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How to find company registration number?

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Sumit Agarwal Sumit Agarwal 29 May 2024 Company formation

What is company registration number and how to find it?

A company registration number is a unique identifier assigned to every limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP) incorporated in the UK. This number is issued by the Registrar of Companies at Companies House upon successfully registering a new business entity.

The company registration number is an official reference for all legal and financial dealings related to the company. It helps distinguish one business from another and allows for easy identification and verification of a company's records.

Knowing company registration number is crucial for various purposes, such as filing annual returns, opening a business bank account, issuing official documents like invoices, and corresponding with government agencies like HMRC. It's a fundamental piece of information that every company director or owner should have readily available.

What is a company registration number?

A company registration number, also known as a company number or registered company number, is a unique numerical code assigned to every limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP) registered in the UK. This number serves as the official identifier for the business entity and is issued by Companies House, the government agency responsible for incorporating and regulating companies.

The company registration number is an important part of the information that separates one company from another and allows for easy identification and verification of a company's records. It is a permanent and unchanging number that remains associated with the company throughout its existence, regardless of any changes in ownership, directors, or registered office address.

In short, a company registration number is a unique identifier that officially recognises and validates the legal existence of a limited company or LLP within the UK business landscape.

Why is a company registration number important?

A company registration number is a vital piece of information that serves several important purposes for any limited company or LLP operating in the UK. Here are some key reasons why having and knowing company registration number is important:

  1. Legal identification and verification: Company registration number is a unique identifier that distinguishes business entity from all others registered with Companies House. It acts as legal proof of company's existence and legitimacy. This number is required for various official filings, documents, and correspondence related to company.

  2. Compliance with regulations: Companies House and other governing bodies, such as HMRC, use the registration number to track and monitor company's compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Failing to provide this number when required can lead to penalties or legal issues.

  3. Opening business bank accounts: Most banks and financial institutions will require company registration number when you attempt to open a business bank account. This number helps them verify the legitimacy of company and conduct necessary checks.

  4. Issuing official documents: The company registration number must be displayed on all official company documents, such as invoices, letterheads, contracts, and other business correspondence. This requirement helps establish credibility and transparency with clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders.

  5. Public record and transparency: Companies House maintains a public register of all registered companies, which can be searched using the company registration number. This transparency allows potential customers, partners, and investors to access basic information about company and its directors.

  6. Different from other business entities: The registration number differentiates limited company or LLP from other business structures, such as sole proprietorships or partnerships, which do not have a similar registration requirement.

A company registration number is a fundamental identifier that validates company's legal existence, facilitates compliance, enables financial transactions, and promotes transparency in business dealings.

How to find company registration number

As a company director or owner, it's essential to know where to find the company's registration number. This unique identifier is crucial for various legal and financial transactions, and you'll need it readily available. Here are several places where you can find company registration number:

Certificate of incorporation

The Certificate of Incorporation is the official document issued by Companies House when company is first registered. This certificate contains company's name, registered office address, and, most importantly, the company registration number. It's typically a prominent piece of information on the certificate, making it easy to find.

Correspondence from Companies House

Any correspondence you receive from Companies House, such as reminders for filing annual returns or confirmation statements, will include company registration number. These letters or emails often display the number prominently at the top or in the header section.

Public register

Companies House maintains a public register of all incorporated companies in the UK. You can search for company on their website (www.gov.uk/get-information-about-a-company) using company name or registration number. The search results will display company's details, including the registration number.

Company formation agent's portal

If you used a company formation agent to incorporate a business, they will have provided you with company registration number. Many agents also offer online portals or client areas where you can access company's details, including the registration number.

Searching on the Companies House website

The Companies House website allows you to search for a company using various criteria, such as the company name or registered office address. Once you locate company, the registration number will be displayed in the search results.

Official company documents

Company registration number should be displayed on all official company documents, such as invoices, letterheads, contracts, and business stationery. If you have any of these documents readily available, you can easily find the registration number printed on them.

