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Certificate of Incorporation: How to Get a Replacement

After you register a company, advisably through a company formations agent who can competently manage communication with Companies House, you will receive the all-important certificate of incorporation. Depending on how you registered your company, the certificate of incorporation will either be sent via post, or online.

Before we outline how to receive a replacement certificate of incorporation, it’s important to remind ourselves what exactly is a certificate of incorporation, and what it means for your business.

Certificate of Incorporation Defined

A certificate of incorporation is a legal paper that outlines key company information. It certifies and confirms that a company exists legally and is permitted to trade. All companies registered at Companies House are issued a certificate of incorporation. 

A certificate of incorporation will contain the following company information: 

  • Company’s registered name
  • Company registration number (CRN) (find out about your CRN and how to locate it through a Companies House search here)
  • Company registration location (England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland)
  • Incorporation date
  • Company Form (limited by shares, limited by guarantee etc.)
  • Issuing Registrar (Cardiff, Edinburgh or Belfast)
  • Legislation under which the incorporation has been formed
  • Registrar of Companies official seal (Companies House)
  • Royal Coat of Arms

Your certificate of incorporation could be requested when you initially open your business bank account, as the bank will require legal evidence of your company’s existence. Additionally, you may need to show the certificate when selling shares to investors, when you’re applying for different funding, acquiring a loan, creating an overseas business division, and/or if you are registering for overseas taxes.

Receiving a replacement certificate of incorporation for a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP) is quite straightforward and, in most cases, completely free of charge. Here are your options.

Download a Digital Copy Via Companies House Service

Whatever method you chose to set up your company, a digital file copy of your certificate of incorporation can be downloaded online via Companies House Service. This is a rather straightforward process. 

To download a copy of your certificate of incorporation through Companies House Service (formerly known as Companies House BETA), simply follow these steps:

  • Visit Companies House Service: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk
  • Enter your company name into the search box
  • Select your company in the search results 
  • Click “Filing history”
  • Scroll to the bottom and select “View PDF” next to Incorporation (you may have to navigate to the older pages to locate this)
  • Find your certificate of incorporation on page one of the PDF

Receive a Hard Copy of Your Certificate of Incorporation 

A hard copy of your certificate of incorporation can be issued by Companies House for £15.00 (or £50.00 for a same-day delivery service).

In order to receive a hard copy of your certificate of incorporation, you can get in touch with the Companies House contact centre on +44 (0)303 1234 500 and provide the following details:

When Will You Use Your Certificate of Incorporation

There may be a number of instances when you’ll have to produce your certificate of incorporation, albeit it may not be a regular requirement. 

Your certificate of incorporation could be requested when you initially open your business bank account, as the bank will require legal evidence of your company’s existence. Additionally, you may need to show the certificate when selling shares to investors, when you’re applying for different funding, acquiring a loan, creating an overseas business division, and/or if you are registering for overseas taxes.

Invariably, you won’t need to provide a certificate of incorporation for evidential purposes, as details of your company name and registration number will often suffice.

Remember…

Obtaining the help of a company formation agent can significantly reduce the risk of misplacing, or being unable to retrieve, important documents such as the certificate of incorporation. 

The online version of your certificate can be accessed by logging into the online account you have with your company formation agent or signing in to Companies House Web Filing. If you find it difficult to retrieve your digital certificate, simply phone or send a mail to Companies House and request a replacement. And as mentioned, you’ll need to provide your company’s name and registration number. 

For more information about obtaining a certificate of incorporation, or for any related assistance with setting up a company and registering a business address, contact Your Virtual Office London, today. 

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