So you are in the process of setting up a business, you have worked out what your business is going to be, and the address where it will be located. Then onto the next stage… Companies House. If you have received advice from fellow business owners you will probably have heard them speak about Companies House, but what actually is it? Let’s take a look.
Companies House is essentially the registry of limited companies within the UK, so you can search for any limited business on the Companies House website. The main idea of Companies House is to incorporate/register and dissolve limited companies in accordance with the Companies Act 2006. They are responsible for storing and monitoring company information, and updating business information where required.
A bit of inside information for you… as the UK has three separate legal systems (England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), there are three different registrar branches of Companies House. One in Belfast, one in Cardiff, and one in Edinburgh. As you probably guessed, the location of your company’s service address will determine which branch will handle your company incorporation.
What Information Is Stored?
A quick search of any business on Companies House will give you an insight into the information stored about each business. Upon completion of your company’s registration, you must provide Companies House with a number of details, including:
- Company name & registration number
- Date of company registration
- Type of company (e.g. limited by shares)
- The UK jurisdiction of company incorporation
- Your company’s registered office address (this can be a virtual office)
- Details of directors, company secretaries, shareholders, people with significant control
- Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes
- Amendments made to company details, and appointments
- Annual accounts and confirmation statements
- Information of insolvency and compulsory/voluntary strike-off instances
- Details of any dissolved companie
As well as the general public using Companies House, police and crime agencies, as well as HMRC use the information you provide to monitor important actions. That is why it is extremely important to ensure all the data is correct from the offset. If you aren’t sure on anything an accountant will be able to assist you.
What Services Are Provided?
Companies House provides a number of digital services to allow you to manage your company online and access any information you require. The main services they provide are:
- Filing documents online
- Filing company information online
- Finding company information online
- Downloading company data
With over 4 million limited registered companies in the UK, and over 500,000 new companies incorporated each year, it is essential that there is a comprehensive system in place that allows everyone to access this company information. With the introduction of a new ‘report it’ facility, anyone can inform Companies House about issues related to information held on the register, as well as suspicious company activity.
If you don’t want your personal information to be listed on this national database, having a virtual office for all your business correspondence is a much safer idea. For more information on the virtual office packages we have at Venture Offices, please get in touch today.