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Company Guides

Useful advice, tips and business news.

June 7, 2024
June 7, 2024


Register Your Company and Get a Certificate of Incorporation

Are you looking to register your company? Learn how to get your certificate of incorporation, including the online application and replacement procedure.

🔑 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:


Unlock Free Company Registration with the UK's Premier Company Formations Agent

Say goodbye to complexities and expenses when you incorporate your company with us. At Your Virtual Office London, we offer complimentary company formation services for Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) and Limited Companies by Shares (LTD) and Guarantee (LBG). Our approach is centred on ensuring businesses are fully prepared from registration. 

Here's how you can take advantage of our free company formation offer:

  • Obtain privacy addresses – Protect your company officials, including directors, persons with significant control, and shareholders. Maintain confidentiality and protect personal information.
  • Invest in virtual office packages — Our comprehensive virtual office package is designed to provide a professional business address, mail handling services, and more.
  • Choose resident or non-resident formation packages — Choose from our range of resident or non-resident formation packages, which include complimentary UK company setup addresses and secretarial services.

With Your Virtual Office London, you can streamline the company formation process and focus on driving your business forward. Experience hassle-free registrations and comprehensive support every step of the way.

Kickstart your business journey with free Company Formations!

Fulfil all your legal requirements while enjoying the freedom of launching your company with our exclusive offer: free company formations with select company address services.

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.

May 15, 2024
May 17, 2024


Full List UK Bank Holidays for 2024 and Other Special Days

Find a complete list of UK bank holidays in 2024 for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

🔑 Key Highlights

  • There are eight bank holidays in England and Wales, Scotland has nine, and ten in Northern Ireland, each with specific themes and significance.
  • The common bank holidays across all jurisdictions include New Year's Day, Good Friday, the early May bank holiday, the Spring bank holiday, the Summer bank holiday, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.
  • Special days observed globally that UK businesses can leverage to boost sales include Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday.

Businesses can harness the potential of bank holidays, UK special days, and global events like Black Friday to boost sales, increase brand awareness and build stronger customer relationships. Achieving these goals involves implementing strategic strategies such as — 

  • Themed promotions – Create promotions and offers directly tied to the theme of the bank holiday or special day. For example, businesses can offer discounts on romantic products or services on Valentine's Day. At the same time, on Black Friday, you can provide exclusive deals and limited-time offers across a range of products.
  • Content marketing—Develop content marketing campaigns that revolve around the date's significance, including blog posts, social media content, and email newsletters that highlight the relevance of the holiday or event and showcase how your products or services can enhance the celebration.
  • Targeted advertising — Use targeted campaigns to reach specific audiences interested in the holiday or event. Platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Ads allow businesses to create custom audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviour, ensuring that promotional messages reach the right people at the right time.
  • Collaborations and partnerships — Collaborate with other businesses or influencers to create joint promotions or campaigns centred around the holiday or event to attract new customers who may be interested in the collaborative offerings.
  • Customer engagement activities—Organise special events or activities, such as contests, giveaways, or interactive social media campaigns that encourage customer engagement and participation during the holiday or event period. 
  • Post-holiday follow-up — Capitalise on the momentum generated during the holiday or event by following up with customers afterwards. Send thank-you emails, offer loyalty rewards for future purchases, and continue to engage with customers to maintain their interest and loyalty beyond the initial promotion.

What are the most important UK bank holidays for remote workers and international e-commerce store owners?

The most important bank holidays for remote workers and international entrepreneurs with businesses in the UK are as follows — 

  • New Year's Day (1 January) — A  nationwide bank holiday impacts business operations such as logistics and bank transactions. On the marketing side, businesses can boost sales by running New Year promotions, offering special discounts, and launching marketing campaigns to attract customers during this festive period.
  • Good Friday and Easter Monday (April) —  These bank holidays in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland can affect customer availability. However, businesses can capitalise on the Easter season by offering Easter-themed products or services, hosting promotional events, and engaging customers through social media contests or giveaways.
  • Early May bank holiday (first Monday in May), Spring bank holiday (last Monday in May) and Summer bank holiday (last Monday in August)  — UK-wide bank holidays that may disrupt business operations. Businesses can boost sales by launching spring-themed promotions and seasonal discounts, introducing new products or services, holding end-of-summer sales events, and offering incentives such as free shipping or discounts for purchases made during the holiday period.
  • Christmas Day and Boxing Day (25-26 December) — Major bank holidays in the UK that significantly impact business activities and customer availability. Businesses can enhance customer engagement and boost sales during the holiday season by offering holiday gift guides, running Christmas-themed promotions, and providing incentives such as gift-wrapping services or loyalty rewards for holiday purchases.


