdown to clarify.

🛈 Info

  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) Number, a 10-digit identifier (e.g. 0123456789), also known as a 'tax number' or 'tax reference,' is issued by HMRC for tax purposes.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) Number, an alphanumeric with the prefix “GB,” followed by nine numbers (e.g., GB123456789), is issued by HMRC for VAT registration.
  • Employer Registration Number (ERN), an alphanumeric number consists of a three-digit number followed by a forward slash and a mix of letters and numbers (e.g. 123/AB456). It's issued by HMRC when an employer registers for Pay As You Earn (PAYE).
  • Company Authentication Code, a six-digit alphanumeric code issued by Companies House to limited companies. It serves as an electronic signature during digital filings.
  • Companies House Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, assigned by Companies House, categorizes a company's primary business activity.

How Companies House Uses Your CRN for Webfiling

Companies House requires that you provide your CRN WebFiling to enable them to identify and distinguish your company from the other registered entities. 

The unique number ensures that any filings or submissions you make through WebFiling are associated with the correct company record in the database.

Read also: How to File Company Information Online Using the Companies House Webfiling Service.

At What Point Will You Need a Company Registration Number? 

CRNs are required for any activity that requires signing in to the online filing system and make changes to your company records through either WebFiling or the Companies House account

Such filings and amendments include — 

  • Making your Companies House filings including – 
    • Submitting annual returns
    • Filing your accounts
    • Filing copies of resolutions
  • Amending company information with the registrar such as –
    • Company name change applications
    • Changing your registered office address and Single Alternative Inspection Location (SAIL) address
    • Your Accounting Reference Rate (ARD)
  • Adjusting your company structure, or company officer details which may include — 
    • Adding a new company secretary or secretary
    • Removing an existing company director or secretary
    • Changing the details of directors and secretaries
    • Increasing capital of shares
    • Issuing share certificates.
  • In your tax-related dealings with HMRC in the following cases for example — 
    • Registering for VAT
    • Paying your Corporation Tax, VAT, or income tax. 
    • Filing Company Tax Returns
    • Issuing dividend vouchers
    • Making national insurance contributions through PAYE

You’ll also need your CRN for official purposes such as opening a business bank account, signing contracts on behalf of your company, and applying for funding or tenders. 

Where do I need to display my Company Registration Number?

You are legally expected to display your limited company’s registration number on all your company stationery, including but not limited to —

  • Letterheads
  • Emails
  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Online content
  • Order forms

How to Register for a Company Registration Number

Your CRN will be provided by Companies House upon registration. There is no separate registration process to get a company number. As soon as your new limited company or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is registered, the number will be referenced in your digital certificate if you registered online or a paper certificate by post if you set up a limited company using a paper application. 

Will I get a new CRN number if I change my business name?

No. Your CRN will not change when you change your business name. 

It remains the same for the life of your company since it's the main way Companies House uses to identify your business regardless of any changes in name, address, directors, shareholders, or business activities.

Instead, you’ll simply receive a ‘certificate of incorporation on change of name’ from Companies House, which will contain the new name, date of change, and the same CRN number. 

Please note that the change of name certificate does not replace the original certificate of incorporation.  

Is a company registration number the same as a tax number?

No. CRNs are issued by Companies House as unique identifiers for individual companies on the register, whereas company tax numbers are unique 10-digit codes that HMRC assigns to companies to track tax records.

Just like with CRN, you do not have to apply for your UTR number, HMRC will automatically give you one as soon as your company is registered with Companies House. 

Do sole traders and ordinary partnerships get company registration numbers?

No. CRNs are only issued to limited companies and LLPs, including companies limited by guarantee because they are incorporated or registered at Companies House and are required to file statutory records.

Apr 9, 2024
Apr 10, 2024

read

File Company Information Online Via Companies House Webfiling

Everything you need to know about filing company information using the Companies House webfiling online service.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • WebFiling is an online service Companies House provides to companies to submit official documents and filings electronically.
  • An email confirmation is received for any document successfully submitted through the service.
  • Every limited company formed is allocated a unique WebFiling Authentication Code, which acts as an electronic signature

What is Companies House Webfiling

Webfiling service is a free online portal that enables business owners to submit statutory documents directly to the government in compliance with their filing requirements.  

You can use it to file the following documents (GOV.UK links) —

Warning

Charitable companies must adhere to charity and company law when preparing financial statements and therefore cannot submit ‘full audited accounts’ through Companies House new Webfiling. They must file their accounts directly to the registrar of companies by post and to the appropriate charity regulator as required by charity law based on the company’s jurisdiction —

With the multiple filing requirements, the advantage of using the online platform is that it's quicker than filing out paper forms. Submitting is instant, and built-in checks help users avoid errors and rejection.

How do I create my Company Webfiling Account?

Warning

Before registering for WebFiling, verify your company's eligibility to use the platform.

The service can be used by company numbers that contain all digits or have the following prefixes: NI, RO, and SC for limited companies and OC, SO, and NC for limited liability partnerships.

Most companies in the United Kingdom, including limited companies, limited liability partnerships, and community interest companies, meet the eligibility criteria.

However, it's important to note that companies or limited liability partnerships that have been dissolved, converted, or closed, among others, are not eligible to utilize the service.

Therefore, confirming your company's active status is crucial before registering.

See detailed guidance HERE.

To create your Companies House online profile, follow these steps —

  1. Go to the webfiling page:

    https://idam-ui.company-information.service.gov.uk/account/login/
  2. Click on “Create an Account” right below the sign-in button, and the following page will load:

    https://idam-ui.company-information.service.gov.uk/account/register/_start/
  3. Provide your details

    1. Your full name (optional)
    2. Your e-mail address
    3. Your phone number (optional)
  4. Click on the green “Continue” button.

  5. Verify the accuracy of the information provided.

    Verify the accuracy
  6. Verify your digital address or phone number before continuing.

    verify your digital address or phone number
  7. Your profile will be created once you click your verification link or provide the code sent to your mobile number or email. Please note that this code verifies your number and should not be confused with the web filing code that will be sent to your address.

How do I use the Company Authentication Code for Online Filing and Update Company Details?

The authentication code is a 6-digit alphanumeric code issued to each company. The code is used to file information online and is the equivalent of a company officer’s signature.

You’ll need an authentication code to file your information online via webfiling or a third-party software.

See also: Companies House Company Authentication Code for Webfiling

How to get your company authentication code

To request your code, create an account or sign in to Companies House WebFiling and follow the instructions. Your code will be sent by post to your company’s registered office - it can take up to 5 days to arrive. If your company already has a code, they’ll send you a reminder.

How to use the WebFiling and Protected Online Filing (PROOF) Service

PROOF is a free service designed to protect your company from unauthorised changes by preventing the filing of certain paper forms changing the following details —

  • changes to your registered address
  • changes to your officers (appointments, resignations, or personal information)
  • changes to your company name by special resolution

According to Companies House, there are about 50 to 100 cases of corporate identity fraud every month, which include fraudsters hijacking companies by changing the details of their directors and registered offices.

Insight

After you complete your PROOF registration, if you need to file a paper form covered by the scheme, you must include a PR03 (consent form) when sending it to Companies House. To get the form e mail registrarsfunctions@companieshouse.gov.uk and write PR03 in the subject field. You will receive an automated e-mail with the PR03 attached.

How to Sign Up for Email Reminders for key filing deadlines

The Companies House e-mail reminder service sends you alerts whenever your company's annual accounts and confirmation statements are due. 

As you subscribe for the alerts you can — 

  • choose up to 4 people to receive a notification (including an accountant, formations, or company secretarial agent)
  • file your document immediately from a link within the alert
  • receive reminders more conveniently
  • avoid late filing penalties by filing your accounts on time
  • use less paper, contributing to saving the environment

To set up, follow the steps below 

  1. sign into your online service account: https://idam-ui.company-information.service.gov.uk/ 
  2. Select ‘Activate e reminders’ from your company overview screen.
  3. Select ‘Add an e mail address’.
  4.  Enter your e mail address (a maximum of 4 for each company).
  5.  Follow the link in the email from Companies House to validate your e mail address.

How to File Your Company's Confirmation Statement and Other Forms or Documents

Your statement must be submitted to Companies House within 14 days of your due date.

Insight

To file any document electronically, you’ll need to sign up for Web Filing. For confirmation statements, if there have been any changes in your company over the last 12 months, you must file these changes before filing the statement. Some of the changes to report as soon as they occur (and not with your statement) include —

  • Directors and secretary
  • People with significant control (PSC)
  • Registered office address
  • Registered e-mail address

However, you can report the following changes within the statement itself —

  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code
  • Statement of capital
  • Trading status of shares
  • Exemption from keeping a PSC register
  • Shareholder information

Once you’ve logged into your online filing account, click on the “file confirmation statement” on your company overview screen. 

On the screen that loads up next, you can change the date of your next statement and report if your company has admitted to trading on a market. 

Click on “next” after you’ve made the necessary adjustments. On this page, you can now verify that the information Companies House holds about your business is correct and up to date.  

See also: How to File a Confirmation Statement With Companies House

How to Use the Find and Update Service for Company Filings

In addition to the Web Filing, you can also use the Find and Update Company Information Service accessible through https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/

As the name suggests, it is a portal for finding information and uploading certain information to the Companies House register.

Using the platform, you can search for a company by name, registration number, or officer. By selecting the link to a company of interest, you should be able to access information such as 

  • the registered address
  • current and resigned officers
  • date of incorporation

You’ll also be able to view the filing history and download accounts and confirmation statements if available.

Once you surface a company name, you’ll get the option for filing for that particular company. To access your Find and Update Company Information account, you cannot use your webfiling credentials. Instead, you must sign in with a Companies House email ID and password. 

To sign up, you’ll need to register with an e mail address, where an activation mail will be sent.

A limited company can only file abridged or full accounts and a change to a registered office using the find and update company information service. There are plans to add filings for — 

  • other types of accounts
  • confirmation statements
  • officer appointments
  • changes to the company details
Dec 3, 2016
Apr 8, 2024

read

Register & Thrive: UK Company Formation Made Simple

Seeking to register your company in the UK? Get the latest insights for successful UK company formation with Companies House.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • A sole trader is the simplest form of a UK business structure. It suits mostly freelancers and solo entrepreneurs who prefer autonomy and direct control over their business operations and decisions.
  • Individuals in an LLP are not required to file a company tax return. However, untaxed profits are distributed, and the members pay via self assessment returns.
  • To register a company in the United Kingdom requires at least one director and shareholder to become a separate legal entity with distinct rights.
  • A UK-resident company is registered in the UK and is liable to pay UK tax. It does not require a UK resident director but must be registered at Companies House to a UK address.

Whether you live in the UK or are a foreigner seeking to do business in the UK without living here, there are various ways to set up a company and make yourself official. Fortunately, you can form a new company in less than one working day. Determine your goals and the appropriate company structure to get started. 

How to Register a Company in the UK (Company Structure and Formation Guide)

There are three basic formats a UK company registration can take – 

  • Sole trader;
  • UK limited company formation, which includes -
    • Private & Public Limited Companies (LTD & PLC);
    • Limited by Guarantee Company (CLG);
    • Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP);
  • General Partnerships.

All of them are suitable for different business types, so choosing the right one is the first step towards registering a company.

Register as a Sole Trader

Also known as a sole proprietorship, it is a type of business with one owner. You can trade under your name or use a business name as a sole trader. It is the simplest business structure in the UK and may suit freelancers or other solo entrepreneurs. 

You can register as a sole trader if you’ve earned more than £1,000 from self-employment in the last tax year - (6 April of the last year to 5 April of the current year). Register by 5 October of your second tax year of business.  

To register as a sole trader, enroll for self-assessment and class 2 national insurance through their business tax account if your profits exceed the £6,725 threshold. You’ll need a government gateway ID and password to access the account. 

However, registering for self-assessment is different from registering a sole proprietorship. It allows you to report your income, including self-employment income, to HMRC. 

Set Up a Limited Company In the UK 

In most cases, registering a company requires at least one director and shareholder for the business to become a separate legal entity with distinct rights. You can be a sole company director and shareholder of your own business. You can also add more directors and shareholders in the future if you decide to expand your company.

Compared to other company incorporation UK formats, a limited liability company has more compliance requirements, which come with added benefits, including protecting your personal finances in case the business encounters financial difficulties or fails. If you want to take the hard work out of officially forming your business, consider using our company set-up service and save yourself the extra effort. It is a simple two-step method where you order online, and we contact you for the necessary information to swiftly and securely register your company with Companies House.

