What is Companies House?

If you’re considering or are in the process of setting up your own business, you’ll probably have heard of Companies House. However, their exact function might still be a bit of a mystery. We’re here to fill you in on all you need to know about Companies House and how it affects your business.

The history of Companies House

In 1844, The Joint Stock Companies Act meant that companies could form more easily than previously when the incorporation of joint stock companies was only possible by private act or royal charter. This act meant that all companies that formed under it were added to a public register. The office of Registrar of Joint Stock Companies was then created to be responsible for maintaining this register.

Currently, company registration is dealt with under the Companies Act 2006.

Today, all limited companies in the United Kingdom are registered with Companies House. There are over three million limited companies currently registered in the UK and every year over 400,000 new companies are incorporated.

What Companies House does

Companies House has a number of functions. The main functions are:

  • Incorporating and dissolving limited companies.
  • Storing and examining company information which has been delivered under the Companies Act.
  • Making this information available to the public.

Where is Companies House located?

Companies House has 3 offices, in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.

The Cardiff office deals with companies incorporated in England and Wales, and with companies incorporated in Wales. Wherever the registered office of the company will be situated, in England or Wales, the company must be registered in Cardiff. England and Wales are a separate entity from Scotland.

When the registered office of the company is to be situated in Scotland, the company must be registered in Edinburgh.

When the registered office of the company will be based in Northern Ireland, the company must be registered in Belfast.

Upon incorporation of a company the certificate of incorporation produced by Companies House will clearly state where the company is incorporated.

Storage of Information

An important task of Companies House is to store data and provide that data to the public. The statistics of the companies registered at Companies House are published in the annual report.

Can I obtain data from Companies House?

Companies House have a website www.companieshouse.gov.uk where you can obtain information about all companies incorporated under the Companies Act. Most of the information is available digitally at a small charge.

Companies House also provide a wealth of resources and guidance booklets on numerous aspects of incorporating and running a limited company.  This information is available free of charge on their website.

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How can we help? 

While a lot of free information is available from Companies House, it is still a daunting task for a new entrepreneur to work through the jungle of technical information to set up a limited company and run it properly. Give us a call on 020 8232 5479 and don’t forget to visit blog.eformations.co.uk

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