When someone decides to start up their very first business, it can be quite confusing to get used to all the different rules, regulations and requirements that come with it. This is especially true when you have all these different official registered numbers to refer to.
To start with, your company will be issued both a company number as well as a tax number. These two numbers are completely different and are used separately within your business.
Your Company Registration Number
Your company number is what is know officially as your Company Registration Number (CRN). You will receive your CRN from Companies House once you have gone through the company formation system and your company has been officially registered with them.
Your CRN number is a completely unique number that is not shared by any other company, so it is used for identification purposes when you communicate with Companies House. Your CRN number can be found on your certificate of incorporation. You will need this number each time you submit your statutory information to Companies House.
Your Company Tax Number
You will also be issued with a company tax number. This is another number that is officially known as your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). Your UTR will be issued to you by HMRC once you have officially registered your business with Companies House. You will receive your UTR quite quickly after you have formed your company and you can usually find this unique number on your very first letter that you get from HMRC after incorporation. Look for a number that is headed with ‘UTR’ or ‘tax reference’.
Your company tax number (UTR) is used in the same way as you use your company number to deal with Companies House. You must use your UTR to communicate with HMRC whenever you need to contact them and when submitting your company financial records.
Registered Office Address
Look out for any official documentation that come from Companies House or HMRC and make sure you read and deal with these quickly. All mail from Companies House and HMRC will be sent to your registered office address, so make sure that you are using an address for this purpose that is properly staffed. It’s never a good idea to have a registered office address that is hardly used or sits empty for any length of time. For example, you may have a warehouse office that is hardly used, but if you get all of your post sent here, your important official post may get mixed up and lost in piles of junk mail.
CRN and UTR Summary
So, to summarise, here are the key points about your CRN and your company UTR:
You will need to provide your CRN for the following purposes:
You will also be required to display your CRN on your official business stationery such as letters and invoices. This also includes your company emails and your CRN should also be displayed on your company website and any sub-sites that you run.
If you are unsure what your CRN is, then you can look it up on the Companies House website by entering your company name in the WebCHeck search engine. Don’t worry that your CRN number will be changed each year – your number will remain the same for the lifetime of your company. Even if you decide to close your company down, your CRN number will never be re-issued to another company, so your company history will be assigned to your number forever.
Your company Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number is also unique to your business identity:
You will need to provide your UTR for the following purposes:
Your UTR number is usually found printed on your official correspondence received from HMRC. If you are not sure what your UTR is and don’t have access to your paperwork, then you can find it by logging onto the HMRC website and accessing your corporation tax online account.
Your company UTR number should be automatically issued by HMRC very soon after your have gone through the company formations process. Companies House will inform HMRC directly once your company has been officially registered. You should receive an official letter (Form CT41G) with your UTR printed on it, along with an official Notice to deliver a Company Tax Return.
Don’t confuse your UTRs
HMRC issue company UTRs to registered companies that have gone through the company formations process and have registered with Companies House. However, HMRC also issue personal UTRs to self-employed individuals who are registered for Self-Assessment.
These two numbers are completely separate from each other, so you cannot use your own personal UTR number for your company, or vice-versa.
As your registered company is seen as a separate identity in the eyes of the law, your company will have its own unique UTR, so you cannot use your own personal tax payer reference number for anything other than for your own individual Self-assessment tax returns.