11 Defining Features of Limited Companies

Features Public Limited Company (PLC) Private Limited Company (LTD) Limited By Guarantee Company (CLG) Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

Limited Liability

Separate Legal Entity

Minimum Number of Shareholders

2

1

1 member

2 members (An LLP does not have shares or shareholders its a constitution of members)

Minimum Number of Directors

2

1

1 member

2 members (An LLP does not have a director, its a constitution of members)

Transfer of Ownership

Can be publicly traded

Private

Private

Procedure for the transfer of interests indicated in the partnership agreement

Annual Confirmation Statement

Conversion

Can convert to an LTD

Can convert to a PLC

N/A

N/A

Minimum Share Capital

£50,000 (with at least 25% paid up)

£1

No specific

minimum

Management Structure

Board of directors

Board of directors

Board of directors

The designated members handle statutory obligations

User

Suitable for large companies

Common for small to medium companies

Common for small to medium companies

Professional service firms (eg. accounts and law firms)

Types of UK LTD companies you can form include — 

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)

A limited liability partnership has at least two members (people or a company known as a corporate member) coming together to own and run the business jointly. Even though all the members have equal rights over the business, the law requires that at least two of them be designated as responsible for ensuring compliance with statutory requirements.

The partners must register for self-assessment since the LLP does not pay corporation tax, but each member is taxed on their share of profits as a self-employed individual. However, the members are not liable for debts if the business fails to pay. 

To register, you’ll need an acceptable business name, a registered address in which your principal place of business will be publicly available, two designated members, and an agreement that outlines how the LLP will be run. Once you have the requirements, you can register your LLP with Company House. Leverage Your Virtual Office London LLP registration service for a swift and affordable process.

Set Up a Private Limited Company (Limited By Shares of Guarantee) 

A company must either be limited by guarantee (CLG) or shares (LTD). An ltd is a profit-making business owned by shareholders with certain rights. The corporation is divided into shares, each assigned a nominal value, which reflects the initial face value of the shares, which may or may not align with the actual market value.  

CLG, on the other hand, is for a non-profit, such as a social enterprise, charity, association, or club, owned by members who act as guarantors of the company's liabilities, and each member undertakes to contribute an amount specified in the articles in the event of insolvency or the winding up of the entity. It does not have shares or shareholders.

To set up an LTD company online, you’ll need to choose a name according to Companies House rules. Next, you will need to appoint the company officers, which typically include directors, with the option of appointing a company secretary. You will also be required to give the names of the shareholders, who may also be company directors. Articles and memorandum of association are essential because they document how you intend to run the entity. Lastly, Companies House requires that you register an official address and choose a SIC code that identifies what your company does. 

Setting up a UK CLG requires that you submit the following company documents —

  • Check that your preferred company name is available;
  • Have at least one guarantor (individual or corporate body) and director;
  • A constitution that contains elements of articles and memorandum of association;
  • A registered office address in the UK that will be publicly available;
  • Names of the persons with significant control;
  • Statement of compliance that -
    • Outlines the nominal amount (often a small sum, such as £1) that each subscriber will pay as their guarantee;
    • The statement of guarantee that details the circumstances under which a guarantor will be required to pay their guarantee and
    • A SIC code.

How to Choose Your Company Name

Once you decide to register a new business, use the checklist below to get the name right — 

  • Confirm that the name is not too similar or identical to an existing company name.
  • Your preferred company name should not suggest any connection to the UK government. Avoid using words such as  “Royal,” “Her Majesty,” or “Crown.”
  • The name should not be offensive or inappropriate in any way.
  • It should not suggest criminal activity or any undertaking contrary to the interest of the public. 
  • Unless you have relevant permission, avoid using words like “Chartered” or “Architects” that are likely to mislead the public as to the nature of your business or credentials. 

Read also: Top 21 Best Small Business Apps to Manage Your Daily Operations

Register Your Company Today!

Contact Your Virtual Office London, UK's top rated company formation agent, if you need to register a new company. We offer a comprehensive set of company formation packages, which include everything you need to get your company up and running.

🎁 Exclusive Offer

Embark on your entrepreneurial journey with our exclusive offer: LTD, LLP, and CLG/LBG formation services, complete with 12 months of premium registered office and director address at an unbeatable discounted price of just £39.99

Other extras included in the package above are — 

  • Fast Online Formation
  • UTR Number
  • Digital Certificate of Incorporation
  • Digital Articles of Association
  • Digital Share Certificates
  • £25 Cashback with Wix
  • Bank Referral
  • Free .co.uk Domain
  • Free Accountant Introduction
  • Fully Compliant with AML and KYC Regulations

See also: Your HMRC UTR Number Explained

Form a limited company with us. Call our team at +44 (0) 207 566 3939 or email us at info@capital-office.co.uk, and one of our formation experts will contact you to get the relevant company details and handle the company formation process for you. Depending on the Companies House workload, online company registration can take up to 6 working hours.

FAQs

How much money is required to register a UK company with Companies House?

Register a UK company and start your journey right with a bundled package of just £39.99, which includes a UK registered office address, a free .co.uk domain, and an accountant introduction. We provide exceptional value for those keen on commencing their business without additional office space expenses and initial staffing requirements. 

See also: Directors Service Address Vs. Registered Office Address Service

Can anyone register a new company in the UK?

Registering a new company for UK and non-UK residents takes up to 6 hours to form a company. All you need to do is determine the type of company you want to establish, think through an appropriate business name and contact us. We will help you put together all the necessary documents you need to set up an LTD. 

How to register a holding company in the UK?

In the UK, the term ‘holding company’ is used to describe a company that holds the shares of other companies. A common way to register a holding company is to incorporate it as an LTD through the following steps:

  1. Think through a unique name for you and register it with Companies House. Until 2015, using the word “holding” or “holdings” in a company name was considered sensitive by Companies House, but it is now acceptable.
  2. Register an official business address and select an appropriate SIC code. 
  3. Appoint directors and a company secretary. You must appoint a director, but you do not have to appoint a company secretary.
  4. Identify people with significant control (PSC) over your company—for example, anyone with voting rights or more than 25% of the shares.
  5. Prepare a memorandum and articles of association describing the company will run. 
  6. Form your company. 

After you’ve set up the holding company, transfer the ownership of your subsidiaries' shares and assets to it.

Can I own a business in the UK as a foreigner or non-UK resident living outside of the UK?

Yes, foreigners and non-residents can open a company in the United Kingdom without needing a VISA. There are no restrictions based on nationality. However, you’ll need to comply with the following legal and administrative requirements before you are cleared to start. 

  • Choose a proper business structure that best fits your business goals;
  • Register your business with Companies House to a UK address; and
  • Get the necessary permits or licenses.

🎁 Exclusive Offer

Elevate your global business presence with our International company registration service for £480.00, including a full-year virtual address, for unparalleled success on the international stage.

Once your business is registered, please note the following — 

  • The corporation registered to a non-resident is liable for UK tax obligations.
  • A UK resident director is not a mandatory requirement, but it is recommended for operational convenience.
  • While not legally required, having a UK bank account is advisable to enhance business credibility.
  • You can use a family or friend's address as your registered office or opt for a central London virtual address for added privacy.

Do I need a business bank account during the company registration process?

No. You do not need to open a business bank account, but you’ll likely find it impossible to operate without one. We understand that most British high-street banks can make it difficult for the new entrepreneur to open an account with company credit checks and multiple other requirements that new businesses cannot fulfil.

However, we’ve carefully selected partners with products suitable for our clients. As you set up your new business with us, we will recommend a few banks to consider. Whether you choose a Barclays Business Account or a Card One Business Account from our curated list, we ensure a seamless process to meet your financial needs.

What are the pros and cons of working with a simple company formation agent?

A company incorporation agent helps new businesses with online company formation and registration services. But with Your Virtual Office London, we go the extra mile and ensure your process is simple, seamless, and affordable. If you choose to form your company limited by share or guarantee with us, take the time to understand your goals, risk tolerance and incentives. With this understanding, Your Virtual Office London will advise you on the most suitable company structure and expedite your process by working with you to submit a company application without error.

There are no downsides to working with us!

What company documents do I need during simple company registration?

To register your company, you’ll need to submit the following documents — 

  • IN01 form, which should contain the following details –

    • Proposed name

    • Registered office address for your business

    • Details of directors and shareholders

    • Share capital information

    • Information of the persons with significant control

  • Memorandum of association, which outlines the following details —

    • Company name

    • Type of company and its purpose

    • Name and signature of subscribers

    • Liability of the members

  • Articles of association

    • Management details, which may include the rights and responsibilities of the director, voting rights and board meetings

    • Decision-making processes

    • Classes and rights of shares

    • General meetings

    • Miscellaneous factors depending on the dynamics of your company

What documents do I receive after new business registration? 

Once your new limited company is registered, you’ll receive the following documents — 

  • Certificate of incorporation, which includes your company number;
  • Official memorandum and articles association; and
  • Share certificates.
Dec 12, 2016
Apr 8, 2024

read

Understand the Different Types of Companies Limited by Guarantee

Everything you need to know about a standard company limited by guarantee, including a charity company, a CIO, right-to-manage organisations, and property management entities subtypes of CLG.

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • A company limited by guarantee (CLG) is suitable for charities, social enterprises, or membership organisations who wish to enjoy limited liability protection.
  • Like private limited companies, a CLG is a separate legal entity from its owners; however, unlike an LTD, company profits are reinvested to finance the institution's objective, and members are not shareholders but rather guarantors.
  • The business must comply with both the official Registrar of Companies and the Charity Commission UK requirements.

A company limited by guarantee is a type of limited company in the UK registered to advance the objectives of non-profits such as clubs, charities, societies or any other institution seeking to function under the protection of limited liability.

Insight

There are four main types of companies limited by guarantee —

  • Company Limited by Guarantee — Registered only at Companies House for the benefit of the members without seeking charitable status.
  • Company Limited by Guarantee Charity — Has the option to register with both the Registrar and Charity regulator or solely with the Commission. When registered with both, it becomes a Charity Company. However, if registered only with the Commission alone, it is termed a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
  • Company Limited by Guarantee (Property Management) — An institution registered for tenants' benefit, which may also be set up as a company limited by shares.
  • Company Limited by Guarantee (Right to Manage) — Can only be an entity limited by guarantee, which gives leaseholders the right to take over the management of a property from the landlord.

In the next section, we’ll go over each in detail.

Company Limited by Guarantee

As stated, a private company limited by guarantee is registered with Companies House, the official registrar of companies. Unlike a private limited company (ltd), the company does not have shareholders or a framework for raising funds through share capital. However, it has guarantors whose liability is limited to the value of the nominal guarantee they pledge. 

Formation Requirements

  • Company name, subject to the same rules as one limited by shares.  
  • Director and guarantor details, including name, date of birth, nationality, residential address, and service address. Guarantors can be individuals or a corporate body with perpetual succession. 
  • Governing documents, which include articles and memo of association
  • Details of persons with significant control (PSCs), including full name, date of birth, nationality, residential address, service address, nature of control, and three security details for online signature.
  • A registered office address.
  • Bank details.
  • A service address for the initial subscribers, which will appear in the company public register.
  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code that describes the business activity.

Insight

In a standard CLG, the memorandum of association specifies that the members agree to guarantee a certain amount towards the company's debts. The articles outline how the company will be managed and operated, including details on membership, decision-making processes, and financial matters.

Read also: Director Service Address vs Registered Office Address 

Key Features 

  • The company is a legal person separate from its owners.
  • Offers limited liability protection, restricting the liability of the members to the value of the guarantee provided at the point of formation. 
  • Incorporated and regulated by the Registrar, subject to the Companies Acts. 

Company Structure

A company limited by guarantee works through the following structure — 

  • Directors (at least one) — Like a Ltd, members must appoint directors to manage its day-to-day operations. 
  • Committee and powers — Directors can delegate certain responsibilities to sub-committees. 
  • At least one guarantor — Similar to shareholders, they guarantee to pay a certain sum in case of insolvency. 
  • Meetings and voting — The members can attend meetings, vote, appoint, and remove directors. 
  • Company secretary — The CLG may opt to appoint a company secretary who helps the director oversee that the company complies with all statutory requirements. 
  • A service address for the initial subscribers appears in the company public register.
  •  Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code that describes the business activity.

Filing Requirements

The CLG must file the following documents with the company’s Registrar — 

  • Annual confirmation statements 
  • Annual accounts
  • Report company changes 
  • Accounts and company tax returns for HMRC
  • VAT Returns, PAYE reports, and Self Assessment tax returns (as relevant)

The company must also maintain a register of members and a register of Persons With Significant Control. 

Suitability 

A company limited by guarantee is suitable for membership ventures seeking to pursue non-profit objectives for the benefit of the members under limited liability protection.

