Conducting a search on a company director is very easy to do. You can find a great deal of valuable information on UK directors online through Companies House Service (CHS), which is free to use.
Whether you’re a potential client, an employee, a supplier, or an investor or business associate, it is beneficial to know as much as possible about the director(s) in charge of a company that you are planning to do business with.
Such due diligence will enable you to make an informed decision and minimise the risk of doing business with the wrong people and/or company.
How to search for a company director
To search for a company director, go to Companies House Service. Once you are logged in, enter the director’s name to search for them directly.
Alternatively, enter the name of the company associated with the director. Choose the relevant listing from the search results and select the ‘People’ tab to see information about the director.
What director information can I find online?
The type of director information that is available online from Companies House includes:
- full name
- any former names (incl. maiden or married names) used for business purposes in the last 20 years
- date of director’s appointment to a company
- date of director’s resignation (if applicable)
- country or state of usual residence
- month and year of birth
- business occupation (if any)
- director’s service address, i.e., an official correspondence address, which may or may not be the director’s home address and/or a company’s registered office
- previous service addresses (if any) and the date on which any change of address occurred
- director’s current status in a company, i.e. active or resigned
- all past and present appointments as a director, secretary, shareholder, person with significant control (PSC)
- whether a director is also a PSC
- the nature of a director’s control in a company (if applicable), e.g. percentage of share ownership and voting rights
- viewable filed documents relating to any changes made to a director’s details, including the dates on which such changes occurred
- whether an individual is a disqualified company director
How to search for a disqualified director
Companies House maintains a disqualified officers register, which contains details of all directors banned by the courts and the Insolvency Service. By law, any person listed on the Companies House register of disqualified directors is unable to:
- be a director of a UK-registered company
- be a director of an overseas company that has connections with the UK
- be involved in forming, marketing, or running a company – this includes being a company secretary
To search for a disqualified director, go to Companies House Service disqualified officers register and enter the director’s name to search them directly.
Information available for a disqualified director
Available information on all current disqualified company directors includes:
- full name
- last registered address
- full date of birth
- date on which the disqualification began
- date on which the disqualification ends
- number of disqualifications he or she has had
- reason for director’s disqualification, e.g. late filings, fraud, tax evasion, bankruptcy
- names of companies relevant to the director’s disqualification
- disqualifying court
- case reference number
- whether he or she has the court’s permission to continue to act as a director
Additionally, the register provides details of the method of disqualification, i.e., by ‘court order’ or ‘undertaking’ (voluntary disqualification).
Details of a disqualified director remain on the register for the entire duration of the ban, which could be a period of up to 15 years. When the disqualification ends, the director’s details are automatically removed.
The Insolvency Service provides full details of every director who has been disqualified (or banned) due to company insolvency. If the ban occurred within the past 3 months, you can view full details online via the Insolvency Service (for directors in England, Scotland, and Wales). Otherwise, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why search for information on a company director?
Directors usually have significant power and control over the day-to-day operations and finances of a business. Naturally, this level of influence will have a profound impact on a company’s overall performance and long-term viability, affecting everything from employee culture and staff turnover to the efficiency, credibility and solvency of the business.
Searching for information on a company director has the potential to provide significant insight into the individual, as well as the business(es) to which he or she is appointed. For example:
- full name, proof of address, and date of birth details can help you to verify that directors are who they say they are
- by searching the register of disqualified officers, you can check that an individual is not acting as a company director whilst banned from doing so
- an individual who currently holds multiple director appointments may be stretched too thin, unable to devote enough time to each business
- a director with numerous resignations under his or her belt may be cause for concern – consider finding out more about the companies to which he or she was previously appointed. Did they all fail? Or did the business thrive during the director’s periods of appointment?
- a company with a high turnover of directors is noteworthy and troubling – is the business failing?