When a company is incorporated, Companies House provides it with an individual registered number. This number never changes, even if the company changes its name. The numbers are never re-used, meaning that even if the company is dissolved, the number will not be reallocated to a new company.
Each company is also required to have a registered office within its country of registration. Companies House needs to be informed of this address and of any changes.
A company registration number (CRN) is the sole consistent form of identification that a company has. Each of the following can change but the company registration number remains the same.
- Company Name (by Special Resolution)
- Its registration as a Ltd or Plc
- Its ownership
- Its registered office
CRNs are issued sequentially and cannot be chosen or changed.
Companies will generally need to provide their CRN in the following circumstances:
- Changing the Company Name
- Changing the address of the registered office
- Updating details of the Directors or the Company Secretary
- Paying Corporation Tax
- Filing Tax Returns
- Filing the Annual Returns
- Issuing share certificates
- Issuing dividend vouchers
It is important that a company can be identified because people need to know who they are dealing with and it needs to be clear where important papers (e.g. legal actions or notices) can be lodged.
The address of the company needs to be registered with Companies House. This is submitted on form IN01 initially but, for changes of address, this needs to be registered on form AD01. When the company’s registered address is changed, there is a period of 14 days where both the old and new addresses are valid for the purpose of serving notices etc.
The Company Name must be displayed at all premises at which the business operates. This does not need to be on the exterior of the building, except for the registered office, where it must be made clear that it is the company’s registered office (this does not apply to domestic residences).
Invoices, letterheads, websites, monetary documentation and external email communications need to include the following:
- Company Name
- Registered Office
Business cards and compliments slips, however, generally don’t need to include this information.
The names of the directors do not need to be included on the company’s letterhead. However, if one director is named, then all must be named.
Remember, companies that breach the requirements can be fined for non-compliance.