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June 7, 2024
June 7, 2024


Register Your Company and Get a Certificate of Incorporation

🔑 Key Highlights

  • A certificate of incorporation is conclusive evidence that your company has been duly registered with Companies House.
  • You can call Companies House or use their search service to get a hard copy of your certificate.

Certificate of Incorporation Defined

A Certificate of Incorporation proves that your company has been officially registered at Companies House under the Companies Act and is recognised as a legal entity in the UK. It signifies that your business is now separate and distinct from its shareholders and directors, operating independently under the law.

Who needs a certificate of incorporation UK?

A certificate of Incorporation is essential for various entities and individuals registering a company in the UK. Here's a breakdown of who needs one:

  • Entrepreneurs registering a limited company by shares — Whether establishing a public or private company, entrepreneurs seeking to set up a business structure where ownership is divided into shares require a registration certificate. 
  • Individuals establishing charitable organisations — Individuals or groups intending to establish charitable organisations with limited liability protection in the UK that operate under a company limited by guarantee structure also require a certificate. 
  • Partners Forming Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) or Limited Partnerships (LPs)—Partners seeking to enjoy limited liability protection can opt to form LLPs or LPs. In both cases, obtaining a certificate of incorporation is necessary to formalise the registration process and establish the legal entity's existence.

The certificate is official proof of the company's legal incorporation and is essential for conducting business activities and fulfilling legal requirements.

Which company details are found in a certificate of incorporation?

Once Companies House has approved your registration application, you will find the following details in an incorporation certificate.

  1. The type of company such as a private or public company, LLP or another legal entity structure.
  2. The registration number uniquely identifies the company and depends on the entity type. For example, a partnership will have a partnership number, while a private limited company will have a company registration number (CRN).
  3. The certificate indicates the official date of incorporation or registration.
  4. The full legal name under which the company is registered is provided in the certificate.
  5. Registrar information may be from Companies House in England and Wales, Companies House Scotland, or Companies House Northern Ireland.
  6. Depending on the jurisdiction, formation jurisdiction may be Cardiff, Edinburgh, or Belfast.
  7. Relevant legislation or laws under which the company is formed provide the legal context for its establishment, e.g., the Companies Act (2006) or the Limited Liability Partnership Act (2000)

Company Name Requirements for a New Company in the UK

When registering a new company in the UK, the name displayed on your certificate of incorporation must adhere to specific criteria set by Companies House. To ensure approval, your company name must meet the following requirements:

  1. Uniqueness — The proposed name must not closely resemble an existing company name, helping to avoid confusion among consumers and stakeholders.
  2. Exclude official terms — Avoid incorporating terms like "Royal" or "Government" to imply an association with any local or national UK government agency, as these terms require official authorisation.
  3. Avoid sensitive words — Exercise caution when using sensitive words like "Chartered" or "Accredited," ensuring proper authorisation is obtained before inclusion.
  4. Appropriateness—The name should be appropriate and not offensive, inappropriate, or likely to cause harm, maintaining professionalism and respectability.
  5. Compliance with legal standards — Ensure the name does not suggest criminal activities contrary to the public interest, adhering to legal standards and ethical principles.

How to Register Your Company With Companies House

Here is what you need to form your company directly with Companies House:

  • Company name — Choose an appropriate name for your company. Ensure it's unique and complies with Companies House regulations.
  • Officer details — Provide information about the company directors and persons with significant control (PSCs), including their names, addresses, and other relevant particulars.
  • A registered office address — The official address for receiving statutory mail. 
  • Memorandum and articles of association—Outline the subscribers' initial commitment to establish a company and rules for internal management, respectively.  
  • Correspondence address for the officers — For receiving statutory letters and legal notices relevant to their role.
  • Share structure — Determine your company's share structure, including the number of shares and their respective values.
  • Standard industrial classification (SIC) code — Identify the appropriate SIC code that best describes your company's primary activities.

Once you have these details ready, you can initiate the registration process. The cost for setting up a limited company directly with Companies House is £12, and the process typically takes around 12 hours to complete.

To begin your company formation journey, visit the following link:


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Further insights on incorporating a company: Register & Thrive: UK Company Formation Made Simple

How to Get Another Certificate if You Lose One

Always keep your certificate of registration in a safe and easily accessible place so you can quickly produce it when needed. 

However, if you lose your original certificate of incorporation. You can get a copy of the certificate online since Companies House service provides free access to company details and filings through the following steps:

  1. Visit the Find and Update company information service at https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/ 
  2. Enter your company number or name in the search box.
  3. Select your company from the list.
  4. Click on "Filing history."
  5. Scroll down and choose "View PDF" next to Incorporation (you may need to navigate to older pages).
  6. Download a PDF copy of your certificate.

You can obtain a certified copy of your certificate of incorporation by calling Companies House on 0303 1234 500 and providing the company's CRN. The standard service costs £15.00, while the same-day service costs £50.00. Digital copies can also be requested via email.

How to Get a Certificate of Incorporation Via Companies House Directly

Companies House sends a company’s certificate of incorporation to the company in the following ways:

  • By post — You’ll be sent a certificate of incorporation through the post to the company's registered office address as Companies House approves your application.
  • Digital certificate —You can also download a digital copy of your certificate from the Companies House website by searching for a company and accessing its filing history.
  • Ordering a certified copy—If a company has misplaced its original certificate, it can order a ‘printed certificate of incorporation’ from the Companies House by calling its contact centre. The standard service cost is £15, and the certified copy is delivered within 4 working days.

In summary, Companies House primarily delivers the certificate of incorporation by sending the original printed version to the company's registered office through the post. Companies can also obtain digital or certified copies of the certificate as needed.

How to Get a New Certificate if You Change Your Company Name

After your company is incorporated, tell Companies House when you want to change its name. You'll be issued a Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name via email, reflecting the new company name while retaining all other details, such as the company registration number and incorporation date, identical to those on the original certificate.

Article by

Capital Office

Through our insightful content, we aim to demystify the world of virtual offices and empower businesses to thrive in the digital landscape. With a focus on efficiency and professionalism, we bring a wealth of knowledge to help you navigate the dynamic challenges of the business world. Choose us for a virtual office experience that transcends boundaries.

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