Warning

Technically, according to company law, a business limited by guarantee is not a charity but is legally considered a non-profit. Non-profit institutions encompass a wide range of entities that operate for the public benefit without the primary goal of making a profit. A Charity Company, on the other hand, is a specific subset of a non-profit established for philanthropic purposes and must be registered with the Charity Commission to obtain charitable status.

Company Limited by Guarantee Charity

Depending on the registration process, two main types of charity companies are limited by guarantee. These are —

  • A charity company is a CLG registered with the Registrar and the Commission. 
  • Charitable incorporated organisation (CIO), a CLG registered only with the Commission.

Formation Requirements (Charity Company)

Insight

Charity Companies are peculiar, for they have to abide by the regulations of the Companies Act, 2006, as implemented by the Registrar, and the Charities Act 2022, as implemented by the Charity Commission. In the registration process, you first register your company with the Registrar, then incorporate it as a charity with the Commission.

On the side of Companies House registration, the following are the requirements for registering a charity company.

  • To register, it is essential to ensure the charity name is available by searching both the company and charity register. 
  • The directors of the CLG automatically become the trustees of the charity company, and new trustees can also be appointed to add to the number. 
  • Objectives must pass the public benefit test. 
  • Governing Documents, including the articles and memorandum of association.
  • Registered office address and bank details.

Insight

For a charity company, the memorandum of association must clearly state that the company is formed for benevolent purposes, while the articles should outline how the company will be governed, including provisions related to charitable activities, distribution of profits, and compliance with charity regulations.

Key Features

  • The company is a separate legal entity from the trustees and guarantors
  • Liability is limited to the value of charity assets 
  • A charity is answerable to both the Registrar of Companies and the Commission.

Structure 

It works through the following structure — 

  • Trustees who are responsible for running the entity. 
  • Guarantors are members of a company limited by guarantee continue to support the objectives of the venture. 
  • PSCs or beneficial owners who exercise control over the company.

Filing Requirements

The CLG must file the following documents with the company’s registrar — 

  • Annual confirmation statements 
  • Annual accounts
  • Report company changes 
  • Accounts and company tax returns for HMRC
  • VAT Returns, PAYE reports, and Self Assessment tax returns (as relevant)

The company must also maintain a register of members and a register of Persons With Significant Control. 

Read also: Your HMRC UTR Number Explained

Suitability

A charity company is suitable for individuals or entities seeking to implement projects or programs that benefit the public or a target population.

Understanding the Difference Between Companies Limited by Guarantee vs Charity Companies Vs Charitable Incorporated Organisation
Feature Company Limited by Guarantee Charity Company Charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)

Registration process

Registered by Companies House

Incorporated with the Commission after being registered at Companies House.

Registered with just the Charity watchdog for England and Wales.

Registered office address and SIC code

Requires a registered office address, and sic codes must be provided during registration.

Only the address of a contact person is required.

Governance documents

  • Articles of association

  • Memorandum of association

A company constitution that outlines its structure, rules and operations.

Director/Trustee salary

Can pay directors a salary for running the institution on behalf of the owners (members) for their roles and responsibilities.

Trustees or directors are considered volunteers and are not eligible for pay unless otherwise specified in a governing document.

However, such individuals may receive remuneration for services rendered in their professional capacity (and not simply for being a trustee.)

Legal entity

The company becomes a distinct legal person separate from its guarantors.

Incorporated body with a legal status distinct from trustees and members.

Liability

Liability of the guarantors is limited to the amount provided as a guarantee.

Only the charity is liable if the company becomes insolvent. Liability is limited to the assets of the charity.

Structure

A CLG has the following —

  • Directors are responsible for the daily management of the company.

  • Guarantors provide financial backing by providing a nominal amount to cover company debts in case of insolvency.

  • PSCs are the guarantors or directors with the capacity to influence the operations of the company.

Once the CLG is incorporated and gains its charitable status, the following becomes the new structure —

  • The directors transition to become the trustees of the company.

  • The guarantors become members without the responsibility to provide financial backing since liability is now limited to the value of the charity assets.

  • PSCs in the CLG transition to being PSCs in the charity company.

A CIO structure includes —

  • Trustees are responsible for daily management.

  • Members.

Tax benefits

Not automatically eligible for tax benefits

Eligible for tax benefits. For example, the entity can reclaim an additional 25% tax on eligible donations from UK taxpayers in schemes like Gift Aid.

Funding

It relies on funding sources such as membership fees and commercial activities. Can trade to raise funds

Eligible to rely on donations and other revenue streams, including trading, to raise funds.

Can trade, but not allowed to depend solely on trading as a means of raising funds for itself.

However, it can set up a wholly owned and controlled subsidiary for this purpose.

Profit distribution

Profits are reinvested to support the objectives of the company.

Profits and assets cannot be distributed to members but are reinvested to support the charity objectives of the company.

Filing requirements

The Registrar's filing requirements

  • Confirmation statements

  • Annual returns

  • Financial statements

If the commission has incorporated a CLG, it can also file —

  • An audit exemption report if eligible.

The regulatory burden of the CIO is simpler and lighter than that of a charity company. They are only required to file the above-listed items with the commission.

Objects

Objects must align with the company’s mission.

Objects must be philanthropic and beneficial to the public.

Compliance requirements

Must comply with the company registrar's requirements

Must comply with both the Registrar's and the Commission’s requirements.

Must only comply with the Commission’s requirements.

Suitability

Established for the benefit of its members

Established the benefit of the public.

Difference between a Private Company Limited by Shares and a Company Limited by Guarantee

One of the key differences between a private LTD and a guarantee company is how the two legal structures treat profits. In a limited company, shareholders can opt to distribute profits to its members as dividends or reinvest them back into the company. 

But, a company limited by guarantee is by nature a not-for-profit entity and the guarantors can only reinvest profits back into the business to finance their objectives but not withdraw as profits.

Insight

The law does not explicitly require a CLG to not distribute profits. However, if your intention is to share profits, registering an ordinary private company limited by shares will make more sense.

Company Limited by Shares (LTD) Vs. Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG)
Difference LTD CLG

Objectives

Established for the profit of the shareholders.

Established to advance the objectives of membership organisations such as a co-operative or sports clubs.

Legal structure

Shares in the company represent the degree of ownership.

Guarantors do not own shares or the company but provide financial backing in case of insolvency.

Profit

Withdraws profit as dividends for the benefit of owners.

A CLG cannot withdraw profits from the business for the owner's benefit but must reinvest them to finance the entity's objectives.

Liability

Limited to the value of shares held, whether paid or unpaid.

Limited to the value guaranteed.

Share capital

Company issues shares to shareholders.

In a statement of guarantee, each member agrees to pay a certain amount.

Conversion to a Charity

There is no legal process for converting an LTD into a charity.

A CLG can attain full charity status by being incorporated with the charity commission.

Management

Governed by directors who may or may not be shareholders.

Governed by directors who may or may not be guarantors.

Membership changes

Shares can be transferred between shareholders, subject to restrictions in the articles.

No shares to transfer; membership changes are by resolution and recorded in the register of members.

Distribution of assets during liquidation

Surplus assets are distributed to shareholders in proportion to their shareholdings.

Surplus assets are distributed to other non-profit entities with similar objects.

Yet, with the above differences, the two structures have the following similarities — 

  • Offer limited liability protection to the owners in case of insolvency. They will only be responsible for paying company debts up to the value of shares or guarantee.
  • Registered and some of their pertinent details such as registered address, director information, shareholder and guarantor details, and filings are available in the companies register for public scrutiny. 
  • Are required to have one director, secretary (for public limited companies though optional for ltds and CLGs) and members (who act as shareholders and guarantors.)
  • Established by a memorandum of association, signed by all the initial subscribers agreeing to start the business, and the articles outlining rights, responsibilities, and how the business will manage its operations. 
  • Require registered office address, director service address, and company name found to be available by searching the register.
  • Have similar routes for dissolution, which can either be by voluntary strike-off, Members' Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) (for solvent companies), Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) and compulsory Liquidation (for insolvent businesses).  

For the most part, the same rules and regulations apply to companies limited by guarantee as to companies with a share capital.

See also: The Difference Between a Voluntary and Compulsory Strike Off

5 things to know company limited by guarantee

What is the process of forming a company limited by Guarantee?

Registering a company limited by guarantee requires the following — 

  • A company name: Use the uk company public register of companies to find the available and suitable name for your venture. 
  • Registered office and director service address for directors, shareholders and guarantors. 
  • Determine your SIC code aligned to the intended activities of your venture
  • A limited company by guarantee must have at least one director and guarantor. 
  • Statement of guarantee indicating the circumstances during which each subscriber will pay the typically £1 nominal guarantee amount. 

Can guarantors take a share of the profits?

No. Guarantors cannot take out a share of profits because the business structure is designed for non-profit ventures. In case there is surplus income, the entity is expected to reinvest the surplus back into the business. If the members ever decide to take out profits, the company will no longer be considered non-profit and will not be able to apply for charity status. 

What is the difference between a shareholder and a guarantor?

What sets apart a shareholder from a guarantor is their role and expectations within different types of companies. Shareholders are associated with limited companies, whereas guarantors are found in companies limited by guarantee.

Shareholders hold ownership in LTDs and anticipate receiving dividends as returns on their investments. They have a stake in the profits and losses of the company based on the number of shares they hold.

On the flip side, guarantors are connected to companies limited by guarantee. Guarantors are not typically interested in profit-sharing or dividend distributions like shareholders; instead, they serve as a financial backup in case of financial difficulties for the company.

Why set up a limited company by guarantee?

Some of the reasons why members may opt to set up as a CLG include — 

  • Personal liability protection — By forming a CLG, the liability of the company’s members is limited to the amount they agree to guarantee in the event of insolvency, protecting personal assets from being used to settle company obligations.
  • To pursue objectives that benefit society — The enterprise is able to operate as a legal unit while focusing on its core objectives without the pressure of maximizing profits for shareholders.
  • Credibility — Being registered as a limited company can enhance the credibility and reputation of the organisation. It signifies a formal and transparent structure, which can be appealing to stakeholders, donors, and partners.
  • Perpetual succession — It offers perpetual succession, meaning it can continue its existence regardless of changes in membership, a feature crucial for organizations with long-term goals and commitments.

Overall, the decision to incorporate a company limited by guarantee should depend on the specific goals, activities, and interests of the subscribers. If you are doubting if this is a viable option for you, please call us at +44(0) 207 689 7888 or email info@yourcompanyformations.co.uk for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Can a Company Limited by Guarantee Lose Its Charitable Status?

Technically, a CLG does not have charitable status, since it's only acquired after the non-profit is incorporated by the Charity Commission and transforms into a charity company. However, it may lose its right to incorporate into a charity if — 

  • Members take out surplus profits as personal income;
  • If profits are distributed to members as a form of dividend payment.

If the company has already incorporated into a charity, it will lose its status if it takes any of the above actions or fails to — 

  • Adhere to its governing documents particularly pursuing its objectives.
  • Comply with regulatory requirements such as filing confirmation statements and reports to the commission or the registrar of companies. 

Can guarantors take a share as evidence of ownership?

No. A company limited by guarantee must not and cannot issue shares. The guarantors' evidence of ownership is found in the statement of guarantee, where they pledge to provide a nominal amount in case of insolvency. 

The company’s memorandum of association that lists the subscriber agreement to form the venture also serves as proof of ownership. However, there is no stake given in terms of shares. 

Is an article of association relevant to the formation of a not-for-profit company?

Yes, it is a compulsory governing document for uk non-profit company. It documents how the subscribers intend to manage the enterprise. It contains the following information —

  • Directors powers, responsibility and scope for decision making;
  • Process of obtaining membership and resigning
  • Meetings
  • Voting procedures
  • Administrative arrangements

See also: Memorandum and articles of association 101

Guarantee companies vs companies with share capital

A CLG is like an ordinary private company limited by shares. However, unlike LTDs, a non-profit has no shares or shareholders and reinvests surplus income to enable the company to run its day-to-day activities. Yet, both entities are required by law to file accounts at the Companies Registration Office and submit annual returns. The CLG is set up for certain objects for the benefit of its members while an LTD is established primarily for profit-making purposes and to provide returns to its shareholders.

Can limited by guarantee companies have persons with significant control?

Yes. A CLG can have PSCs who exercise ultimate control over the company. Despite the unique structure of CLGs without shareholders or capital in the traditional sense, individuals within the organization can still qualify as PSCs if they meet the criteria outlined in the Companies Act 2006. 

An individual or company who fulfils one or more of the following conditions qualifies as a PSC - 

  • Directly or indirectly holds more than 25% of the voting rights.
  • Directly or indirectly holds the right to appoint or remove a majority of directors.
  • Otherwise has the right to exercise significant influence and control.

