what is companies house?

If you are interested in registering your own company, you have probably come across the words "Companies House" but who exactly are they and what do they do?

Registrar of UK companies
  • The primary function of Companies House is to be the registrar of UK Limited companies
  • Unlike sole traders, which are people, Limited companies are created as entities in their own right
  • You can think of Companies House as the Births, Deaths and Marriages for companies. If a company is created, renamed, restructured or closed...this is where the action happens
Congratulations Ms. Jones, you have a beautiful baby company
3 main branches
  • Companies House Cardiff is responsible for the register of companies formed in England and Wales
  • Companies House Edinburgh is responsible for the register of companies formed in Scotland
  • Companies House Belfast is responsible for the register of companies formed in Northern Ireland
3 branches cover the UK
company numbers
  • The registered office address of companies determines which branch of Companies House will record that company
  • Companies House allocates a unique sequential company number to each new company registered
  • Cardiff allocates 8 digit numbers, Edinburgh companies start with "SC" and Belfast with "NI"
  • Companies may change names but never company numbers
companies are allocated sequential company numbers
keeping up to date
  • Each year companies must submit an annual return to Companies House
  • This keeps the register up to date with shareholders, directors, registered address and SIC codes
  • Companies may make individual record updates at Companies House any time
I need to get my annual return complete or risk a fine


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