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What is a company certificate of incorporation

what is a certificate of incorporation

A certificate of incorporation is a legal paper issued by Companies House to every limited and limited liability Company upon their official registration in the United Kingdom.

The essence of the certificate is to validate that a company exists legally and is permitted to trade.

What information is contained on the certificate?

Each certificate of incorporation contains the following information regarding a company :

  • Registered name ( full ) , including Limited or Limited Liability Partnership
  • Companies House registration number
  • Formation Date
  • The whereabouts and involvement of the registered office – Wales and England , Scotland , Wales or Northern Ireland
  • Incorporating laws – Limited Liability Partnership ( LLP ) Act 2000 or Companies Act 2006
  • Authorising registrar – Edinburgh , Cardiff , or Belfast

When should I be using the certificate?

Your certificate could be requested in numerous scenarios. You will probably have to produce it initially when you open your business bank account. This is due to the bank needing evidence of the legal existence of your company. You may need to show the certificate when selling shares to investors, or when you are applying for different funding or setting up a loan, creating an overseas division of the business and lastly, if you are registering for over-seas taxes.

In most other circumstances, you won’t need to provide the certificate, and will only need to say your company name and registration number.

At what point do I get my certificate?

Your certificate of incorporation will be supplied not long after your company formation request has been approved by Companies House. Should your application be submitted online, either straight to Companies House or via a company formation agent, you should get the certificate directly by email. If you send a postal application form to Companies House, your certificate will be posted out to you on the day your company is registered.

What is a CRN?

A Company Registration Number ( CRN ) is an inimitable set of numbers assigned to a company when they are incorporated by Companies House . No two CRN are identical, as they are used in the process of recognising every business. Company Registration Numbers consist of eight numbers, or two letters followed by six numbers. Generally, any business incorporated within England and Wales will be provided a CRN starting with ‘0’. Businesses licensed in Scotland are provided with CRNs starting with ‘SC’, and LLP (limited liability partnership) Company Registration Numbers often begin with ‘OC’.

At what time do I need the company registration number?

This number will be needed on several occasions during the life of your company, including:

– Paying for tax liabilities and submitting tax returns to HMRC

– Registering your business with HMRC for company taxes

– Modifying your company’s documented details at HMRC or Companies House

– Registering as a prospective employer

– Submitting annual returns and annual accounts to Companies House

– Registering your company as a charity

– Issuing dividends

– Offering shares for sale and authorising share certificates

– Opening a business bank account

It is a requirement legally to reveal your CRN on all your company stationery, which should also include emails and websites too.

What if I should lose my certificate of incorporation?

If your business formation was performed online, a PDF of your certificate must be placed in an email that will be forwarded by Companies House or your company formation agent right after the incorporation. Should you miss this email, the online version of your certificate can be accessed by logging into the online account you have with your company formation agent or the Companies House Web Filing. If you find it difficult to get the digital certificate, all you need do is to phone or send a mail to Companies House to ask for a replacement. You will need to make available your company’s name and registration number as proof.

If I change my company name, will I get another certificate?

Should you change the name of your company after incorporation, a certificate of Incorporation on change of Company Name would be issued by Companies House. This doesn’t take the place of your first certificate however; it has to be utilised together with your original certificate as it will merely indicate the date when your company’s name was changed and not the date of incorporation.

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Jody Smith
Jody Smith
A content and media expert, I have worked for 7 years alongside start-ups and small businesses to effectively promote their brands through blogs, social media and content marketing strategies.

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