Company name requirements for guarantee companies

CLG naming requirements are the same as the business name requirements for private limited companies. Your CLG name must not — 

  • Be too similar or identical to an existing corporation name;
  • Imply any connection with the UK government, local authority or any agency;
  • Include sensitive words like “Charity” without the appropriate permission;
  • Be offensive, inappropriate or likely to cause harm; and
  • Suggest criminal activity or be contrary to public interest.

What is the difference between a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), a Community Interest Company (CIC) and a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG)?

The main difference between a CIO and a CIC lies in their legal structure and statutory oversight as explained in the table below.

Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) vs Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) Vs Community Interest Company (CIC)
Difference CIO CIC CLG

Regulation

Regulated by the Charity Commission according to the provisions of the Charities Act 2022.

Regulated by the CIC regulator according to company law.

Regulated by Companies House according to the company law.

Legal structure

It's a charity, making it a better vehicle for fundraising and enjoys a robust range of tax relief benefits.

Can be a company limited by shares or guarantee

It is a company limited by guarantee.

Governing documents

Governed by a constitution which includes a memo and articles of association

An article and memo of association.

Objects

Can only contain philanthropic objectives according to the provisions of the Charity.

May pursue a wider scope of social aims than CIOs.

Can pursue social aims or revenue generation aims.

Directors/Trustee Salaries

Unless otherwise specified in their governing documents, trustees are considered volunteers and may not receive salaries for their roles as trustees. However, they may receive fair market value remuneration for services rendered to their institution in their professional capacity.

Directors receive salaries for managing the business on behalf of the members.

Asset lock principle

Must include an asset lock provision in their articles, that prevents assets or surplus income from being used for private gain apart from the objects of the company. If solvent during dissolution, and subject to the consent of the regulator, surplus assets can be transferred to another asset locked body.

Does not have a statutory requirement to observe the principle but can include a provision with a similar outcome in its articles.

Trading

Can trade but is not allowed to rely on trading as a primary source of funding.

Can trade and generate income like a private company.

Allowed to trade and rely on trading income as primary source of funding.

Tax benefits

Enjoys multiple tax concessions including —

  • No tax on primary purpose trading, capital gains and investment.

  • Automatic 80% relief from business rates

  • No inheritance tax on legacies

Taxed as a commercial company with little to no concessions.

May not have the same tax advantages as charities but may access rate deductions for voluntary institutions at the discretion of their local authority.

Sep 10, 2020
Apr 5, 2024

read

The Difference Between a Voluntary and Compulsory Strike Off

All you need to know about voluntary and compulsory strike off and how to prevent your company from being removed from the companies house register.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • Strike off is the process of removing a company name from the companies register, after which it ceases to exist.
  • There are two types of strike off - voluntary, initiated by the directors of a solvent company and involuntary initiated by Registrar of Companies against a limited liability company that fails to comply with its legal responsibility
  • The consequences of a compulsory strike off can be adverse including fines, personal liability for business obligations and disqualification from acting as a director of a company.

Let's dive into what happens when you receive a notice from Companies House about your company facing a possible strike-off.

What Is a Compulsory Strike Off?

It is a term used to refer to an action taken by Companies House to remove a company from its register so that it is formally dissolved and ceases to exist. Companies flagged for strike-off are usually not actively trading or consistently fail to meet legal and regulatory responsibilities such as filing accounts or confirmation statements

How does the compulsory strike off process work?  

The Registrar of Companies will mark a company for compulsory liquidation for the following reasons. 

  • Failing to comply with statutory filing requirements — One of the top reasons the Registrar may forcibly strike off a company is failure to comply with filing requirements such as confirmation statements and accounts. Beyond being struck off companies and its directors may face serious consequences, including potential criminal or personal liability charges for non-compliance.
  • Not actively trading and failing to comply with dormant company requirements — If a company is not actively trading and fails to meet the requirements of a dormant company, it exposes itself to the risk of being struck off. 
  • Absence of a director — When a company's sole director resigns or is removed by a shareholder vote, leaving the company without directors, it makes it eligible for strike off.
  • Failure to notify the Registrar about a change in their registered office address — Neglecting to inform the registrar of a change in your registered office address can cause the company to be struck off. 

Warning

The unauthorised Use of a Registered Office Address is strictly prohibited. According to the Companies (Address of Registered Office) Regulations 2016, if any individual or entity submits an RP07 application to change a company's disputed registered office address, the registrar may deem the company unauthorised to use that specific address.

Failure to contest the application or present adequate evidence within 28 days will result in the Registrar changing the business address to the default Companies House address. Continuing to operate with the default address is not permissible (and maybe a basis for being struck-off the register), and immediate action is required to update it to an authorised limited company address.

The default address is published on the public register, and even if a company updates the registered office from the default address, the previous default address will always be publicly available, signalling that the company used an address without permission.

However, if you fulfil all of your legal obligations and have reason to believe that the strike-off notice is unfair, you can send an objection application to Companies House. If your reasons are viable and you provide satisfactory evidence, the process will be discontinued. 

For any company that fulfils any of the above conditions, the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland may initiate the process of striking them off the register as follows — 

1. Companies House inquiry

The process starts with Companies House sending letters to inquire about the business's current trading status and giving them 14 days to respond. In the absence of a reply, a follow-up letter with identical inquiry is issued, granting an additional 14 days for a response.

2. Issuance of a first gazette notice for compulsory strike

If the company fails to respond to the second letter of inquiry, Companies House issues a notice published in the Gazette in London, Edinburgh, or Belfast—depending on the geographical location of the company’s registered office. 

The primary purpose of this notice is to declare their intention to strike off the company formally. It serves a dual role: providing management with an opportunity to take corrective measures and allowing creditors (including HMRC or former employees owed) the chance to raise objections. 

Remember, the strike-off implies that the company will cease to exist, preventing creditors from pursuing and collecting outstanding payments.

Insight

When facing insolvency, it is advisable to explore alternative solutions, including a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL), to avoid the negative consequences of an involuntary strike-off. In a CVL, a licensed insolvency practitioner takes charge of winding up the company and liquidating its assets for the benefit of creditors. Additionally, they may guide on potential eligibility for director redundancy payments from HMRC and other associated benefits.

3. Second Gazette Notice

If there is no response to the first notice, a second notice is published, providing a final opportunity for any concerned party to correct or object to the closure.

4. Dissolution and Cessation of Business

If there are no objections and the company officials take no action, the company is removed from the register and ceases to exist.

5. Asset Forfeiture

The Crown may claim assets, such as cash, machinery, or buildings, under the 'bona vacantia' (meaning ownerless goods) principle.

Directors may face an investigation into potential misconduct that led to the strike-off. If wrongdoing is found, it could lead to disqualification and even personal liability for company debts.

What Is Voluntary Strike Off?

According to section 1000 of the Companies Act 2006, a voluntary strike off is a process initiated by company directors to remove the company from the register and essentially close it down. It happens when a company is no longer in active business, and directors are happy for the company to close. 

A business that fulfils the following conditions is eligible for voluntary strike off —

  1. During the three months before the application for voluntary strike-off, the company should not have conducted any business transaction.
  2. The company must have kept its name the same within the last three months.
  3. It should be financially stable and not at risk of liquidation.
  4. There should be no outstanding agreements with creditors, e.g., a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), to avoid unresolved issues hindering the voluntary strike-off.

If the entity meets the above criteria, it must ensure that — 

  • All tax and debt liabilities have been addressed and settled for a clean financial record before closing.
  • The company in question should make its employees redundant and pay their final wages if applicable. HMRC should also be informed that the company is no longer an employer.
  • Business assets should be appropriately distributed among shareholders according to the company's structure and agreements.
  • It filed its final annual accounts and Company Tax Return with HMRC to provide a formal record of the company's last trading period and impending closure. 

In essence, meeting the eligibility criteria for voluntary strike off allows the company to wind down its operations systematically. Ensuring the resolution of financial and employee-related matters, proper asset distribution, and finalising the necessary documents with HMRC contribute to a smooth and legally compliant closure process.

A copy of the strike off application needs to be sent within seven days to the following parties potentially impacted by the liquidation so that they do not object —

  • Members/shareholders
  • Creditors
  • Employees
  • Managers or trustees of any employee pension fund
  • Directors who did not sign the application form

The request for the company's strike-off will be publicised as a notice in the local Gazette if the form has been accurately filed. After two months without objections, the company will officially be off the register. Subsequently, a second notice will be Gazetted to confirm the official closure of the company.

What is the difference between voluntary and involuntary strike off?

Criteria Voluntary Strike Off Involuntary Strike Off

Initiator

Company directors or shareholders using a DS01 form.

Companies House initiates the process

Reasons for the strike off

The company is solvent. Officials take a strategic decision to cease trading and close the company.

The company has failed to meet legal, financial, or regulatory responsibilities.

Publication notice

The registrar will publish a notice of the proposed striking-off in the relevant Gazette to allow interested parties the opportunity to object.

Companies House publishes the first notice, for objections to be raised or for the company to take remedial action.

Assets

The company handles the distribution of assets and settles liabilities before termination.

Company assets, if any, are forfeited to the Crown.

Eligibility

Conditions include no threat of liquidation, not actively trading for the and no recent name change in the last three months.

Failure to meet legal obligations.

Final confirmation Gazette Notice

A final notice is published confirming the closure.

A notice is published by the Registrar confirming the closure.

Outcome

Once the process is completed, the company will be struck off and cease to exist.

The company is dissolved.

Consequences

Generally, smoother closure with minimal legal repercussions.

Serious consequences for the company and its directors. For example, being personally liable for company obligations, fines, disqualification from acting as a company director for two to fifteen years, potential investigation for non-compliance, and even custodial sentences.

How can a company avoid compulsory strike off after receiving a request to strike?

If you want to avoid an involuntary strike-off, send an objection application to the Registrar of Companies as soon as possible. To make and submit it, you’ll need - 

  • To sign in to or create a Companies House account;
  • Details of the company facing the strike off; and
  • Evidence to support the objection, for example, invoices showing the company is still trading or owing a debt. These documents must show the company's full name and be at most six months old. 

Furthermore, the company should ensure that all their annual accounts and confirmation statements are filed on time. If you need extra time to get your filings in order, please communicate with Companies House. 

When can creditors object to a compulsory strike-off?

Creditors and concerned parties, including shareholders, can object to a strike-off after the issuance of the first gazette notice. The gazette notice serves as public notification about the Registrar of companies intent to be strike it off the register.

Why would a company compulsorily be struck off the register?

A company is usually subject to involuntary strike-off from the register when it fails to meet statutory requirements, including the timely submission of accounts and confirmation statements. The directors, shareholders, and external creditors like suppliers and HMRC have a two month window to raise objections against the application. If no objections are presented, the company will be struck-off from the register, leading to its dissolution.

What do I do after Getting the Gazette First Notice for Company Strike Off from Companies House?

Once you receive the first notice, you have two to three months to rectify the situation. Here are steps to consider —

  1. Determine the reason for the strike off — To remedy the situation, address the reason behind the notice, which may involve submitting your filings or proving that you are still operational.
  2. Apply for suspension — If you need more time to remedy the reasons behind the strike-off notice, prepare and lodge a suspension application to Companies House.
  3. Address outstanding issues — Clear any fees and taxes and update your filing requirements to stop the process from proceeding to the next step.

Insight

Once the registrar initiates an involuntary strike-off, it is highly advisable to seek the assistance of a seasoned professional, such as a solicitor or accountant. Their expertise can prove invaluable in navigating the complexities associated with this procedure, increasing the likelihood of a smoother and more successful outcome for your company.

Can I stop a compulsory striking off notice?    

Yes. You can halt a compulsory striking off notice directed at your company by resolving the underlying issues specified in the notice.

You can also apply to object to a company being struck off using a Companies House account if, for instance, it's indebted to you. Have the company details and documentation demonstrating that the company is still actively trading or has outstanding arrears. 

FAQs 

What if my company is insolvent?

If you want to close your company but it is insolvent, do all you can to avoid a compulsory strike-off, which will have negative consequences. Instead, you can opt for —

  • Creditor’s Voluntary Liquidation (CVL), which involves appointing an insolvency practitioner to liquidate assets and distribute them proportionally to outstanding creditors. 
  • Company Voluntary Agreement between the company and its creditors allows it to continue trading under the supervision of an insolvency practitioner and pay its debts over time. 
  • Pre-packed Administration - The company can continue to trade under a pre-packed administration, which entails negotiating a sale of the company's assets before formally entering administration. By doing so, the business can swiftly transition to new ownership, potentially preserving jobs and ongoing operations.

Compulsory strike off consequences - What if I have assets in my company?

