What is Companies House? 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 UK company data?

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

  • England
  • Wales
  • Scotland

The information available is a matter of public record and is responsible for the evaluation, verification, and maintenance of all records for limited companies and LLPs. The data can be accessed by all businesses or the general public. The transparency in accessing the 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’s information, financials, in an effortless manner.

Which different kinds of businesses can be registered at the Companies House?

A government entity, Companies House manages the approval and of incorporation of limited companies. The registration of the company can be done either by using 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 or by share or by guarantee
  • LLP – Limited Liability Partnership
  • European Economic Interest Groupings
  • International Companies
  • European public businesses
  • Limited partnership

As per the data statistics, more than 3 million companies are registered at Companies House. And the number is constantly increasing with the addition of over 550,000 companies every year.

A Glimpse into Companies House Service Offerings:

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

1.      CRN (Company Registration Number) – Do you know what is a CRN? What does a CRN mean for a company? A CRN 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 simply search using the company name or the director’s name and results will be available.

2.      Companies House WebCheck – This 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.      Companies House Web Filing – This alternate service 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 to send the 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 130 million documents dating previous over two decades are available here. Using the companies house 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 

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

The company house credit score helps people to get an idea of how the company is doing so far and if the company is in any debt or not. The service allows you to dig into all the private firms operating and active in the UK. This is such an interesting and convenient platform, accessed by anyone, simple to use, and providing 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 a datasets or list 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 not only allows you to search for company details and information, but also 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.   

FAQs:

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

Companies House shows the company owners and shareholdings on the public records. To find out the Companies House shareholders information just follow the mentioned steps:

  • Visit the Companies House Beta Service Website at https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/.
  • 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.

2. 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.

3. How do I find out who owns a company UK?

There are ways to find out the owner of a company UK. A few of them are as below:

  • Visit the company’s website and do some digging on the site’s owner there.
  • Do Google the company and search for relevant details on the search engine about the owner, and other data.  
  • Search for the information on the Companies House UK beta website. Once, you search the company here, click on the filing history, the owner of the company must be mentioned there. A company can have more than one owner. They oversee everything, from sales to handling operations, to marketing.

4. How can I check if a company UK is real?

To check, if the company is real or not, 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.

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

It is essential to ascertain if the company is doing well financially or not. The key aspects that help in assessing that your business is doing well financially can be as depicted below.

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

6. 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.

7. 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.

Related articles:

What is a Limited Company UK?

What is Private Limited Company in UK?