What is Companies House and what does it mean for you?

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In its simplest terms, Companies House is Registrar of Companies in the United Kingdom. It holds information on all limited companies in the UK, overseeing the incorporation and closure of all businesses.

About Companies House

Launched in 1844, Companies House holds information on over two million operating companies in the United Kingdom alone, with an additional 300,000 new companies forming every year.  

Companies formed outside the UK which have presence here are also required to register with Companies House and file annual returns etc.

Incorporating new companies

In order to incorporate a new company, you must submit the following 3 forms to Companies House – Form IN01, the Articles and Memorandum of Association.

You will also need to choose a company name, a company director(s) and, optionally, a company secretary.

You can fill in the required forms and send directly to Companies House (online or by post), or use an agent on your behalf, for example your accountant.

Responsibilities of Limited Companies

As the director of your company, you will have numerous obligations to Companies House which must be fulfilled every year.

For starters, you must submit Annual Returns using form AR01.

You must also keep Companies House updated of changes to company directors’ details e.g. names, addresses, company address, shares etc. This can be done online using Companies House WebFiling system.

Keep in mind that you will need to submit annual accounts to Companies House, even if the company is dormant.

One final consideration in dealing with Companies House – although you will likely have an accountant managing your company’s taxes, it is your responsibility to make sure that all of the information submitted to Companies House is accurate and returned on time.