Companies House Registration and Certificate of Incorporation

The process of incorporation

The process of incorporation

The process through which a new or an existing business registers themselves as a limited company is called incorporation. It is a vital process and has to be followed for the company to operate and function as a limited company. The process of incorporation is done under Companies Act 2006 and at the Companies House . For more details on how to go about the incorporation process , one must take a closer look at all the details mentioned in the official website.

Set of documents required while incorporating a business

Yes, the process of incorporation is indeed a huge step and needs to be thought out carefully by the director. It is one thing to run a business and a completely different thing to run a company, and it is always advisable to seek professional help in the form of a solicitor or accountant , to ensure that the decision of incorporating a business is indeed right.

Before and while you incorporate a business, you need to make sure that all necessary documents pertaining to the business are intact. From annual accounts to business to confirmation statements, one needs to make sure that it is all intact and with proper values. The director also needs to make sure that they inform the Companies House from time to time, regarding any change in the position of directors or any change to the venue of the registered company office .

Before you decide on incorporating your business, make sure you understand the different types of companies, in order to choose the ideal one.

The different types of companies are

  • Public limited company
  • Private unlimited company
  • Private limited company by guarantee
  • Private limited company by shares

Public limited company

In a public limited company , the liability of the members of the company is limited to the amount of money that has not been paid to their respective shares. These companies also offer their shares to the public, through a sale which can be quoted on the stock exchange.

To become a public company, a business needs to have

  • An individual director.
  • Individual directors who are all above 16 years of age.
  • A minimum of two directors.
  • A minimum of one secretary and a secretary who is qualified to be appointed as a secretary.

A secretary is qualified only when they have

  • Qualities of a secretary and who can discharge the duties of a secretary efficiently.
  • Been a secretary for a minimum of three to five years.
  • Worked or working as an advocate or a solicitor in the United Kingdom.
  • One who is a member of any of the professional bodies and organizations such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and others.

Private unlimited company

In this type of a company, the liability of the members of the company is not limited, and it’s completely up to the company to have a share capital or not.

Private limited company by guarantee

In a private limited company by guarantee, the members are guarantors and not shareholders. The company doesn’t consist of any share capital unlike other types of companies. The liability of the members of the company is limited based on how much they have agreed to pay for the company’s assets, in case the company wounds up.

List of documents required to incorporate a company

Here is the list of documents that needs to be filed by the director of that particular company.

Filled application form (form IN01), along with the fee.

The application form IN01 will consist of the following details

  • Company’s proposed name.
  • Complete address of the registered office.
  • Company’s choice of functioning, public, private or unlimited.
  • List of proposed directors.
  • List of proposed secretaries, if the company decides on appointing one.
  • Complete detail about the director, including their address, service details and others.
  • Capital, shareholding, compliance or guarantee statements.

The next set of documents are

Memorandum of association

A memorandum is a document which serves as evidence of the fact that the members will take a minimum of one share in the company. It confirms the fact that the subscribers have an intent to start a company and become members of it.

Certificate of incorporation

It serves as evidence of the fact that the company has been duly registered with the Act. Once your application form has been approved, the certificate of incorporation will be issued. It is a printed document which consists of the company’s full name along with other details such as the registration number, date of incorporation and others. In the case of, “same as” or similar company names, the application form will be rejected, and the Certificate of incorporation will not be issued. Thus while proposing the company name, make sure you do your bit of research and cross-check whether the name has been used by another company or not.

How does one receive a Certificate of incorporation?

How does one receive a Certificate of incorporation?

After the approval of the application form, one either receives their Certificate of incorporation as an email or via the post.

Via E-mail

If a company registers themselves online, then the Certificate of incorporation will be sent in a digital format, i.e., as a PDF via email. One can save the PDF file and print it at their convenience. The process is much quicker and safer than receiving it via post.

Via post

If a company registers themselves with the Companies House via post, then the Certificate of incorporation will also be sent via post, which will take a bit longer than the mail process. One might have to wait for around 8 to 10 days for the postal process to complete.

The Certificate of incorporation is a vital document and consists of the following details

  • The registered company’s full name
  • The company registration number (CRN )
  • The date on which the company was incorporated
  • The complete address of the registered company
  • The company’s structure along with the details of the Company Act, under which the company is registered.
  • The official seal of the Companies House along with the Royal Coat of Arms.

What is a company registration number?

A company registration number is a unique number, which is used to identify a company. It is either an 8 digit number or a 6 digit number preceded by two letters. The company registration number will be issued by the Companies House and can be found printed on the Certificate of incorporation. A company registration number is also called a Companies House Registration number and needs to be used while filing annual accounts while submitting annual confirmation statements, while registering for VAT , Her Majesty’s Customs and revenues . The company registration number is a number that uniquely identifies a company and has to be displayed on business stationeries such as invoices, letterheads, emails, websites, and others.

What to do if one has lost their company registration number?

  • You can check your Certificate of incorporation for the company registration number , which will be printed near the heading titled, “Company No.”
  • One can also find their company registration number by checking at the Companies House official website by going to lost UTR number page .
  • By checking the official letters from the Companies House.

Why do we need a Certificate of incorporation?

A certificate of incorporation is of prime importance and is to be produced to top open a bank account, to receive any kind of fund for the company, for loan applications, and to even sell one’s company. Your company is considered valid only when you have a certificate of incorporation, which serves as evidence that your company has been duly registered with the Companies House.

A certificate of incorporation is vital for an organization to function and if you have misplaced or lost it, then check out the following things mentioned, which will help you get the copy of your certificate of incorporation in no time.

  • You can always rely on your email account if you had received the certificate of incorporation via the mail. You would just have to search the mail and download the PDF again. If you are unable to find the PDF file, then make sure you contact your service provider and ask them for a copy of your company’s certificate of incorporation. Never delay the process and make sure you do it as soon as possible.
  • If you had registered via the web service of Companies House, then you can download the certificate of incorporation directly from the WebFilling service, by filling out the necessary details.
  • If you had registered with Companies House via Post, then you would have to contact them via post, phone or even email.
  • You can also request a new certificate of incorporation if you have changed your company’s name. A new certificate of incorporation will be provided with a different company name but with the same basic details such as the certificate of incorporation.

Your certificate of incorporation is highly valuable, so make sure you get it by filling out the application form.

Also See: Complete guide on Directors Loans Accounts

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About the author
Blog Author

Sumit Agarwal
Sumit Agarwal (ACMA ACA India), the Managing partner of dns accountants is a highly respected accountant with expertise in helping owner-managed businesses.

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About the author
Blog Author

Sumit Agarwal
Sumit Agarwal (ACMA ACA India), the Managing partner of dns accountants is a highly respected accountant with expertise in helping owner-managed businesses.


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