Bank holidays in the UK have a twofold impact on businesses. They present an excellent opportunity for themed sales and promotions, necessitating meticulous planning and proactive marketing efforts in anticipation of the holiday rush. However, business operations, particularly in delivery or logistics, may experience disruptions. Therefore, it's crucial to plan accordingly and prepare for potential challenges during these periods.

How can remote workers and international e-commerce store owners prepare for UK bank holidays and special days?

Remote workers and international e-commerce store owners can prepare for UK bank holidays by following these strategies:

  • Plan — Mark bank holidays on your calendar and create a holiday schedule for your business operations. Communicate any changes in service availability or shipping times to customers in advance.
  • Stock inventory —Ensure you have sufficient inventory before special days and holidays to meet customer demand during peak periods. Anticipate potential delays in product deliveries and plan accordingly.
  • Schedule marketing campaigns – Develop themed marketing campaigns and promotions tailored to each holiday. Be sure to schedule these campaigns to launch in advance, generating excitement and driving sales leading up to the holiday.
  • Optimise customer support — Prepare your customer support team for increased holiday inquiries and requests. Consider extending support hours or providing automated responses to manage customer expectations.
  • Monitor logistics – Work closely with shipping and logistics partners to monitor delivery schedules and potential disruptions during bank holidays. Communicate with customers about any delays in shipping times.
  • Review payment processing—Ensure your payment processing systems are functioning smoothly and can handle increased transaction volumes during busy holiday periods. Offer multiple payment options to accommodate customer preferences.


Bank holidays may result in delays in the processing of different financial transactions, such as bill payments, ACH transfers, wire transfers, and interbank fund transfers. Transactions initiated on or around a bank holiday might take longer to reflect in your accounts.

Past bank holidays in England and Wales 2024

  • Monday, 1 April - Easter Monday

  • Friday, 29 March - Good Friday

  • Monday, 1 January - New Year’s Day

  • Monday, 6 May - Early May bank holiday

Upcoming bank holidays in England and Wales 2024

  • Monday, 27 May - Spring bank holiday

  • Monday, 26 August - Summer bank holiday

  • Wednesday, 25 December - Christmas Day

  • Thursday, 26 December - Boxing Day

Past Bank Holidays in Scotland 2024

  • Friday, 29 March - Good Friday

  • Monday, 1 January - New Year’s Day

  • Tuesday, 2 January - 2nd January

  • Monday, 6 May - Early May bank holiday

Upcoming bank holidays in Scotland 2024

  • Monday, 27 May - Spring bank holiday

  • Monday, 5 August - Summer bank holiday

  • Monday, 2 December - St Andrew’s Day (substitute day)

  • Wednesday, 25 December - Christmas Day

  • Thursday, 26 December - Boxing Day

Past bank holidays in Northern Ireland

  • Monday, 1 April - Easter Monday

  • Friday, 29 March - Good Friday

  • Monday, 18 Marc - St Patrick’s Day (substitute day)

  • Monday, 1 January - New Year’s Day

  • Monday, 6 May - Early May bank holiday

Upcoming bank holidays in Northern Ireland

  • Monday, 27 May - Spring bank holiday

  • Friday, 12 July - Battle of the Boyne (Orangemen’s Day)

  • Monday, 26 August - Summer bank holiday

  • Wednesday, 25 December - Christmas Day

  • Thursday, 26 December - Boxing Day

May Special Dates With Corresponding Marketing Ideas

  • 4th, May the 4th, Be With You (Star Wars Day) — Channel your inner Jedi with themed products or run an epic lightsaber battle contest for Star Wars enthusiasts.

  • 20th, World Bee Day — Maybe spread the buzz about environmental awareness! Offer bee-friendly products or pledge support to bee conservation initiatives as part of your CSR initiatives.

