A company registration number is used to identify a company to verify that they are registered with Companies House. The number consists of a unique combination of numbers, and letters in some cases, that is specific to every company that is registered in the UK.

Company registration numbers apply to businesses registered at Companies House, such as limited companies and limited liability partnerships. Sole traders do not have company registration numbers as they are not incorporated in this way.

group of people chatting

How Do You Get a Company Registration Number?

A company registration number is automatically assigned to your business by Companies House when the company is formed. You cannot select a specific number that you would like for your business, and you cannot change it either once it has been assigned.

Even if your business changes its name, primary activities or any directors or shareholders, your company registration number will always remain the same as it was initially assigned when the business was formed.

What is the Format of a Company Registration Number?

Companies on the register in England and Wales have an 8-character long registration number that starts with a 0. However, the 0 may be omitted in some places, such as a Limited Liability Partnership which begins with OC followed by 6 numbers.

The format alters in Scotland, where the registration number for limited companies begins with SC followed by 6 digits, or for LLPs it begins with SO followed by the 6 numbers.

Northern Ireland has a similar format to this, identified by NI followed by 6 numbers. Older Northern Irish companies may have a registration number beginning with R, followed by 7 digitals. However, this cannot be changed as registration numbers do not alter or get updated for the same company. LLPs will be given a registration number starting with NC followed by 6 numbers.

There are some other forms of company registration number, but these are reserved for specialised companies like the Royal Charter being RC, and do not apply to the average limited company.

woman biting pen whilst ready company documents

When is a Company Registration Number Needed?

There are a range of circumstances when you will need, or be asked to provide, your company registration number, such as:

  • When contacting Companies House.
  • Submitting your annual confirmation statement.
  • Reporting changes to your company’s details.
  • Filing annual accounts.
  • Registering your company as an employer to set up PAYE.
  • Sending PAYE reports to HMRC.
  • Applying for a company bank account.
  • Applying for a loan or lease in your company name.
  • Registering with HMRC for Corporation Tax and VAT.
  • Changing details of a company director or company secretary.
  • Communication with shareholders like issuing share certificates.
  • Allotting shares or other changes to the company’s capital.
  • Dissolving the company.

Where Can I Find My Company Registration Number?

If you forget or misplace your company registration number, you can find it in the following places:

  • On your company’s certificate of incorporation. The number is shown on the certificate issued by Companies House.
  • Emails or letters from your company formation agent or accountant. Suppose your company was formed for you by a company like Company Registrations Online. In that case, you should be able to find your company registration number on the initial documents sent to you when they formed the company.
  • Any official correspondence with Companies House, such as letters or emails.
  • Use the public register to search the Companies House’s records by company name to find your company registration number.

man smiling at computer

How Do You Register for a Company Registration Number?

You will receive your company registration number when you register your business with Companies House. To do this, you need to complete a series of documents and have your chosen company name and the UK address you have as its registered office.

You will need Memorandum Association documents with all the names of company officers, directors and how share capital is divided between shareholders. If you would prefer to leave the paperwork to the professionals, you can outsource your company formation to a company like Company Registrations Online to do it for you.

We can handle all the paperwork and submit the relevant documentation to Companies House in compliance with all laws and legal regulations. CRO ensure that your business is set up correctly with no hassle or fuss. You can use our search tool to check your business name is available, then all we need to get you started is your registered office address, director, and shareholder information.

CRO have a range of company formation packages available to suit your needs. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about forming your own company and how we can help.