In the event of a compulsory strike-off, company assets will not remain under your control, nor will they be distributed according to the company's plans. These assets will be released to the Crown. It's essential to be aware of this consequence, as it emphasizes the importance of promptly addressing the compulsory strike-off notice and considering alternative options to safeguard your company's assets.

What are my options following a request to strike off?

Suppose a third party has forcibly struck your company off the Companies House register. In that case, you have the following options: if you – 

  • Have no outstanding arrears obligations and all assets have been realised simply allow the process to run its course. 
  • Believe the strike off is unjust, or the details are incorrect, you’ll need to prepare and submit a suspension application and engage the registrar for it to be discontinued. 
  •  What to embrace the strike off but have assets and unpaid obligations, best pursue a voluntary liquidation. 

How can I restore a company to the Companies House register?

Depending on the circumstances, there are two main ways to restore a dissolved company: administrative restoration and restoration by a court order. 

1. Administrative restoration 

You can only apply if the — 

  • Person or entity seeking the restoration was a director or shareholder
  • Company was struck off the register and dissolved by the Registrar of Companies within the last 6 years
  • Company was trading at the time it was dissolved

You apply for administrative restoration by sending to the Registrar a — 

if your company had assets, a waiver letter from Bona Vacantia.

If your application has been successful, your company will be restored as soon as the registrar sends you a confirmation letter.

If your application is refused, you might be able to:

2. Court order restoration 

You may be able to apply for a court order to restore a company if you:

  • Did business with them
  • Was an employee
  • They owed you money at the time of the closure
  • Were responsible for their employee pension fund
  • Have shared or competing interest in land
  • Were a shareholder or director when it was dissolved

To apply for a court order restoration in England and Wales, download and fill Form N208.

For assistance in completing Form N208, access guidance notes from the HM Courts and Tribunals service. 

Next, you’ll need to find the company’s registered office and send the completed form to their nearest bankruptcy county court. Contact the Royal Courts of Justice if you need clarification on the appropriate court.

Include the following with the application:

  1. A £280 court fee (cash, postal order, or cheque made payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’)
  2. A witness statement incorporating the supporting details specified in section 4 of the Treasury Solicitor’s Guide to company restoration.

In Scotland:

Apply to the Court of Session if the paid-up capital of the company's shares exceeds £120,000.

For other companies, apply to the local sheriff's court. Subsequently, serve a ‘petition to restore’ on the Registrar of Companies in Scotland and any additional entities as directed by the court.

In Northern Ireland:

Submit an ‘originating summons’ to the Royal Courts of Justice using the address below.

Royal Courts of Justice
Chichester Street
Belfast
BT1 3JY

Send a copy to the Registrar of Companies in Northern Ireland and a supportive witness statement.

The Registrar of Companies
Companies House
Second Floor
The Linenhall
32-38 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BG

Upon acceptance of the claim, the court will issue an order to restore the company. Forward this order to the Registrar of Companies. Once received, the Registrar will proceed with the restoration of the company.

Consequently, take the following steps to pursue outstanding payments:

  • Obtain a ‘judgment’ from the court, specifying the debt amount, interest, and costs.
  • Issue a statutory demand.

File a winding-up petition.

Mar 1, 2021
Feb 26, 2024

read

How to File a Confirmation Statement With Companies House

Find out how to file confirmation statements using form CS01 (formerly AR01 annual return) and report changes to your company information

🔑 Key Highlights

  • On 30 June 2016, Companies House introduced the confirmation statements to replace the traditional annual return form AR01, reshaping the regulatory landscape for companies.
  • Its main objective is to “confirm” the company information Companies House holds is correct and current.
  • All UK-registered companies, including dormant and non-trading businesses, must file an annual confirmation statement.

What Is a Confirmation Statement?

It is an annual statutory filing requirement for UK private limited companies and LLPs, which verifies that your business particulars held by Companies House are correct at a specific date. You are required to file your confirmation statement at least once a year.

By complying with the requirement, companies uphold transparency and guarantee the accuracy of corporate information within the public domain.

What Information Is Included in a Confirmation Statement?

Before submitting your confirmation statement, search for your company in the public register to review the information Companies House has on record for your company. Examine the info and identify any incorrect or out of date info.

Based on what you find, prepare and submit your confirmation statement to “confirm” the accuracy of your company details or make any required amendments. 

The company data to assess in the register include —

  • Registered office address;
  • Single Alternative Inspection Location (SAIL);
  • Company officials include the director, secretary, and LLP members;
  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes (i.e., the company’s principal business activities);
  • People with Significant Control;
  • Exemption from keeping a PSC;
  • Name of each shareholder
  • Shares held by each
  • Statement of Capital which includes -
    • Total number of issued company shares
    • Share class or classes
    • Total number of issued shares of each share class
    • Total nominal value of each share class
    • Aggregate amount unpaid
    • Prescribed particulars of the rights attached to each class of share
    • Currency of the share value
  • Trading status of shares

🛈 Quick Reference

According to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, existing companies with a statement date from 5 March 2024 must give a registered email address when they file their next confirmation statement. From 4 March 2024, new companies must provide a registered email address in their application for incorporation.

How to File Your Confirmation Statement With Companies House Online and Make Changes to Your Company Information

To hand in your confirmation statement and update your company details online with Companies House, follow these steps:

  1. Use the Companies House search service to retrieve the current information they have on your company.
  2. Assess if any changes have occurred since the last confirmation statement filing. Even if your company is dormant, not trading, or no changes have occurred, filing remains a mandatory requirement.
  3. You can only report the following changes through your confirmation statement —-
    • SIC codes
    • Shareholder details
    • Statement of capital
    • Trading status of shares
    • Exemption from keeping a PSC register

Please note that the following changes are reported through other Companies House forms

  • Company name;
  • Registered office addresses;
  • Constitutions; 
  • Director or secretary;
  • Changes in the address where statutory registers are kept or
  • PSCs information.

For a more detailed guide, refer to the comprehensive information provided in this GOV.UK guide.

Insight

The confirmation statement validates that your company's Companies House records are accurate and current. As a result, every existing company, regardless of its trading status, must confirm this information annually.

When Is My Confirmation Statement Due?

File your confirmation statement within 14 days of 12 months from the date you incorporate your company. After the first year, subsequent statements should be filed every 12 months from the last confirmation statement date, known as the review period. 

For instance, if your company files a confirmation statement on 30 September 2024. Your next review period will start on 1 October 2024 and end on 30 September 2025.

Insight

You can submit your confirmation statement as often as you like or as soon as any reportable changes occur in the company. With each filing, a new review period begins from the submission date, and the subsequent deadline is 14 days after each 12-month interval. It's worth noting that the annual fee is required only once per year from the date of incorporation.

FAQs

What steps should I take if my company has been struck off and my business bank account is frozen due to failing to submit a Confirmation Statement?

When a company no longer trades or fails multiple times to comply with legal requirements, Companies House marks it for Compulsory strike-off to remove it from the official register so that it ceases to exist as a distinct business entity. 

Before starting the strike-off process, Companies House typically issues at least two warning notices. These notices inform directors about the impending strike-off and explain its reasons. 

Several factors can lead to an involuntary strike-off, including —

  • Failure to file confirmation statements;
  • Neglecting to submit accounts;
  • All directors resigning or being removed without replacement;
  • Failture to inform Companies House about a change of registered address; and
  • Ceasing trading without filing for dormancy.

Companies House can commence the compulsory strike-off process if any of the above circumstances arise.

You’ll have at least two months to comply with the requirements mentioned in the warning notice. Seek professional advice or engage Companies House directly for help navigating the situation and exploring possible remedies.

Warning

Suppose your company has outstanding debts in the form of unpaid taxes to HMRC. In that case, they may file a winding-up petition seeking the liquidation of your company to pay off its debts. The petition will be advertised in the Gazette and become public knowledge. In response, banks will likely promptly freeze your accounts to mitigate potential liability associated with withdrawals made after the petition's filing.

Upon receiving a compulsory strike-off notice, address the reasons cited by informing Companies House of your operational status and promptly filing any necessary documents.

After compliance, redirect your attention to addressing frozen accounts by following these steps:

  • Settle the winding up petition by clearing any outstanding debt using your private funds.
  • Seek a validation order to authorise specific transactions into and out of your bank account during this period. 
  • Negotiate a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), including a formal repayment plan. 
  • If necessary, explore the option of closing the company voluntarily through a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL).

These strategic steps can help navigate the complexities associated with a compulsory strike-off, allowing you to address immediate concerns and potentially find a resolution that aligns with your company's circumstances.

🛈 Quick Reference

Sign up for email reminders from Companies House, and we’ll send email alerts when your confirmation statement is due.

How much does it cost to file a confirmation statement?

It costs £13 to file your confirmation statement online via WebFiling, and £40 to send your Companies House form CS01 by post. While this method involves traditional mail, it remains a valid option for those who prefer or require a non-digital submission.

It's crucial to consider the mode of filing that best suits your preferences and circumstances. Online filing is generally faster and may offer real-time confirmation, while postal submissions may take longer due to the manual processing involved. Ensure you factor in these costs and choose the method that aligns with your company's needs and timeline.

What happens when I forget to file my confirmation statement? 

Even if you have a company secretary or accountant, the director is ultimately responsible for meeting company filing requirements, like confirmation statements. If you miss the filing deadline, there could be consequences such as late filing penalties, legal implications, and potential damage to your company's good standing. It's essential to prioritize these filings to avoid complications and ensure compliance with regulatory obligations.

Jan 22, 2024
Feb 15, 2024

read

Top 21 Best Small Business Apps to Manage Your Daily Operations

Find a comprehensive comparison list of the best business apps in 2024 to manage your business. Everything you need from project and inventory management to HR.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • Small business apps are more than just tools; they're the catalysts that propel an enterprise to new heights.
  • Versatile applications help enhance efficiency, streamline collaboration, and more.
  • When choosing between apps with similar functions, go for the one that addresses multiple challenges, leading to significant improvement in operations.

In this digital age, businesses that leverage cutting-edge applications and technologies enhance their operational efficiency and rise to the top. That's why we carefully curated this compilation of top apps for business owners and professionals looking for solutions to various business needs across domains such as organisational management, financial tracking, customer engagement and more. 

Check out these 21 small business management apps, presented in categories, to help you discover innovative solutions that can revolutionise how you organise, operate, and propel your business towards success.

Best Scheduling Apps for Small Business Owners 

One notable advantage of scheduling apps is their ability to mitigate the impact of external meeting demands on business owners. By allowing individuals to set their availability times, these apps empower prospects, clients, and teams to schedule meetings in alignment with the entrepreneur's predefined availability. 

The applications also help eliminate scheduling conflicts and overlapping appointments by centralising availability information and automating the scheduling process. 

Insight

Some key features to look out for in a scheduling application include -

  • Ease of use: Opt for an intuitive and straightforward application for your clients, prospects, and team members to schedule time with you.

  • Calendar Integrations: Your scheduling app should easily integrate into your calendar application and let you view your appointments on both platforms.

  • Notifications: Choose an app that sends you notifications when someone books time with you. It should also have an optional feature for sending reminders to you and your guest days, hours, or minutes before the appointment.

Top scheduling applications for small business entrepreneurs in the UK include —

Calendly 

Via Calendly

Calendly is a scheduling automation platform designed to streamline the process of scheduling, preparing for, and following up on internal and external meetings. Users can create a personalised scheduling link and booking page according to their availability, which they then share with others, allowing them to book a meeting easily at a mutually convenient time. 

It offers the flexibility of setting meeting rules, such as 15-minute or 30-minute increments, enabling participants to optimise their time efficiently during these interactions.

Pros 

  • Simple and intuitive 
  • Enhances the professional image of the user
  • Has an automatic time zone conversion that removes meeting time confusion for international teams 

Cons

  • Limited branding options for scheduling pages 

Platforms: iOS, Android, Chrome and Firefox extension 

Pricing: Offers a free forever plan with the standard plan starting at $10 per monthly seat.

Website: https://calendly.com/ 

Appoint.ly

Via Appoint.ly

Appoint.ly is a scheduling application for individuals and businesses. Users create a calendar, set their availability and share with clients and coworkers for bookings. It seamlessly integrates with Google Calendar, Microsoft Office, or iCal and automatically syncs appointments while addressing time zone differences. 

Pros

  • Free plan available
  • Simple, intuitive and functional interface
  • Minimises confusion due to timezone differences

Cons

  • No mobile app
  • Limited functionality compared to other tools

Platforms: Cloud-based 

Pricing: Free basic plan with the pro version starting at $10 per seat per month

Website: https://appoint.ly/ 

Best Project Management Apps

To meet the demands of a dynamic market, companies often rely on multiple teams overseen by either the founder or a designated manager responsible for setting timeframes and objectives. Project management applications are pivotal in facilitating adequate supervision from home, the office, or while on the move. These applications streamline workflows across teams and ensure meticulous attention to detail, mitigating challenges that impede project success.