  • 29th, National Biscuit Day — Dunk, nibble, and indulge! Treat your customers to complimentary biscuits with every purchase or unveil delicious biscuit-themed deals.

  • 30th, National Creativity Day - Unleash your imagination! Inspire user-generated content, spark creativity with a unique challenge, or launch a vibrant campaign to engage your creative community.

Special Days and Marketing Opportunities for June

  • 5th, World Environment Day — Go green and make a difference! Run a planet-saving campaign, highlight eco-friendly products, promote conservation initiatives or organise a green cleanup event to protect our planet.

  • 7th, Global Running Day – Lace up and hit the pavement! Host a fun run event, offer discounts on sports gear, or challenge your community with fitness-focused activities.

  • 16th, Father’s Day — Celebrate Dad like a boss! Create father-focused promotions, offer irresistible gift ideas, and make shopping for fathers or father figures a breeze.

  • 24th-30th, World Wellbeing Week — Nurture wellness and self-care! Host rejuvenating workshops, promote wellness products/services, and ride the wellness wave during this week.

  • 30th, Social Media Day — Like, share, engage! Run social media-exclusive promotions or creative contests to boost brand visibility and connect with your online community.

July Holidays & Marketing Ideas

  • st-28th, Tour de France — Pedal into excitement! Delight cycling enthusiasts with promotions on top-notch cycling gear or host thrilling events to ride alongside the Tour de France frenzy.

  • 28th, International Friendship Day — Share the love! Launch a referral program that encourages customers to spread the word and share exclusive deals with their friends, fostering a circle of friendship and savings.

Special Dates In August

  • 8th, International Cat Day — Paws and reflect on feline fun! Launch a purr-fect pet-focused campaign, a whisker away discounts on pet supplies, or host a meow-tastic cat photo contest to celebrate our furry friends.

  • 21st, World Entrepreneurs Day — Ignite the entrepreneurial spirit! Show your support for local entrepreneurship by offering business-related resources, expert advice, or engaging events that empower aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to thrive.

  • 26th, International Dog Day — Fetch some tail-wagging fun! Dive into pet-related promotions, roll out the red carpet for dog-friendly events, and celebrate with fellow dog enthusiasts to honour our beloved furry companions.

Key Dates September for Customer Engagement and Sales

  • 5th, International Day of Charity — Spread kindness and make a difference! Host heartwarming charity events, pledge a portion of proceeds to charitable causes, or organise a community fundraiser that brings people together for a good cause.

  • 13th-17th, London Fashion Week — Strut your style! Host dazzling fashion-inspired events, share expert fashion tips, or showcase your latest collections to capture the glamour and excitement of London Fashion Week.

  • 16th - 100 Days to Christmas — Jingle to savings! Launch a festive countdown promotion that offers early bird discounts, exclusive deals, and a merry start to the holiday season.

  • 27th, World Tourism Day — Explore, discover, and travel! Promote local attractions, collaborate with travel-related businesses for exclusive offers, and celebrate the joy of tourism while showcasing the beauty of your destination.


  • 1st, Vegetarian Day — Embrace the green lifestyle! Showcase plant-based products, tantalise taste buds with delicious vegetarian recipes or inspire healthy eating habits with tips and tricks for a vibrant veggie-filled diet.

  • 10th, Mental Health Day – Mind matters! Raise awareness for mental health, share self-care tips for emotional well-being, or support mental health charities to promote positive mental health in your community.


  • 1st, World Vegan Day — Go green and delicious! Highlight mouthwatering vegan products or recipes, offer plant-based specials tantalising taste buds, or share valuable vegan lifestyle tips for a healthier and compassionate living.

  • 1st, Diwali — Light up the celebration! Offer dazzling Diwali-themed promotions that sparkle with festive spirit, share cultural insights that honour the festival's significance, or host joyous celebration events that bring communities together in joy and harmony.

  • 5th, Guy Fawkes Night— Ignite excitement! Offer bonfire-themed promotions that sizzle with excitement, share intriguing historical content about Guy Fawkes Night, or host fireworks-themed contests that light up the night sky with fun and festivity.

  • 10th, Remembrance Sunday — Pay tribute with reverence. Show respect and honour the day without commercial intentions, acknowledging the significance of Remembrance Sunday with solemnity and dignity.

