When Companies House approves your application to incorporate, you will receive an email with digital copies of your company formation documents. Depending on your company type, these will include the certificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association or a draft LLP agreement, and share or guarantor certificates for each member. Paper copies (if applicable) will be posted to you within 24 hours.
Your company documents are incredibly important and you will need to use them on a number of occasions after setting up your company. Hard copies should be securely stored at your registered office (or SAIL address, if you have one), and you should always keep digital copies as a backup.
You can make changes to your company after incorporation, but you are legally required to report all changes to Companies House (and sometimes to HMRC) as soon as possible. Most changes can be carried out and reported free of charge online, via our Online Admin Portal or Companies House online service.
Please note that most changes can be authorised by directors, but some may require the approval of members. Always check the articles of association beforehand.
You have a legal obligation to report certain changes to Companies House, including:
Most of the changes you report to Companies House will be updated on public record.
Some changes to your company must be reported to HMRC, including a new company name or trading address, the appointment of an accountant or tax advisor, any changes related to tax (e.g., Corporation Tax, PAYE, VAT, Self Assessment), and the closure of your company.
Most changes to company details are free of charge, whether carried out and reported through our Online Client Portal or Companies House online service. However, it costs £8 to change a company name online, or £10 by post.
After company formation, you are permitted to transfer shares or increase your company’s share capital by issuing more shares. These actions will require prior approval from either the directors or members, depending on what is stated in the articles of association, and you must inform Companies House when any such changes take place.
The way in which you close a company depends on whether or not it can pay its bills. If the company is solvent, you can apply to Companies House to have it struck off the register, or you can start a members’ voluntary liquidation. If the company is insolvent (bankrupt), you can close it by applying for a creditors’ voluntary liquidation or compulsory liquidation.
Unless your company has been dormant since its incorporation, you have a legal obligation to display the company name at the registered office, any other location where the business operates (with the exception of private residences), and all official documents and stationery (including letters, emails, websites, invoices, and promotional material).
Legally, you do not need a business bank account for your company, but it is recommended, especially if the company has more than one director and member. It simply makes it easier to manage finances, whereas using a personal bank account for business transactions can cause confusion and lead to accounting oversights and errors.
Most of the company information you register and file at Companies House is made available to the public online via the central register. This includes:
late filing notices and penalties that have been issued
It is important that this information is accurate, which is why companies are required to submit a confirmation statement each year to verify the accuracy of the details held by Companies House.
Certain personal details of directors, company secretaries, subscribers (founding members), company members, LLP members, and PSCs are available to view on the public register of companies. Depending on your role, this may include your name, service address, month and year of birth, country/state of residence, nationality, shareholdings or guarantee amount, and the nature of control you have in the company.