Techopedia reports a remarkable 92% success rate in meeting project objectives for organisations consistently utilising project admin apps, highlighting the transformative impact of employing the right tools. 

On the other hand, the State of Project Management Report 2021 highlights the most significant challenges in project and portfolio management: benefits management, resource management, and project prioritization. 

Insight

Effective project software must tackle the above-mentioned top 3 challenges at a minimum, incorporating key features such as:

  • Resource allocation — Project management tools assist in optimising resource utilisation by enabling managers to allocate resources, including team members, and time to priority projects.

  • Scheduling — Ensures adherence to project timelines and deadlines, monitors progress and allows for timely adjustments when necessary.

  • Reporting — For data-driven decision-making, the application should offer robust reporting capabilities to track and analyse project performance.

With the above in mind, let's dive into the top 2 project management applications for small enterprises in the UK. 

Trello

Via Trello

Trello is a user-friendly project management software for organising projects into Kanban boards. At a glance, a manager can tell the main task, the individual handling it, and its status. With a generous free plan that accommodates up to 10 boards and unlimited users, it's a versatile tool accessible to all. Small teams, freelancers, and solo entrepreneurs use Trello for individual assignment planning or comprehensive project workflows.

Pros 

  • Easy to manage tasks (to-do lists) with an intuitive drag-and-drop system; 
  • Leaders can assign tasks with due dates and role-specific access privileges; 
  • Users can share images and documents from other apps like Google Drive; and
  • It's super versatile, with multiple templates to get new users started. 

Cons

  • The process of integrating with third-party plugins is clunky;
  • Some basic features are only available through power-ups; and
  • The free plan has limited features.

Platforms: Web, macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android

Pricing: Offers free plan with paid plan starting at $5 per user per month.

Website: https://trello.com/home

Freedcamp 

Via FreedCamp

Freedcamp's free version is considered one of the best apps to help organise. It offers unlimited tasks, users, projects, and storage, an excellent choice for SMBs seeking efficient project management software. Their paid plans, including the business and enterprise packages, provide exceptional value compared to rival platforms. The well-crafted native desktop and mobile apps facilitate convenient project administration beyond web browsers and while on the go.

Pros 

  • It is easy to use and has excellent support;
  • Supports French, German, Croatian, and Russian;
  • Has a time-tracking feature that’s connected to tasks;
  • Inexpensive with the free option including unlimited users, assignments, projects, and storage; and
  • Kanban view allows users to mark tasks as No Progress, In Progress, and Completed.

Cons

  • Few native integrations; 
  • Dull and basic user interface; and
  • Complex integration with third-party applications like Outlook.

Platforms: Web, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS 

Pricing: Free pro package starts at $1.49 monthly per user. 

Website: https://freedcamp.com/

Small Business App for Communication 

Communication is essential for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs). However, most cost-effective project administration tools are intentionally designed without a built-in communication or team chat feature. Consequently, businesses find it necessary to explore standalone chat or messaging apps offering unlimited chat history, private and public channels, and video and voice calls. Among the popular choices for this purpose are

Slack

Via Slack

Slack has become a leading messaging app in business communication. Its intuitive and user-friendly interface sets it apart, providing teams with an efficient platform for streamlining communication. The distinctive feature of Slack lies in its channel organisation system, allowing teams to work with designated spaces for different topics, projects, or teams, fostering a more organised and focused communication environment within the application.

Pros 

  • Has a fair, free plan; 
  • User-friendly interface;
  • It's quick and easy to send messages to individuals or groups;
  • Customisation options for individual users; and
  • Advanced search functionality.

Cons

  • Relatively higher costs for the paid plans;
  • The free plan restricts the number of historical messages accessible, making it susceptible to losing crucial information easily.
  • The free plan limits the number of participants in a huddle to two, affecting team collaboration.

Platforms: Web, macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS

Pricing: Free plan with the pro plan starting at £5.75 per active user per month paid annually. 

Website: https://slack.com/intl/en-gb/ 

Flock

Via Flock

Flock is a messaging and collaboration tool that offers direct and channel messaging, video conferencing, screen and file sharing, and unlimited chat history. Users can create multiple teams and both public and private channels for communication. It is designed for businesses of all sizes and operates on a freemium pricing model, with additional features available in paid plans. The app is known for its fast and reliable communication, making it a popular choice for collaboration and coordination.

Pros 

  • Ideal for instant messaging;
  • Free mobile app for on-the-go communication;
  • In-built to-do list feature for task assignment and progress monitoring; and
  • Users can send themselves messages for safekeeping or access from other devices.

Cons

  • Some users report poor audio and video quality; and
  • Users can delete unread messages without a trace. 

Platforms: Web, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android phones. 

Pricing: Freemium with the pro plan starting at $4.50 /user/month

Website: https://www.flock.com/

Microsoft Teams 

Via Teams

Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that seamlessly integrates workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. Its user-friendly interface enables easy connections, communication, and collaboration, rendering it a favoured choice for businesses and organisations across different scales.

Pros 

  • The centralised document storage and communication system helps boost productivity.
  • Easy collaboration with internal and external contacts
  • Enables access to previous meeting notes and recordings
  • Can hold meetings or webinars with up to 10,000 attendees
  • Has a robust free version for personal use. 
  • Integration with the Microsoft ecosystem
  • Comes with end-to-end security

Cons

  • Not built for phone use
  • Its online meeting experience isn’t as intuitive as with other apps

Platforms: Web, Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS,

Pricing: Business packages start at £3.30/user/month, paid annually

Website: https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software

The Best Business Apps for Time Tracking 

🛈 Information box

Recent research shows that over 80% of an employee's time is spent on low-value tasks. In response to this challenge, a reliable time-tracking application empowers employers to assess staff work habits and their respective contributions to organisational objectives.

With time-tracking tools, companies save time, maximise productivity, identify potential areas of improvement, and monitor performance remotely. For the employee, a time tracking app helps them make the most of their workday and manage distractions.

Some of the best small business apps for time tracking include -

Toggl Track 

Via Toggl

For the web app, toggl track facilitates accurate invoicing by enabling real-time or manual mode tracking of the amount of time spent on an activity, which can be connected to a specific client, project or task. It also has a calendar view that shows weekly time entries in a colour-coded grid format, with which everyone can see the project that dominates an employee's/freelancer's time.  

Toggl has a free forever plan with limited features for up to 5 users and a premium plan for $18 for those who want additional features like fixed fee projects and integrations with third-party applications like Jira or Salesforce. 

Pros

  • User-friendly and versatile;
  • Ideal for individuals, freelancers, and teams of any size;
  • Provides in-depth reports and productivity analytics;
  • Promotes employer and employee acceptance with its anti-surveillance feature; and
  • Effortlessly integrates with a variety of third-party project administration and collaboration tools.

Cons

  • Few native integrations;
  • Users find it difficult to fix time-tracking mistakes; and
  • The desktop application is cumbersome compared to the Chrome extension and mobile app. 

Platforms: Web, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android

Pricing: Free plan for up to 5 users, starter $ 9 per user per month and $18 for the premium package. 

Website: https://toggl.com/track/

HourStack 

Via Hour Stack

Hour Stack is a premium time management application suitable for individuals, starting at $12 per month and $ 15/member/month for large teams. It has over 15 native integrations, with an additional 1,500 through Zapier. The tool helps teams create projects, set budgets and timelines, schedule tasks, balance workloads across teams, track time, pull weekly and monthly reports and customise according to their unique workflow. 

Pros 

  • Intuitive interface;
  • Users can plan for an entire week, both tasks and meetings; 
  • The reporting feature enables users to view time estimates vs actual time spent on a project; and
  • Easily integrates with third-party applications like Asana and Google Calendar. 

Cons 

  • Mobile device applications sometimes don’t work as expected; and
  • The integration with Asana can be unreliable.

Platform: Web

Pricing: No free trial, $12 per month for the personal and $15 for the team package

Website: https://hourstack.com/ 

Best Payroll & Employee Management Apps for Small Business or Remote Teams 

According to the UK Parliament post, fully remote or hybrid arrangements enhance employee wellbeing, but the impact on productivity is uncertain. Yet, business owners report that a remote workforce provides an opportunity to embrace a lean model and tap into a cost-effective offshore talent.

If you are leaning towards going remote or hybrid, here are some of the best HR apps for small ventures — 

Deel 

Via Deel

Deel is one of the preferred solutions for distributed workforce management applications with free and pay-as-you-go plans starting at $49 per active contract/month and a footprint in over 150 countries. With their employer-on-record product, Deel helps businesses undertake background checks, hire, offer employees localised benefits, and comply with complex local regulatory requirements. 

Pros 

  • Completely free for contractors and employees;
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface for ease of use;
  • Streamlined payroll automation feature for efficient processing; and
  • The payment system provides clear tax and compliance requirements guidance, ensuring smooth financial operations. 

Cons 

  • Customer support may, at times, be unreliable; and
  • No mobile application. 

Platform: Cloud-based

Pricing: Free for HR automation, $49 for contractors and $599 for Employer on Record (EOR)

Website: https://www.deel.com/

Motivosity 

Via Motivosity

Motivosity is a business software solution for those seeking to manage employee recognition, motivation and engagement designed to help companies build a positive workplace culture. Through the app, staff members get a sense of community and belonging. With the option to give regular coaching-oriented feedback, teammates feel they have a positive relationship with their boss and managers. 

Its premium plans start at $2, allowing businesses to use it to motivate their workforce as among the strategies underscore success and get insights that help enhance productivity and retention. 

Pros  

  • Intuitive interface that works like a social media page; and
  • Makes it easy for co-workers to compliment and recognise each other efforts, building a positive company culture.

Cons

  • Limited native integration with third-party tools. 

Platform: Cloud-based

Pricing: Starts from $2

Website: https://www.motivosity.com/

  1. Goco
Via Goco

GoCo is a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) business application starting at $5/employee/month that handles onboarding, benefits, time tracking, payroll administration and compliance. 

Pros 

  • Automates all aspects of hiring - from sourcing to onboarding
  • Handles HR, including benefits and payroll management
  • Ideal for small enterprises and large enterprises with remote teams

Cons

  • Difficulty mastering advanced features
  • Available on the web with no mobile application on-the-go access

Platform: Cloud-based

Pricing: Starts from $ 5 per employee per month

Website: https://www.goco.io/

Best Credit Card, Inventory Management, POS System, & Payment Apps for E-commerce 

E-commerce enterprises depend on efficient and secure payment solutions to ensure a seamless shopping experience, significantly contributing to customer satisfaction and trust. Top payment applications for e-commerce companies include — 

PayPal Express Checkout

Via Paypal

PayPal is one of the earliest and most popular online payment solutions. To access the service, you only need to sign up for the express checkout and add it to your website. You can add the checkout through a partner or build your custom integration for your website. Paypal charges 2.90% + £0.30 per transaction. See more details on the UK fees page.

Website: https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/get-started-express-checkout

Square

Via Square

Square is a free stock management and payment processing app for small enterprises. It enables small and medium-sized businesses to accept credit card payments using smartphones or tablets as point-of-sale system registers. It has the following features 

  • Payment acceptance including -
    • Credit and debit cards
    • Apple Pay and Google Pay
    • Digital Gift Cards
    • Card on file for regular customers
    • Custom invoicing
    • Encrypted payments
    • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance
  • Checkout process customisation
  • Receipts
  • Automated discounts
  • Square analytics for advanced reporting and insights
  • Inventory management with low stock alerts

Besides the features, Square offers POS hardware, which includes the following —

  • Square register with fully integrated till system with point of sale software, payments, and a dedicated customer display.
  • Square stands for those using their iPad as a POS.
  • Square terminal, which connects wirelessly with your POS and accepts all kinds of payments and print receipts.
  • Square reader for contactless payments.

Pros 

  • Clean and intuitive interface
  • Free basic plan with robust features
  • Wide range of hardware to choose from
  • Real-time sales tracking

Cons 

  • Cluncky hardware design

Platforms: iOS and Android. 

Pricing: Free for small businesses with the plus plan starting at £49 per month, per location

Website: https://squareup.com/us/en

Best Small Business Apps for Accounting & Invoice Management

The best accounting software for small and medium businesses is affordable and easy to use, recognising that most small and medium business owners are not professional accountants. These tools enable companies to manage their finances and record expenses, profit, and losses. Some of the best tools include —- 

Zoho 

Via Zoho

Unlike Freshbooks, Zoho is a free accounting invoicing software for small business owners, solopreneurs and freelancers. 

Pros 

  • Simple and intuitive; and
  • Multiple customisation options available.

