When you register a company through a company formation agent or directly with Companies House, a certificate of incorporation will be sent to you online or by post (depending on the method of registration used). This is an important document that you will require at various points throughout the life of your company.
We are contacted on a regular basis by many concerned company owners who have misplaced their certificate of incorporation, so you’re by no means alone if you find yourself in this situation! Getting a replacement certificate of incorporation for a limited company or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is very easy and, in most cases, completely free of charge. Here are your options…
Download copy of digital certificate of incorporation
Whichever way you set up your company, you can access and download a digital copy of your certificate of incorporation online via Companies House. This is usually the easiest option for most companies.
You can use the Beta service or WebCHeck. The beta service is free of charge. To order a certificate or any other company document through WebCHeck, you will be charged £1 per document.
To use the Beta service, you should:
- Enter your company name in the search box.
- Select your company from the list that appears below the search box.
- Select ‘Filing history’.
- Scroll down the bottom and select ‘View PDF’ next to Incorporation.
- A scanned copy of your incorporation documents will appear on screen. You can then save or print a copy.
To use the WebCHeck service, you should:
- Enter your company name in the yellow section and click ‘search’.
- Your company name should be highlighted in yellow on the list.
- Click on your company registration number to the left of your company name.
- Select ‘Order information on this company’ on the right-hand side of the screen.
- Scroll down and check the box next to ‘Certificate of Incorporation’.
- Add to order and select ‘proceed to checkout’.
- Enter your login details or register an account.
- Proceed to checkout and pay for your order.
- A digital copy of the certificate will be sent to your email address.
Replacement hard copy certificate from Companies House
If you used Companies House’ postal incorporation service and you would prefer to order a replacement hard copy of your original certificate, you must contact Companies House by phone or email. You will be asked to provide your company name and company registration number (CRN).
Quality Formations customers
If you set up a company online through Quality Formations, you can sign in to your client account on our website to view and download digital copies of your incorporation documents. This includes your certificate of incorporation, share certificates, and the memorandum and articles of association. This service is free of charge and available 24/7.
About the certificate of incorporation
A certificate of incorporation is issued by Companies House to certify that a limited company or LLP has been lawfully registered in the UK in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 or the LLP Act 2000. The following information will be included on your certificate:
- Company registration number.
- Full name of limited company or LLP.
- Act under which the company or LLP is incorporated.
- Company type (private company limited by shares, private company limited by guarantee, or Limited Liability Partnership).
- Location of registered office (England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland).
- Incorporation date.
- Issuing Registrar (Companies House Cardiff, Edinburgh, or Belfast).
You will most likely be required to provide a copy of this certificate on a number of occasions, including:
- Opening a business bank account.
- Applying for a loan, grant, funding other type of business support.
- Requesting customer credit from suppliers and service providers.
- Buying or renting property in your company name.
- Operating overseas or setting up an overseas branch.
- Upon the inspection of statutory records.
- Selling shares to new investors.
- Selling the company.
It’s also good to have the certificate to hand because it contains important information that you will need when registering the business for tax, preparing accounts and confirmation statements, filing tax returns, and reporting changes to Companies House and HMRC.