  • 28th, Thanksgiving— Give thanks with gratitude! Express appreciation to customers with heartfelt messages, offer Thanksgiving sales that show appreciation or extend kindness by donating meals to those in need, spreading the spirit of Thanksgiving generosity.

  • 29th, Black Friday — Shop till you drop! Run sensational sales events, unveil dazzle doorbuster deals, or offer limited-time offers to kick off the holiday shopping season with excitement and savings galore.

  • 30th, Cyber Monday — Keep the shopping spree going! Continue the sales momentum with irresistible online-exclusive deals and promotions that keep customers clicking and shopping from the comfort of their screens.

  • 30th, St Andrew's Day — Celebrate Scottish pride! Honour Scottish culture with themed promotions or events that showcase St Andrew's Day's rich heritage and traditions, connecting with customers who appreciate Scottish roots and history.

Special Days for December

  • 7th, Small Business Saturday — Celebrate local! Shine a spotlight on your small business, offer exclusive deals that showcase your unique offerings, or join forces with neighbouring businesses for a community-wide celebration of entrepreneurship and support.

  • 5th International Volunteer Day — Make a difference together! Promote volunteer opportunities that empower community engagement, support impactful community initiatives, or highlight your philanthropic efforts to inspire acts of kindness and giving.

  • 13th, Christmas Jumper Day — Festive fun for a cause! OrganiOrganisery is a holiday-themed event that spreads cheer. It offers discounts on festive attire that spark joy, or it donates proceeds from sales to charity, spreading warmth and goodwill during the holiday season.

  • 24th, Christmas Eve — Ho ho ho-liday excitement! Offer last-minute shopping deals that save the day, extend store hours for festive shoppers, or share delightful festive content that builds anticipation and excitement for Christmas Day.

  • 25th, Christmas Day — Joy to the world! Send heartfelt holiday messages to customers, spread goodwill and holiday cheer with warm wishes, and celebrate the season's magic with gratitude and joy.

  • 26th, Boxing Day — Unwrap post-holiday delights! Launch sensational post-holiday sales that delight bargain hunters, host clearance events that make room for new beginnings, or offer special "Boxing Day" discounts that keep the holiday spirit alive.

  • 31st, New Year’s Eve – Cheers to a new chapter! Share New Year's resolutions that inspire positive change, offer year-end promotions that end the year on a high note, or host countdown-themed events that ring in the new year with excitement and celebration.

April 25, 2024
May 7, 2024


Companies House Company Authentication Code for Webfiling

Everything you need to know about how to get, recover, or use your Companies House, company authentication code.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • To get the authentication code, you’ll need to create a WebFiling account with Companies House and receive it to your registered office within 5 working days.
  • The code serves as the equivalent of a company officer’s signature and is used to authorise information filed online.

What is a Company Authentication Code / WebFiling Authentication Code?

The authentication code is a six-digit alphanumeric code issued by Companies House to limited companies. It serves as a company’s official digital signature and indicates authorisation to file online on behalf of a business.

Businesses use it to file on the following Companies House platforms —

How do you get an authentication code sent to your company's registered office address?

To get your code, register for WebFiling and follow the steps below.

  • Sign in to WebFiling.
  • Select either 'Your companies' or 'File for a company'.
  • Enter the company number and select where the company was registered.
  • Select 'Help with authentication code', then 'I do not have an authentication code'.

Companies House will post to your company’s registered office and take about 5 working days to arrive. For privacy and security reasons, Companies House will not send your code to an email ID or tell it to you over the phone.

However, if you incorporated your company through a formation agent, you’ll most likely have the code immediately after incorporation through their online client account.

How do you request an authentication code from Companies House to be sent to a director’s home address?

In response to the impact of COVID-19, Companies House set up a service that allowed company directors to request authentication codes to be sent to their home address instead of the registered office.

To use the service, all you have to provide is —

  • the company number
  • to sign in to or create a Companies House account, which is different from a WebFiling account

You cannot use this service if the company:

  • has filed a document online in the last 30 days
  • is not based in the UK
  • is not a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • is dissolved

It takes around 5 working days for an officer to receive an authentication code at their home address.


According to the Companies House website, the request for an authentication code to be sent to a home address service was a temporary service to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Though the service is still up, we advise individuals to request that their code be sent to their registered office.

