Starting your own business can feel like a long and daunting process. Once everything has been tackled however, you’ll be in a position to get things done just how you want them and reap the rewards of being your own boss and bringing your services or products to the wider market. With this in mind, let’s take a look at company registration numbers: what they are, how they function, and how they work for you.
What is a company registration number?
A company registration number is awarded to your business when the application for incorporation has been completed. This eight-character number can be known as your company number, as the Companies House registration number, or just simply as a CRN number. This is automatically generated during your company’s verification process and allocated by Companies House, so you won’t be able to choose or change it at any time.
Company registration number format in the UK
As mentioned above, this number comprises eight characters, which are typically 2 letters followed by 6 numbers. The combination will be based on the company structure and where in the UK it has been incorporated.
- England and Wales: 8-figure CRN numbers
- Scotland: 6 figures, prefixed with ‘SC’
- Northern Ireland: 6 numbers, with the prefix ‘NI’
Other formats do exist, but these are reserved for more specialist companies and organisations.
When is a company registration number needed?
To receive one of these numbers, you must be incorporated or registered at Companies House. You are likely to be successful in doing so if you are:
- A company limited by shares
- A company limited by a guarantee
- Public limited companies (PLCs)
- Limited liability partnerships (LLPs)
- Limited partnerships (LPs)
If you are a sole trader or are in a general business partnership, a registration number won’t be necessary.
You’ll need to have your CRN number to hand when:
- Corresponding with Companies House
- Registering with HMRC for Corporation Tax and VAT, and filing company tax returns
- Corresponding with shareholders (i.e. issuing share certificates, etc.)
- Submitting your annual confirmation statement
- Reporting any changes in your company’s operations
- Changing details of a company director or company secretary
- Allotting shares or other changes to the company’s capital
- Filing annual accounts
- Registering your company as an employer to set up PAYE
- Sending PAYE reports to HMRC
- Applying for a company bank account, or for loans or leases in your company’s name
- Dissolving the company
How to find my company registration number
Many individuals fear losing their official number, but the great news is that it can easily be found If you misplace it at any time. There are several official documents that will have it displayed clearly, and if you don’t have any to hand yourself, you could ask your registered agent, or the team you use to help you with company set-up, as they will likely have one of the following items:
- Letters, official emails, and other statutory documentation received from Companies House
- Your issued certificate of incorporation
- On a change of name certificate (where applicable)
You’ll be able to find it easily enough online too, simply visit the Companies House service page and your business listing should be publicly available. If you type your full company name into the search engine and click search, your company listing will pop up. If you would like to find your full company record, clicking on this should bring up all the info you’re looking for.
Where should I display my company registration number?
All limited companies and LLPs are required by law to have their registration number on company stationery and a host of other documentation. While the consequences won’t be dire, you may find yourself in receipt of unnecessary fines and be impacted by trust issues when your number isn’t featured. You’ll need to include it on:
- All letterheads
- Compliment slips
- Company invoices
- Business leaflets
- Order forms
- All forms of printed marketing material
This number should also be easily discernible on your company’s website, and any online material that you produce for your audience. As more and more businesses are moving into the digital environment, it can be incredibly important to ensure you don’t overlook anything and that your number is clearly displayed to increase your consumer trust levels.
How to get a company registration number
When you are ready to register your company, it may be time to source a professional team of experts to help you with all of the necessary paperwork that comes with setting up a business. The right ones will help you to choose the best type of company structure for your business, fill out the corresponding forms, and attach all the necessary supporting information. They can assist you with choosing a (unique) company name and help you establish a UK address for your business. Once everything is in place, the forms will be ready for submission.
If your application is accepted, you’ll get your number in 8-10 business days, but this can be fast-tracked with the right team, and if you pay for express services. For an extra charge, you could receive it in as little as 1-2 business days. The speed at which you receive your company registration number isn’t a huge deal, so don’t worry too much about getting it done fast unless you have reason to do so.
Set up your UK company with Workhy
Workhy is here to help you set up your UK company today. We have the ability to securely store your business-related documents and certificates in digital format, so you’ll have access to them any time you need. You’ll be able to display, download and print them via our mobile application, so don’t hesitate to get your company registered with us.