Is it one of your desires to start a business in the UK? Do you want to form a limited company in the UK? In the UK, it is mandated to register every limited company or LLP at “Companies House”. No matter if you are looking to begin something new or count amongst the growing list of UK entrepreneurs, then have you heard of the Companies House API? Do you know, how to do the Companies House free WebCheck? How to get access to UK company data?

Here, you will get to know not only more about Companies House but also about its services as well.

What is Companies House?

Companies House is a legislative government body that comes under the Department for Skills, Business, Technology, and Innovation. It takes care of the establishments and regulations of limited companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) in the UK. It is an official registrar of all the companies in the UK, regardless of size.

Companies House provides services across all four individual nations, including:

  • England
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland

The information available is a matter of public record and is responsible for evaluating, verifying, and maintaining all records for limited companies and LLPs. All businesses or the general public can access the data. The transparency in accessing electronic data literally makes the UK one of the first nations to create an open corporate data register. As a result, the general public can access company details, ownership, director information, and financials in an effortless manner.

Which kinds of businesses are registered at Companies House?

A government entity, Companies House, manages the approval and incorporation of limited companies. The company’s registration can be done either by using the company house incorporation service or through an agent. A person can also form a company using a paper application form and send it by post. Companies House is not handling any unregistered businesses, such as sole traders and general partnerships. The kinds of businesses that can be registered at Companies House will be one of the following:

  • Public limited company
  • Private unlimited company, by share or by guarantee
  • LLP (Limited Liability Partnership)
  • European Economic Interest Groupings
  • International Companies
  • European public businesses
  • Limited partnership
  • Charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs)
  • Community interest companies (CICs)

As per the data statistics, more than 5 million limited companies are registered in the UK, and the number is constantly increasing with the addition of over 550,000 companies a year.

Companies House Service:

The main functions of Companies House are to:

  • Register new companies
  • Maintain a public record of company information
  • Provide information to the public about companies
  • Enforce company law

Companies House is an important resource for anyone interested in business in the UK. It provides a wealth of information that can help you make informed decisions about starting a company, investing in it, or doing business with it. 

As stated above, Companies House provides services related to company formation registration. The public register maintains details of all the incorporated companies. Anyone can search Companies House names or instantly access Company shareholders, directors, and related information. The platform offers data electronic filing services for companies, alongside other services, as depicted below.

1. CRN

Do you know what a CRN is and what matters to an employer?

A Company Registration Number (CRN) is a unique wide variety assigned to each employer registered at Companies House within the United Kingdom. It is a key reference factor for figuring out and monitoring corporations in the UK commercial enterprise surroundings.

A CRN (Company Registration Number) comprises many details, such as:

  • Date of formation
  • Company Type
  • Company status
  • Nature of the business
  • Registered official address
  • Shareholders list
  • Prior company names
  • Existing/Resigned directors or secretaries
  • The capital share
  • Images of filed/issued documents
  • Filed company accounts
  • Bankruptcy data
  • Annual returns

Using Companies data API, the data can be accessed online. To access this, it is not necessary to register an account on Companies House, you have to search using the company name or the director’s name and results will be available.

2. Companies House WebCheck

Companies house webcheck service allows the general public and businesses to access data on the limited companies in the UK. Most of the documents are available in the form of images or PDFs. Everything can be downloaded within minutes for free. Although some of the documents and reports charge a small fee. The data that can be accessed for free include:

  • Company status
  • Company Type
  • Formation date
  • Company name
  • Registration number
  • Nature of the business
  • Accounting reference data

3.  WebFiling Companies House

WebFilling is an alternate service that lets limited companies send information and documents to Companies House online. There is no need to send the documents via post. Going digital is certainly more cost-efficient, fast, safe, and efficient in sending information. Once the submission is done, the customers get the notification immediately. The documents that can be sent via web filing cover many things. To name a few, it covers:

  • Annual returns
  • Annual accounts
  • Inactive accounts
  • Change in details
  • Shares allotment
  • Copies of resolutions
  • Directors or secretary’s appointment or removal

To use the web filing service, register using an email address, and place a request to get a confirmation code. The code is the same equivalent of the director’s signature.

