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You have your business plan drawn up, your initial funding in place and now all you need to do is register your company. This means you are now (hopefully) on your way to success and prosperity! 

In this article, we take away the uncertainty of registering a private limited company in England and Wales, by detailing all the documents you will need to provide to Companies House.

What are the documents required for the registration of a company?

The wonderful thing about the internet is it has made tasks such as registering a limited company incredibly straightforward.

By choosing to register online, an online wizard will guide you through a version of the first document you will need to complete, the form IN01 incorporation document. If you miss any information, the wizard will halt the process, so there is no chance of not filling in the form accurately. You will get your digital copy in no time!

You can form your company using a paper IN01 form; however, it is more expensive and will take 5 to 10 days to register. There is an option for same-day registration, but this will cost around £100.

The IN01 form must state:

  • The name of the company
  • The registered office address 
  • Details of the directors
  • Details of the shareholders
  • The share capital information and the prescribed peculiars relating to each class of shares
  • Details concerning those with significant control over the company (usually the directors and shareholders at the startup stage)

Aside from the IN01 form, you will need to provide a Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association. The Memorandum states the names of the initial shareholders (members) who are forming the company, and the Articles set out the rules for how the company will be run. You can create your Articles or use the model provided by Companies House.

What is a company registration number?

When you incorporate a limited company or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), the Companies House service will send you a unique 8-character long registration number (often abbreviated as “CRN”). The registration number is a unique identifier for your business.

You will need this number when you contact Companies House, file your annual accounts, and register with HMRC for corporation tax and VAT. This number can sometimes be referred to as a “Companies House Number”. The company registration number is computer-generated, therefore, cannot be changed or personally selected.

The company registration number will usually look like this:

  • Eight numbers (e.g. 12345678) or,
  • Two letters followed by six numbers (e.g. AB325422)

However, depending on where you incorporate your company and the type of company you choose to set up, the company registration number can take a different form. 

You should take into account sole traders are not incorporated in this way and therefore they do not have a company registration number. 

Additionally, general partnerships (also referred to as “ordinary partnerships”) do not have a company registration number. However, limited partnerships are registered at Companies House and will obtain their unique reference.

How to find a company registration number?

Your company registration number will be displayed on your Certificate of Incorporation and any Companies House statutory mail you receive. 

The company registration number is usually printed alongside a heading such as “Company No.” You can also find it on the public register by your company details.

If you cannot find your number in this way, you can run a Companies House search to find your company registration number by simply logging into Companies House WebCHeck service, free of charge.

How to get a company registration certificate

After registering your company with Companies House, you’ll be sent a copy of your certificate of incorporation. This document contains your company’s vital information, including:

  • The company’s full name
  • The company’s unique registration number
  • The date of incorporation
  • The Registrar’s seal

Your certificate indicates that your company has been duly registered at Companies House. It should be kept safely as it may be required for opening a bank account, for loan applications or if you’re selling your company.

If you have mislaid your certificate, you can download a digital copy on the find and update company information service.

Get legal assistance from LawBite

LawBite has experience helping startups and small businesses achieve their commercial ambitions and regulatory compliance. If you need support getting your new company registered, book a free 15 minute consultation or call us on 020 3808 8314.


Additional resources

In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.

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