Cons

  • Free version is limited to 1,000 invoices per year.

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows

Pricing: Offers a free version with enterprise quotations available on request. 

Website: https://www.zoho.com/invoice/

Xero

Via  Xero

Xero is tailored for medium-sized businesses that need high-level accounting software for sending invoices, accepting payments, managing contracts, and more. Its pricing starts at £15 to £55 per month. 

Pros 

  • Cost-effective; 
  • Unlimited users and plans;
  • Enables collaboration with accountants or business advisors;
  • Cloud-based and accessible anywhere with an internet connection;

Cons

  • Steep learning curve for new users;
  • It takes a long for customer service teams to respond to people; 

Platforms: Cloud-based

Pricing: £15 for the starter package

Website: https://www.xero.com/uk/accounting-software/

Quickbooks Online

Via Quickbooks

QuickBooks is an online business accounting software specifically crafted to simplify cash flow management. It boasts robust features, including automated expense tracking, efficient invoice creation, integrated payroll services, and insightful financial reporting. 

Pros 

  • It's easy to use and learn;
  • Integrates well with third-party applications
  • It is cloud-based, enabling users to access real-time data anytime, anywhere;
  • Tools suitable for various business types, including accountants, sole traders and limited companies. 

Cons

  • Lacks industry-specific features
  • Experiences regular system crashes
  • Limited to accounting-specific reporting

Platforms: Cloud-based, iOS, Android, iPad, Tablet, MacOS and Windows

Pricing: $29.90/user/month

Website: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/uk/ 

Best Marketing Apps Or CRM Software

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to business development, systems or strategies to promote client acquisition and retention. A comprehensive solution gathers customer information from all the contact points with the business, such as the website, social media, phone line, email, and marketing content. It uses this data to equip the relevant staff with in-depth customer insights such as purchasing history, preferences and prospects' challenges. 

Insight

There are three types of CRM software — collaborative, analytical and operational. Analytical collects and assesses client information, which businesses harness for customer behaviour and tailored experiences.

Operational CRM streamlines core business processes, automating sales, marketing, and customer service functions to enhance efficiency and client satisfaction.

Lastly, a collaborative platform focuses on organisational communication and collaboration to provide a seamless customer experience.

Nimble

Via Nimble

Nimble is primarily considered a collaborative CRM that integrates seamlessly with Google Workspace, Office 365, and multiple third-party applications. 

It emphasises organisational communication and cooperation to improve customer interactions and relationships. Additional features include —

  • Marketing automation;
  • Lead and pipeline management;
  • Task management; and
  • Analytics and dashboards. 

Pros 

  • Neat, user-friendly interface;
  • Connect on the go with its mobile application;
  • Best CRM for Microsoft Office, including Microsoft 365 apps, Microsoft Teams and Outlook. 

Cons

  • Reporting and analytics are not as robust;

Platforms: iOS, Android and Windows

Pricing: $29.90/user/month

Website: https://www.nimble.com/

Zen‍Desk

Via Zendesk

Zendesk is a cloud-based operational CRM that automates customer support ticket management, helping users track, prioritise, personalise and solve email support interactions. Its suite plans start from $49/per month for up to 5 agents. 

Pros

  • Workflow automation;
  • Feature-rich interface; and
  • Multi-channel support (chat, email, social media) on a unified platform;
  • Integrates with multiple third-party solutions for comprehensive reporting and analytics. 

Cons

  • It’s unintuitive and takes a long time to understand the platform;

Platform: Web

Pricing: Starts at £45 per agent per month. 

Website: https://www.zendesk.co.uk/

Copper Google Workspace CRM

Via Copper

One of the best CRM software for small businesses tailored for G Suite applications, Copper empowers sales teams by effectively managing their leads, contacts, and communication from a unified platform.

Pros 

  • Cost effective 
  • Simple and easy to use, since the interface is similar to most Google applications
  • Effortlessly extract leads from Gmail, enhancing contact and lead management.
  • Workflow automaton for repetitive tasks
  • track and log email chains, meetings, and files from Gmail using the Chrome extension.

Cons

  • May issue unnecessary notifications

Platform: Web, iOS and Android Apps

Pricing: The basic plan starts at $23 monthly per user, paid annually.

Website: https://www.copper.com/

Final Word.

When selecting the best app for your business, choose one that will address the most significant bottleneck. For instance, if you are not making the most out of your existing customer database - you’ll need an analytical CRM to gather insights from client interactions with your business for targeted marketing campaigns and product recommendations. 

Key features you should look out for in a business application should include — 

  • Ease of use — The applications should be intuitive and easy to use. However, you may need software with elaborate features and functionalities. In such cases, consider if the software company offers product walkthroughs, onboarding sessions, and reviews comments from past clients on their customer support culture. 
  • Integrations — You’ll find that many business processes are interdependent. For instance, an order management system may need to communicate with an accounting app. Your email marketing software may require integration with a lead generation tool. Therefore, consider how easily your app of choice connects to third-party applications. 
  • Cost — Determine if the software is the most cost-effective for your business needs. In addition to the monthly charges and price per seat, consider if you’ll have to pay extra to integrate with a non-native application. 
Jul 13, 2020
Feb 15, 2024

read

Your HMRC UTR Number Explained

Everything you need to know about registering for self assessment, applying for a UTR number for your company, or filing tax returns.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • UTR serves as a unique identifier for businesses and individuals, including sole traders.
  • Once assigned, the number remains valid for the lifetime of the individual or business entity.
  • The number provides access to various online services HM Revenue and Customs offers, enabling taxpayers to manage their accounts, submit tax returns, and stay updated on their financial obligations.

What is a Unique Tax Reference Number?

HMRC issues a unique taxpayer reference comprising ten digits (e.g., 0123456789) to all taxpayers, whether they are limited companies, self-employed individuals, or sole traders.

Personal UTR numbers are issued immediately after a self-employed individual files for self-assessment, while UTR numbers are given directly after incorporation. 

Why do I need a UTR Number?

UTR numbers are unique to the holder and, therefore used to identify a person or business for the purpose of taxation. Limited companies use UTR as a reference number when they are -

  • Filing returns to HMRC;
  • Communicating changes in their accounting period;
  • Informing HMRC about changes in their registered details or company structure or
  • Transitioning from active to dormant company.

Individuals on self-assessment use a UTR for reference when communicating to HMRC in the following instances —

  • File a self-assessment tax return online or via post;
  • Work with accountants or other financial advisors;
  • Determine their tax bill and pre-pay taxes;
  • Claim refunds;
  • Track compliance with tax obligations; and
  • Ensure accurate record-keeping for tax-related matters.

The reference number helps HM Revenue and Customs track earnings, calculate their liability, and monitor the fulfilment of tax obligations. 

How to Register for a UTR Number From HMRC as a Self-Employed Sole Trader

You will be issued a UTR number during self-assessment registration or when forming an LTD company. To enroll for self assessment with HMRC online, you’ll need a Government Gateway ID and password. If you do not have a business account, you can create one if you are -

  • Self-employed as a sole trader
  • A business partner, or 
  • You need to pay for any other reason; for example, you earn income from a rental property. 

🛈 Information box

If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to sign up for UTR and Class 2 National Insurance by filling out a CWF1 online form and posting it. Once you register, you’ll get your UTR number by post in 15 days or 21 if you are abroad.

If you’ve joined a registered partnership, print and post from SA401, or create your Government Gateway credentials and do it online.

For any other reason, you’ll need to provide your full name, postal address, telephone number, and UK national insurance number and indicate why you are registering for self-assessment. 

To avoid fines, remember the deadline for when you must file returns. 

However, if you’ve ever registered but have not yet received your UTR number, contact HMRC directly through the self assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310. They will post it to you, and this takes around ten days. 

Take time to memorise your number, just like your National Insurance number, it’s yours for life.

How to find your UTR number online?

If you’ve forgotten your UTR number, there are several ways to retrieve it.

Insight

You can get the number on your personal tax account or the HMRC app, accessible as an iOS App from the App Store or Android App from the Google Play Store using your Government Gateway ID and password to access your details.

Most of your documents from HMRC will show your UTR number; refer to any tax returns letters you receive or forms such as a P60 or P45. Your corporation UTR number will also be printed on your payslip.

See if you can find your UTR number in any of the following resources —

  • Get your registered name and number for a ltd company and request your corporation tax UTR online.
  • Search through your online Self-Assessment account on the HMRC website.
  • Check your “Welcome to Self Assessment letter” (Letter (SA250) sent by HM Revenue & Customs.
  • In your “Corporation Tax Information for New Companies” letter (CT41G) sent by HMRC to the official company address 
  • Any official correspondence, letters, or notices sent to you by HMRC, for instance, notices for tax payments or statements of accounts. 
  • Previous self assessment, company tax returns and other documents. 

However, if you still can’t access previous tax documents (or you want to check your company UTR number), get in touch with HM Revenue & Customs through the self assessment helpline, and they’ll post it to you in 10 working days, or to the registered company address in case of a company utr number.

How do I get a UTR number if I am a Non-Resident?

The law requires non-residents to pay taxes on their UK earnings but not their foreign income. If you are a non-resident, you can apply for UTR through the Government Gateway with the necessary credentials. To get them, you’ll need to have lived in the UK at some point and at least have a National Insurance number (NINO). 

If you do not have NINO, it is possible to register for self-assessment using form SA1, used by those who need to register for UTR number for reasons other than self-employment. As you fill out the PDF, indicate the reason for not providing your NINO. 

Next, you will be asked why you must complete a tax return. Some of your options include if you are - 

  • Receiving annual income from a trust or settlement;
  • Earning an annual income of over £100,000;
  • Getting untaxed income that cannot be collected through your PAYE tax code;
  • Earning Income for Child Benefit purposes of over £50,000, and you or your partner is entitled to receive Child Benefit payments on or after 7 January 2013; and 
  • Required to pay Capital Gains Tax to pay. 

If you have other reasons for completing your returns, you will be required to give the relevant details. 

Once you obtain a UTR number, you can create a Government Gateway account, sign up for HMRC online services, and file self assessment tax returns. 

For a non-resident company or a collective investment vehicle (CIV) that operates in the country or owns UK-based assets such as shares or land, you are liable to pay your company tax using form CT600 corporation tax return. To file your returns, you will need to provide the following details — 

  • Company name (prior names if applicable), registered overseas address, and all contact details.
  • Date of incorporation
  • Name and addresses of directors
  • The date you became liable for company tax 

How do I register for a Company UTR?

To record your company as “active” with HMRC for tax (this must be done within three months of starting any form of business activity or receiving business-related income), you’ll have to provide the following details:

  • Company name and company registration number (CRN);
  • Trading start date (this will determine the start date of your initial corporate tax accounting period);
  • Main address where your business activities are active (this doesn’t have to be your registered office address);
  • Outline your company’s principal activities (your SIC code will be needed here).
  • The date your company accounts will be noted is also known as the “Accounting Reference Date (ARD).” It is the anniversary of the last day of the month of your business formation;
  • Any other information on whether you’ve taken over an existing company/or are part of a group; and 
  • Comprehensive details of all company directors (names, addresses, National Insurance number).

If applicable, any information regarding the appointment of an agent (accountant/tax advisor) who handles your company’s tax-related issues.

How long does it take to get a UTR?

How long it takes to get a UTR depends on your circumstances. 

  • Individuals register for self assessment online and get their UTR number within ten working days. 
  • Non-resident individuals with all the necessary documentation can get their UTR within 21 working days after enrolling for self assessment on the HMRC website. Non-UK resident landlords can register for the Non-resident Landlord (NRL) scheme by calling or writing to HM Revenue and Customs using the following details: 

0300 322 9433

+44 300 322 9433

Open Monday to Friday: 8:30 am to 5 pm and closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Bank Holidays.

Charities, Savings, and International 1

HM Revenue and Customs

BX9 1AU
United Kingdom

You do not need to include a street name or PO box when writing to this address.

  • For a limited company registered with Companies House, HMRC will automatically get a notification of their formation and send their UTR number within 14 days of incorporation.
  • Non-resident corporations must register for corporate tax within three months of becoming liable to pay UK corporate tax. If the corporation has a Government Gateway User ID, HMRC will send the code online. If not, the company will need to create an account and allow up to 8 weeks to process the registration and get access codes to your overseas address.

I lost my UTR number; what do I do?

For lost UTR, don’t worry. Simply look through your correspondence with HM Revenue & Customers. If you cannot trace it, you can call HMRC on 0300 200 3310 to ask about your number and +44 161 931 9070 for those outside the UK. HMRC cannot give your UTR number over the phone, but they’ll send it to you by post in 10 working days.

What is the difference between a UTR Number and a Tax Code?

