Certificate of incorporation

Companies House issue Certificate of incorporation once your company registration application is successful.

Commence trading

Consequently, the certificate is conclusive evidence that your limited company has been registered in accordance with the Companies Act in the United Kingdom. You may start trading straight away if your company is a private limited company. Unlike a public limited company (PLC), they must obtain the trading certificate before commencing trading.

Information printed on the certificate of incorporation

Universally, your certificate of incorporation will have the following information printed on it:

  • Your company name.
  • Your company registration number (eight digits number only).
  • The type of company. Whether your company is a limited or unlimited company. And if it is a limited company whether it is limited by shares or limited by guarantee.
  • Whether your company is a private or public limited company.
  • Where is your company’s registered office situated? whether it is in England and Wales, Wales, Scotland or in Northern Ireland.
  • The date of incorporation of your limited company. The date is the date Companies House issued your certificate of incorporation.

The Registrar of Companies would stamp your certificate with its official seal.

Open a bank account

Generally, you would require your certificate of incorporation to open a bank account for your company. Your bank would ask for this certificate and other incorporation documents. In addition, your company directors must present themselves and provide proof of identity and proof of address documents.

Your company official stationery

Conventionally, you would include your company details in your official company stationery such as letterhead and your business website. Your company name, registration number and registered office address are the important ones so that your customers and suppliers may contact you. All legal notices deliver to your registered office address is considered documents served to you.

Confirmation statement

Companies House requires every company to deliver Confirmation Statement at least once every 12 months. For this purpose, it is your company director’s responsibility to file the confirmation statement on time with Companies House. It is a criminal offence for failing to deliver your confirmation statement.

Company Accounts

Lastly, your company must prepare and submit annual accounts with Companies House. Your company’s filing deadline is nine months after your financial year-end if it is a private limited company. Whereas for a public limited company is six months. You would have to pay a late filing penalty if you submit your company account late with Companies House.

Certificate of good standing

The certificate of good standing certifies that your UK company has been in continuous, unbroken existence since its incorporation. Concurrently, there is no action is currently being taken to strike it off Companies House register.

Generally, it is very easy for your company to achieve good standing status. All you need to do is to make sure you submit your company accounts and confirmation statements with Companies House on time.

In addition, your company must meet minimum company officer appointments requirements. For example, a Public Limited Company (PLC) must have at least two directors and a company secretary with one person director. Whereas for a private limited company, you must have at least one person director.

Companies House will not issue your certificate of good standing if your company’s filings are not up to date. For example, your company account is overdue at the time you request your certificate, Companies House would not issue it until your company account is filed.

When do you require a certificate of good standing?

Normally, if your company are banking overseas, your foreign bank would require you to provide a certified and apostilled certificate of good standing issued by Companies House every year.

In this circumstance, you must obtain your certificate from Companies House first. Thereafter, you arrange your certificate to be stamped by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). You must send in the original certificate not the photocopy of it.

Additional facts on your certificate

You can request to include additional certified facts on your certificate. These include:

  • directors’ names, and details such as date of birth or nationality
  • secretaries’ names
  • registered office address
  • the company’s objects
  • good standing statement

If you have any questions on how to obtain your certificate of good standing, feel free to contact our London accountants.

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