How to use your code to file online using the webfiling service

You need your Companies House authentication code for all electronic filings through the WebFiling service, including —

  • Notice of change of company name
  • Change of company details, including confirmation statements and return of allotment of shares
  • Appoint a new director or company secretary, or termination.
  • Change of registered office and SAIL address
  • Annual account filings include changes in accounting reference dates and dormant accounts.

To file, change, or update your company information online, you'll need your:

It's faster and cheaper to file online since paper form filing fees are higher, and it can take weeks before you get an acknowledgement that a document has been received and approved. However, the online filing process has built-in checks to decrease errors and associated rejections.

You’ll need the code for any of the following official electronic filing channels —

To use third-party software, you’ll need to set up an online filing account to get a presenter ID and presenter authentication code.

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

How to change your code

You can change the company authentication code as many times as needed to something more memorable but not obvious.

If you suspect an authorised person might know the code or if your company management structure has changed, follow the steps below.

  1. Sign in to your webfiling account using your email address and password.

  2. Enter your company number and the country where the company was registered.

    Enter your company number and the country where the company was registered
  3. Enter the existing authentication code.

    Enter the existing authentication code
  4. Select ‘company authentication’ on the screen's left grey background panel.

    Company Authentication
  5. Indicate that you are changing your code.

  6. Choose a new 6-digit alphanumeric code, mixing numbers and letters.

  7. Re-enter the new code.

    Re-enter the new code
  8. Select 'change code'.

  9. A confirmation of the change with the replacement code will be sent to the registered office address.

Please note the change will take effect immediately. Therefore, it is important to notify anyone who files on your behalf.

How to cancel your code

To cancel your code, log in to the web filing service and follow the steps to change the code. Once you get to step 6, click to tick the box "I wish to cancel the company authentication code."

As soon as you cancel the authentication code, you can no longer file documents electronically with Companies House. You will have to submit paper filings instead.

If you wish to resume electronic filing, you will need to request a new authentication code from Companies House, which will be sent to your company's registered office address.

What to do when you have lost your company authentication code

If you find yourself in the situation of having lost your company authentication code, follow these steps to request a new one:

  • Sign in to WebFiling.
  • Select either 'Your companies' or 'File for a company'.
  • Enter the company number and select where the company was registered.
  • Select 'Help with authentication code', then 'I do not have an authentication code'.

It's important to note that if you previously had an authentication code, Companies House will send you a reminder rather than issuing a new code.

How to protect your authentication code and company details

To protect your company authentication code and other company’s details, it is essential you do not disclose it to any unauthorised person. Consider the following tips for enhancing the overall security of your company.

  • Keep people on a need—to—know basis—Access to your company's sensitive information, including the authentication code, should be on a need-to-know basis. If you are working with an agent, ensure they also have a strict disclosure policy governing how they’ll handle your code. 
  • Do not disclose your code through unsecured channels. Avoid responding to telephone or email requests for your code from unauthorised persons. There are reported cases of fraudsters posing as Companies House and requesting the code through the phone or email. Ignore such requests. 
  • Change it regularly — Over time, your company’s authentication code may become vulnerable due to breaches or leaks. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a consistent schedule of changing the code to reduce the risk of unauthorised access.


Notify Companies House by contacting the frauds team immediately if you suspect an unauthorised person has accessed your code. Further, log in to your website and change or cancel the code.

April 9, 2024
May 7, 2024


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) —


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?


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:

  2. Click on “Create an Account” right below the sign-in button, and the following page will load:

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

    registration for webfiling
  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.


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.

5 things to know about the Companies House WebFiling

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.


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.

sign into companies house
Companies House account sign-in page

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
September 10, 2020
April 5, 2024


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. 


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.


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


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.


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

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


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.


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

The company is dissolved.


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.


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. 


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

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

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.

July 30, 2020
May 7, 2024


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



England and Wales

Limited Company

An eight - digits that start with 0 or 1



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



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


Northern Ireland

Older (pre-partition) companies

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


Limited company (post-partition)

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



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



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



Limited Company

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



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



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


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.
Sample Certificate of Incorporation UK
Sample Certificate of Incorporation UK


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, categorises 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.

Five Things to Know About Confirmation Statements
Five Things to Know About Confirmation Statements

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