A UTR number and tax code are tax-related numbers in the UK but for different purposes. A unique tax reference is a 10-digit number identifying an entity for taxation matters issued by Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to individuals or companies.

On the other hand, a tax code is used to identify employers, pension providers, and taxpayers within the context of withholding tax that combines numbers and letters with a distinct meaning. The numbers in a tax code represent the tax-free income an employee can earn in a year, while the letter reflects the employee's situation and how it affects the employee. Therefore, tax codes are not static (they change every year) and are not unique to individuals, and there are situations where two or more people with similar tax dynamics can have the same code.

Currently, the most common tax code is 1257L, which means you can earn up to £12,570 before HMRC requires you to pay your income tax. The letter L means the employee is entitled to the standard tax-free personal allowance. Other letters, such as M, mean the employee has received a transfer of 10% of your partner’s Personal Allowance.

What is a tax return?

Taxpayers must file annual returns with HMRC by post or online, declaring their income and any other relevant financial details helpful in calculating tax liability and scheduling payments or requesting refunds in case of an overpayment. The form is called self assessment because each individual is responsible for reporting their income.

What are the Self Assessment deadlines?

To not miss a deadline, you first need to know that tax dates do not go according to calendar years and are filed in arrears (for the previous year’s income). For instance, when submitting forms in 2023, you are reporting based on 2022 income.

The present tax year starts from April 6, 2023, to April 5, 2024, shortened as 2023/2024, and HMRC requires that self assessment returns be filed by October 5, 2024, if it was your first time filing. Midnight October 31, 2024, and January 31, 2025, are the deadlines for filing a paper tax return and online filing, respectively. HMRC also requires that you pay taxes you owe by January 31, 2025.

Who needs to file a self assessment Tax Return?

In the UK, most people pay tax at source in the form of PAYE (Pay as You Earn) and are not required to file for self assessment. However, according to HMRC, you must file a self assessment tax return (known as an SA100) if, during the tax year, you were -

  • Self-employed as a ‘sole trader’ and earned more than £1,000 (before taking off anything you can claim tax relief on);
  • A partner in a business partnership, a minister of religion, or a trustee;
  • A resident or non-resident who earned over £2,500 in terms of an untaxed interest, rental income, commission, etc;
  • Earned over £10,000 before tax in savings and investments or have You have an annual income of £100,000 or more before tax;
  • You have capital gains income received by selling or giving away shares or any other relevant asset;
  • Had a total taxable income of above £100,000; and
  • Had to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge.

If you need clarification on your situation, please write to us at info@capital-office.co.uk, and we will give you all the information necessary to make a sound decision.

How do I file a Self-Assessment Tax Return Online?

You can file online using form SA100 if you are self-employed and must submit returns for reasons such as receiving rental income.

However, to file returns for a —

  • Partnership use the Partnership Tax Return (SA800);
  • Trust or an estate files through the Tax and Estate Tax Return (SA900);
  • Non-resident using the Residence, remittance basis, etc. (Self Assessment SA109);
  • Report  chargeable events, such as the maturity of a life insurance policy, by filing the electronic flat text file specification (previously called magnetic media specifications) — for UK insurers only or the HMRC chargeable events spreadsheet;
  • Minister of religion by supplementary pages SA102M; and 
  • SA103L for Lloyd's underwriters. 

How do I pay my tax bill?

You can pay your self assessment tax bill by 31 January for taxes owed from the previous year through -

  • Online or telephone banking (Faster Payments);
  • Debit or corporate credit card online;
  • Your bank or building society; 
  • Your online bank account;
  • CHAPS or Bacs

Note that HMRC’s banking address is:

Barclays Bank PLC1
Churchill Place
London
United Kingdom
E14 5HP

What are the Self-Assessment Tax Bill Deadlines?

Submitting returns is complex; you must get the timing right to avoid penalties. Note taxation forms are not submitted based on calendar years but tax years and are filed in arrears (for the previous year’s income). For instance, if you are filing returns in 2023, you are filing for 2022 income.

Insight

The present tax year starts from April 6, 2023, to April 5, 2024, shortened as 2023/2024, and HMRC requires that Self-Assessment returns be filed by October 5, 2024, if it was your first time filing. Midnight October 31 and January 31 (the following year) are the deadlines for filing a paper tax return and online filing, respectively. HMRC also requires that you pay taxes you owe by January 31.

How do you apply for a Company UTR number?

When you set up your LTD company, Companies House automatically sends a notification to HMRC to issue you with a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number.

What is the difference between a Tax Rebate and a Tax Refund?

Both terms refer to an after-tax refund a taxpayer receives after overpaying their tax invoice. The refund (rebate) refers to the sum you receive from the government when your taxes exceed your actual tax liability.

How do I file my first tax return online?

If this is your first time filing a tax return, begin by enlisting for self assessment. Complete the registration process online on the GOV.UK website. Once registered, you will be assigned a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number.

Next, gather documents such as P60, P45, and any other relevant tax paperwork. With your documents in hand, determine if you can file online or if you ought to use commercial software and follow the appropriate instructions. The deadline for submitting your tax return is midnight on the 31st of January, following the end of the tax year, and you should always expect to receive a confirmation from HMRC that they have received your return.

Any taxes you owe must be paid by midnight on the 31st of January following the end of the tax year. Various payment methods are available, including online, phone, or postal.

Remember, you can contact HMRC for support if you encounter any questions or require assistance with the tax filing process.

Jul 1, 2014
Feb 15, 2024

read

How to Change Your Limited Company Registered Office Address

Discover how to change your UK limited company registered office address at Companies House using form AD01 or WebFiling.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • You can change your registered office address anytime throughout the lifetime of your company.
  • With the recently enacted Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, your registered address must be a physical address in the same country where the company is registered, not a PO box address.
  • Statutory letters from government agencies such as the Office of National Statistics, courts, Companies House, and HMRC are sent to the registered office address.

How to Change a Company Address (Online and With Form AD01)

You are responsible for keeping your company information as held by Companies House up to date. But before you proceed to change, ensure that the new address remains within the same part of the UK where your company is registered – England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. 

Change your company address online using your WebFiling credentials (email address and password). 

Watch the video below for more information.

A video guide on how to change your director or company address registered with Companies House

You can also change your details by post using form AD01

Form AD01 download
A snapshot of from AD01

You’ll need the following details to fill out the form – 

  • Company name
  • Company registration number
  • Details of the new address
  • Presenter information (details of the person filling out the form)

To avoid penalties, you must update your company information held at Companies House within 14 days of the change. 

Once your change of address becomes effective, Companies House will inform HMRC. 

FAQ 

What is a registered office address? 

Companies House, HMRC, and other government agencies use a registered office address to send official mail. You can use your home or business address, but note that Companies House will no longer accept a P.O. Box.

Also known as a service address, the registered office address is the official address of your Company. As far as mail is concerned, it is the point of contact between your private limited company and the government. 

Before you register your company, be sure to have it in place. 

Can I use my residential address as my company’s registered office address?

Yes. You can use your home address as your registered office address. However, since the address will be publicly available on the Companies House register, you may get unwanted mail and visitors, exposing you to privacy and security challenges. 

Instead, consider working with a virtual office address service like ours and acquire a prestigious central London address that elevates your brand image. 

What is the difference between a trading address and a registered office address?

A trading address is where you are carrying out your business activities. If you have a professional business premise, you can register your trading address as the registered office address. However, you may have to deal with uninvited visitors since this information will be available on the Companies House public register. 

Furthermore, with your landlord's permission, you can provide your home address as your registered address. Yet, this option exposes you to privacy violations and junk mail. 

Do I or a company representative need to be available at the trading address to receive correspondence? 

You do not need to trade from your registered office service location or have any company representative present. However, you need someone at the address to receive, sign, and confirm receipt of the government mail sent to the business. Such an individual can be anybody, including the staff at a virtual office. 

It ensures that official documents, notices, or communications are properly handled and acknowledged by someone at the specified address. By fulfilling this requirement, you demonstrate that you have a reliable point of contact for regulatory or governmental entities, even if the business or company representative is not physically present at the trading address.

What are the key features of your registered address service?

As far as virtual office services are concerned, we are the best. 

A registered office address is a legal requirement during company formation. Further, with the enactment of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act already established, companies have until March 2024 to switch to a physical address from a P.O. Box. 

🎁 Exclusive Offer

Our prestigious central London registered office address service includes a FREE Company formation. Furthermore, if you take the virtual business address service, you get additional benefits such as access to meeting rooms and mail forwarding service.

Registered office address service

Jul 10, 2014
Feb 15, 2024

read

Directors Service Address Vs. Registered Office Address Service

Are you seeking to register your company in the UK? Get the latest insights for successful UK company formation with Companies House.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • During company formations, there are two primary addresses that you will need to provide to Companies House: the director's service address and the registered office address.
  • All companies must provide a registered email address under the new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act. Companies House will use this email address to communicate with the company – it will not be available to the public.

As the name suggests, the director service address is provided by the individual directors, while the registered office address represents the official correspondence address of the company.

What Is a director's service address?

It is the address government agencies will use to send statutory correspondence relevant to the role of the director. Official letters from HMRC, Companies House, courts, the Office of National Statistics, and other agencies will be sent to this address.

Every director needs to provide this information during company formation or at the time of appointment. The address can be residential or commercial, but remember that Companies House will display it in the public register. We always recommend using a non-residential address to protect an individual's privacy.

Insight

Unlike the registered address, the director's service address can be a full postal address anywhere in the world.

What Is a registered office address?

Statutory letters in the company name will be sent to the registered office address. Please note that starting March 2024, owing to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, which became law in October 2023, a registered office address must be a physical address, not a P.O. Box.

Insight

You must have a registered office address before starting the company formation process. It must be in the same country your company is registered in; for example, a company registered in Scotland must present a registered office address in Scotland.

In addition to the office address, the Act also requires all companies to provide a registered email address. Companies House will use this email address to communicate with the company, and it will not be available to the public.  

Starting 4 March 2024, newly incorporated companies must provide a registered email address during the incorporation process. For existing companies, the requirement applies when filing their subsequent confirmation statement, beginning from a statement date on or after 5 March 2024

Can I use my home address as my director service address?

Yes. Technically, you can use your home address as your director service address. However, since this information will be publicly available on the Companies House register, it's essential to consider the implications. Using your home address may impact your privacy and expose personal details to the public. 

Opting for a separate director service address, such as the one provided by Your Virtual Office London, ensures a professional image, safeguards your privacy, and complies with regulatory requirements. Our solution allows you to maintain a level of separation between your personal and professional identity.

Can I use a virtual office address as my director's address?

Yes, using a virtual office address as your director's address is common and legal. You get to present a professional image for your business and streamline statutory communication, as the virtual office can handle mail and other communications on your behalf.

🎁 Exclusive Offer

Elevate your business with our prestigious virtual business address in central London, which includes free company formation.

What is the difference between a registered office, business address, and service address?

The terms "registered office," "business address," and "service address" refer to different addresses associated with a company, each serving a distinct purpose. Here's a breakdown of their differences —

Registered Office Address

Also known as the legal correspondence address, it is the official address of a company or LLP used for legal and official correspondence, and with the appropriate permissions, you can use either a residential or non-residential address. Government agencies, regulatory bodies, and the public send statutory letters and official documents to this address. Such correspondence may include—

  • Official documentation regarding changes in company structure or details;
  • Official company documentation from Companies House;
  • Legal updates, notices and summons;
  • Compliance information and reminders;
  • Correspondence from HMRC; OR
  • Important notifications related to the company.

The law requires that companies maintain a registered office address, which must be a physical location in the country where the company is registered.

Business Address

Also known as a trading address, it is the general address associated with the company, used for general business correspondence from customers, clients, and suppliers. It can be a physical location or a virtual office. Unlike the registered address, you are not required to observe the exact legal requirements. There is no legal definition for a business or trading address. 

Service Address

Also known as the director address, it is the official address of company directors, secretaries, and other officers registered with Companies House. It is used for official communication related to the individual's role in the company.

Similar to the registered office address, having a service address is a legal requirement. It helps protect the personal information of limited company officers.

What is the difference between a home and a correspondence address?

The terms "home address" and "correspondence address" refer to different addresses associated with individuals and serve distinct purposes. The home address is the residential address where an individual resides. It is primarily used to identify the location of an individual's residence and is associated with personal matters.

The home address is used for various purposes, including personal mail and official documents, and as a point of contact for personal matters.

On the other hand, a correspondence address is designated by an individual for receiving official correspondence. Individuals may get a correspondence address if they prefer to receive certain types of mail or communications at a location other than their home address.

In a hurry and just want some advice?

Our friendly team are on hand to help, get in touch today

Call us at

+44 (0) 207 566 3939

Email us at

info@capital-office.co.uk

×