United Kingdom Companies House
3E Accounting provides a quick read on Britain’s registrar of companies, the UK Companies House.
Business registration and company incorporation fall under the governance of the UK Companies House and the Companies Act 2006. While its origins in history can be traced as far back as 1844, the Companies House in its present iteration came into being in 1988. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), it functions as the executive agency of government. It is a government body that has more than four million businesses on its register and operates as a self-financed trading fund.
The Role of Companies House
Companies House functions in three distinct geographical jurisdictions with regards to company registration:
- England and Wales: offices in Cardiff and London. Companies are governed by English law and have an eight-digit registration number.
- Scotland: located in Edinburgh, Companies are governed by Scots law and have the prefix ‘SC’ to their registration number.
- Northern Ireland: has a satellite office in Belfast. Companies used to be governed by Northern Ireland law. As of 2009, company registration is fully integrated into Companies House and governed by the Companies Act 2006.
Companies House plays a vital role in the business arena. Its tasks and services include, amongst others:
- Maintain and update the official government register
- Registering company information
- Maintaining a public register with details of incorporated companies
- Incorporating companies
- Dissolving companies
- Accounting reference dates
- Electronic filing
- Data facilities
- Postal and online company formation service
Companies House also provides numerous online services to facilitate the availability of information to the public. Its Companies House Service allows searches on disqualified directors as well as other company information. It also enables documents to be filed online. Both WebFiling and WebCheck perform similar functions of online document filing and company information searches. Public Data which is live can be accessed via its Data Products site.
All business entities that require incorporation fall under the purview and governance of Companies House. The following are types of company structures that can be incorporated:
- Limited Partnership
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
- Private Limited Company (Ltd)
- Public Limited Company (Plc)
- Private Limited Company by Guarantee
- Private Unlimited Company
- European Public Business
- European Economic Interest Groupings (GP04)
- International Companies
Companies need to submit documentation such as the Articles of Association and the Memorandum of Association to incorporate a company. Statutory Accounts, as well as annual returns, are also filed with the Companies House. Any changes in company information such as change of address, change of directors’ information, etc. all need to be informed.
It should be noted that post-Brexit amendments will bring about regulatory changes to services offered as well as the incorporation process. The UK Companies House will continue to function in its capacity as registrar of companies while reflecting these changes. To ensure full compliance when it comes to company formation, it’s always advisable to speak to the experts. 3E Accounting offers customizable business solutions and company incorporation packages for all your business needs.