It's important to note that the company registration number is a permanent identifier and will not change throughout the lifetime of a business. However, if you're still having trouble locating it, you can contact Companies House directly or seek assistance from a professional service provider.

Remember, having a company registration number readily available is crucial for maintaining compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, as well as for conducting various business transactions smoothly.

Company registration number format

The format of a company registration number varies depending on the type of business entity and the region where it is registered within the UK. Here's a breakdown of the different formats:

Companies in England and Wales

For companies registered in England and Wales, the registration number follows a simple numerical format. It consists of 8 digits, with the first set of digits representing the year of incorporation and the remaining digits being a unique sequential number assigned by Companies House.

Example: 12345678

In this example, the first two digits (12) indicate the year of incorporation as 2012, while the remaining six digits (345678) are the unique sequential number assigned to that company.

Limited liability partnerships (LLPs) in England and Wales

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) registered in England and Wales have a slightly different format. Their registration numbers start with the letters "OC" followed by 6 digits.

Example: OC123456

The "OC" prefix stands for "Overseas Company," which was initially used for foreign companies registering in the UK. However, it is now also used for LLPs.

Companies in Scotland

Companies registered in Scotland have a different format from those in England and Wales. Their registration numbers start with the letters "SC" followed by 6 digits.

Example: SC123456

The "SC" prefix stands for "Scottish Company," indicating that the company is registered in Scotland.

Companies in Northern Ireland

Companies registered in Northern Ireland have a format similar to those in Scotland, but with a different prefix. Their registration numbers start with the letters "NI" followed by 6 digits.

Example: NI123456

The "NI" prefix stands for "Northern Ireland," indicating that the company is registered in that region.

It's important to note that the company registration number should always be presented in its correct format, including any prefixes or specific digits, when used in official documents or correspondence. This ensures accurate identification and avoids any confusion or potential legal issues.

By understanding the different formats used for company registration numbers across the UK, businesses can easily identify and verify the registration details of companies they interact with, regardless of their location or entity type.

Who needs a company registration number?

Any business registered as a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP) in the UK needs a company registration number. This unique identifier is mandatory for these types of incorporated businesses.

Specifically, the following entities require a company registration number:

Limited companies: All private limited companies (Ltd) and public limited companies (PLC) must obtain a company registration number upon incorporation through Companies House.

Limited liability partnerships (LLPs): LLPs, which combine aspects of traditional partnerships and limited companies, are also assigned a company registration number when formed.

Overseas companies: Foreign companies establishing a place of business or branch in the UK must register as an overseas company and receive a company registration number.

The company registration number is not required for sole traders, ordinary business partnerships, or other unincorporated business structures. These entities may use other identifiers like self-assessment tax references or VAT numbers.

Company directors, company secretaries, and business owners of limited companies and LLPs need to know and have access to their company registration number. It acts as the primary identification for the company in official communications, filings, and transactions with government bodies, banks, suppliers, clients and other third parties.

If you have formed an incorporated business through Companies House, whether a private limited company, public limited company or LLP, you will be issued a company registration number that you must use and reference for all legal and official purposes related to company.

Need help with your company registration number?

Keeping track of and properly using company registration number can seem like a daunting task, especially for new business owners. If you need any assistance related to company registration number, dns accountants is here to help.

Our team of experienced company formation accountants can guide you through the entire process, from incorporation to ongoing compliance. We'll ensure you understand the importance of your company registration number and how to use it correctly.

Don't hesitate to reach out to us for expert advice and support. Contact dns accountants today at 033 0088 3616, email contact@dnsaccountants.co.uk, or book a free consultation . We're committed to making company registration and management simple and stress-free for you.

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About the author

Sumit Agarwal
Sumit Agarwal
Sumit Agarwal (ACMA ACA India), the Managing partner of dns accountants