4.  Companies House Direct

This service allows the general public to access any record that is held by the register. More than 170 million documents dating previous over two decades are available here. Using the companies house company check direct beta, clients can search and can download them easily. For a small fee of £1, the document can be downloaded in PDF or TIFF format. Otherwise, you can create an account and pay £4 monthly to reap the advantage of the service. The information that can be extracted using this service includes –

  • Banned Directors
  • Company Reports
  • Personal Appointments
  • Images of all company records
  • Company appointments
  • Inactive companies
  • Liquidation details
  • Mortgage Information

Overall, the Companies House beta service makes the UK working world digital and transparent. Access to all data is feasible if it is a company director name search or companies house beta search. While incorporating a company, people can file by paper or electronically file documents. Another way to file for Companies House is using the incorporation service. The service enables people to set up a private limited company restricted as per the shares.

The company house credit score helps people understand how the company is doing so far and if the company is in any debt. The service allows you to dig into all the private firms operating and active in the UK. This is an interesting and convenient platform that anyone can access, is simple to use, and provides data for free. So, register your business at Companies House and avail the services for the betterment. Companies House allows you to search for a company or a director at a time. It doesn’t allow you to produce datasets or lists of companies using one or more data points, such as location, financial parameters or industry. Thus, if you know what you are looking for, you can search one by one at Companies House. To look for anything more sophisticated, you need a more sophisticated platform, and one of them is DataGardener. It allows you to search for company details and information and provides a data list of companies using different parameters as per the requirement. It lets you get access to all active and inactive companies operating in the UK, and that can be handy in many ways.   


How to find shareholders of a company on the Companies House UK?

Companies House shows the company owners and shareholdings on public records. For companies house business name check just follow the mentioned steps:

  • Visit the Companies House Beta Service Website.
  • Search the company using the company name, or company number that you are looking for. The company that you are searching for must be registered.  
  • Select the company.
  • Click on the filing history of the company. Tick on the annual return box of the same.
  • Just open the latest annual return of the company filed. It will comprise a breakdown of all the shareholders.

What is the service address for Companies House?

What is the service address of a company? It is the name of the official correspondence address of a subscriber/director/secretary/LLP person/anyone with significant authority or control in the company. It is a must for all to legally provide a service address whenever they register the company. The service addresses are highlighted on public record at Companies House. For each individual, the service address will be either contact or mailing address. At this address, the company receives the legal and official notices from Companies House, courts, HMRC, or any government agency.

How do I find out who owns a company in the UK?

There are various methods to find out the owner of a company in the UK. Some approaches include:

1- Exploring the company’s official website to gather information about the owner.

2- Conduct a Google search for the company and seek relevant details about the owner through online sources.

3- Use Companies House:

  • Visit the Companies House UK beta website.
  • Navigate to the filing history to access information on the owner(s) of the company.
  • Keep in mind that a company may have multiple owners.
  • The owner(s) oversee various aspects, including sales, operations, and marketing.

How can I check if a company UK is real?

To check, if the company is real, there will be proof that you can check for it.

  • Address – If the company’s official address is local, there must be a sign of any office or a building.
  • Phone number – Call on the provided number as mentioned on the website. Look in case you are talking to an employee or any reliable person of the company. Ask a few standard questions about the company with this person.
  • Website/Social Presence – Most companies will have a strong digital presence these days. Look at the website, does it look genuine, does it feel genuine?
  • ISO certification – Most of the UK companies display the ISO certification body logo on their websites.
  • Companies House – If you are checking a limited company, then the official check can be done here.
  • Reviews and feedbacks – Look for Facebook reviews, Google reviews, and other testimonies that can help.

How do I find out if a company is doing well financially?

It is essential to ascertain whether the company is doing well financially. The key aspects that help assess whether your business is doing well financially can be depicted below.

  • Growing revenue
  • Expenses
  • Cash balance
  • Debt ratio
  • Profit ratio
  • Activity ratio
  • New clients and customers’ repetition
  • Higher profit margins
  • Inventory expense

Where can I find financial information on a company?

The financial statements and reports on a company can be found out on the official registrar UK, Companies House website. DataGardener is also another source from where the company’s financial data can be extracted. Be it balance sheets or net assets, or currency ratio, or else, everything is available.

Where can I find a company’s annual report?

At the end of the financial year, each company submits an annual report on the Companies House UK site. It comprises everything, about the company accounts, financial statements, turnover, etc. So, just visit the website, and extract the annual report of whichever company you are looking for in minutes.

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