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What is Companies House in UK? – Essential Information for Limited Company Owners 

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If you are starting up a Limited company, then you will need to become familiar with the rules and processes of Companies House. Companies House is the government body that oversees and administrates information about UK companies. As a limited business owner, you will need to inform the organisation when you form your business, submit your annual accounts, offer shares, and update any changes to the structure or pertinent information about your business. 

Below, we will look in more detail at what Companies House is and understand what their role is in UK businesses. 

What is The Companies House Register? – An Introduction

In order to incorporate your limited company as a legal entity, you need to register with Companies House so they can confirm your registration and add your business to their record of companies. Companies House administrates and maintains the register for both the incorporation and dissolution of Limited companies in the UK. Here is a quick breakdown to answer “what is Companies House?” 

  • Company Incorporations: Limited companies must register with Companies House to become incorporated. This process involves providing information such as the company name, business address, and the Articles of Corporation. 
  • Maintain Company Records: Companies house maintains a publicly available register of UK incorporated companies, including information such as company director details, the registered office address, and financial statements. 
  • House Companies Annual Statements: Ltd companies need to file annual financial statements, annual returns/confirmation statements and changes to company data. This ensures that UK limited companies remain both accountable and transparent. 
  • Publicly Accessible Records: Companies House provide publicly accessible records on registered limited companies. This enables businesses, investors, and individuals to check the financial status and legitimacy of a company. 
  • Company Dissolutions: Companies House also administrates the dissolving of limited companies that cease operations. It also administers the restoration of companies which were previously removed from the Companies House register. 

Do I Need to Register with Companies House? 

All UK limited companies must register with Companies House and keep the organisation updated with annual files and statutory changes.

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Limited Business Incorporation Process

When you form your limited company, you must register with Companies House to become incorporated. Here is the information you will need to provide during the process: 

  • Company Details on Form IN01: You will need to provide company details such as the name of the company director, registered office address, the company secretary, and shareholders. 
  • Unique Company Name: You need to choose a name for your limited company that is not already in use or too similar to a business already on the Companies House register.
  • Articles of Association: Details of how the company will be run and the rules regarding shares and operations. 
  • Memorandum of Association: A statement signed by company shareholders agreeing to form the business. 

Keeping Companies House Updated

After registering your limited company with Companies House, you will also need to keep the organisation updated with annual statements and any changes you make to your business. So, what are the Companies House updates you need to provide? 

  • Annual Confirmation Statement/Annual Statement: Each year, you need to file your company confirmation statement (also known as an annual statement) with the Companies House register. 
  • Annual Accounts: You also need to prepare and file accurate account statements with Companies House. These must meet the reporting standards and provide a transparent picture of your company finances. 
  • Tax Returns: The tax returns you file with HRMC must match the annual account information you submit to Companies House. 
  • Company Changes: You need to inform Companies House when you make changes to your company. These include changes of directors, secretaries, shareholder details, and amendments to the Articles of Association. 

What Happens If I Don’t File with Companies House? 

If you don’t file or update your limited company information with Companies House, you can face financial penalties, personal liability, legal repercussions, and even criminal charges. Failure to comply with Companies House regulations can also damage your company’s reputation and credit status, making it harder for you to maintain or grow your business. 

For these reasons, it is essential that you remain compliant with the Companies House register and keep your records accurate and up to date. 


When you set up your limited company in the UK, one of the first requirements you need to fulfil is registering with Companies House. This provides your business with legal status, ensures company transparency, and contributes to accountability for all UK companies. As you can see from our guide to What is Companies House in UK above, failure to annually update the Companies House register can lead to legal and financial issues, so it is essential to remain compliant and up to date. 

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