Before you conceive a company name, it’s imperative to check if your desired company name is available — running a search on the Companies House name availability checker will return this basic information. But your relationship with Companies House’s online checking service should not end there. Once you’ve finalised the foundations of forming a company, it’s vital that you continue to perform a company check for one very important reason:
Perform a Company Check to Analyse Your Competition
Successful sports coaches take pride in analysing their competition. A thorough analysis can determine their opponents’ strength and weaknesses, enabling coaches to adapt their tactics accordingly and achieve a positive result. As a business owner, you have to adopt a similar mind-set — perform a company check to assess your competition in order to succeed in your market.
What Company Details Can You Check?
Firstly, all companies must register with Companies House and file specific information about its activities, finances, individual board members and shareholders (learn more about the practices of Companies House).
This information is subsequently made available to the public and added to the UK register of companies via the Companies House Service (formerly known as Beta) and WebCHeck. And since Companies House stores over 170 million digital records, you’ll have access to vast, invaluable company information to help your own company grow:
- Date your company was incorporated.
- Registered office address.
- Details of your current company officers (e.g. directors and secretaries or LLP members): name, date of birth, contact address, nationality, occupation, and date of appointment.
- Details of company shareholders, guarantors, or LLP members.
- Details of People with Significant Control (PSCs): name, date of birth, contact address, and the nature of each PSCs control in the company.
- Resigned company officers.
- Details of any disqualified company directors.
- Directors’ appointments that are held in other companies
- Details of the company’s business activities.
- Any former company names.
- Annual financial accounts (also known as “statutory accounts”).
- Confirmation statement (previously known as an “annual return”).
- Statutory filing deadlines for proceeding accounts and confirmation statement.
- Mortgage charges.
- Company status (whether active, dormant, or dissolved).
- Scanned images of company documents, including the certificate of incorporation, annual accounts, confirmation statements, and change of officer details.
How Do You Apply Information Obtained From a Company Check?
Once you perform a company check, it’s important to apply your newly found knowledge in order to better your rivals. Scrutinise personal member details of your rivals and monitor the track record of those individuals regarding their performance to marketing and sales; for instance, is there a correlation between a newly appointed member and a company’s business activities/increased profits?
It’s particularly important to check your competition’s brand management. For example, researching your competition’s social media presence will definitely give you a glimpse into how their brand management works. If this is your first business, any little insight will help when it comes to managing your own brand.
Read between the lines and see what kind of style your competition is trying to exude and how they express that “reputation” to its target audience.
And since you’re sharing the market with your competitors, you don’t want to manage your brand too differently from a successful prototype (the competition), yet you still need to take advantage of any of their shortcomings in order to make your brand stand out.
How Do You Perform a Company Check?
Companies House Service was initially launched as “Companies House Beta Service” in 2015. To perform a company check using this free, simple-to-use online service, simply:
- Input the company name, unique company registration number, or name of a company officer into the search bar on the Companies House Service homepage.
- Select the name of the company or officer for which you wish to retrieve information.
- Click on any blue highlighted text for further company details.
You can also register your details through this service in order to “follow” certain companies and monitor their updates; you’ll receive free email alerts when the company files new information or amendments to any of its registered details.
How Do You Use Companies House WebCHeck Service?
The Companies House WebCHeck provides much of the free information as found on the updated Companies House Service. Additionally, the WebCHeck service can be used to view a company’s filing history and purchase copies of filed document images and company reports. This includes latest appointments of officers, mortgage statements, and additional company records.
In order to purchase these company documents and reports through WebCHeck, simply register online with an email address and password. You will then be contacted by Companies House when your requested documents are available to access and download securely.
Note: The WebCHeck service is gradually being phased out in order to be replace by a comprehensive Companies House Service.
Don’t forget, you can use the WebCHeck service to retrieve your own company information. For example, if you’ve forgotten your company registration number, simply log on and follow these steps:
- Go to http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/wcframe?name=accessCompanyInfo
- Enter the name of your company in the “yellow section”
- Click the “SEARCH” button
- Your confirmation registration number will then be located on the left-hand side of your company name.
A Formations Company Can Help
Understanding how to perform company checks before you launch your own business can be very useful for your own marketing blueprint. Seeking the correct information and advice is vital for business owners who are just starting out. Using the services of a reputable formations company can help alleviate the oft-demanding administrative tasks associated with forming a company and will help you better understand how to use important platforms, such as Companies House online service.
For more information on the above, or for any related assistance, contact our friendly team and you can begin setting up your business address, today.