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Your Company Registration Number Explained

You’ve spent years trying to launch your business. You’ve finally got a registered office address. And now you’re ready to drive your business in earnest. At this overwhelming stage you must be sure you exercise a comprehensive filing system to remedy any confusion you may encounter with important company details and numbers. 

And one of those all-important numbers you’ll need to readily identify is your company registration number. Before you learn about the significance of a company registration for your business, it’s vital to understand the definition of a company registration number.

Your Company Registration Number Is Issued When You Register Your Business 

A company registration number is simply that — an identifiable registration number for your company.  It will be issued to you by Companies House when you incorporate your limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP). A company registration number is often abbreviated as “CRN” and is computer generated, therefore it cannot be personally selected or amended at a later date. 

A Company Registration Number Will Look Different Depending on Your Incorporation

Typically, your company registration number will usually look like this:

Eight numbers (e.g. 12345678) or,

Two letters followed by six numbers (e.g. AB123456)

However, a company registration number can take a number of visual forms depending on where you incorporate your company and the type of company you choose to set up:

For England and Wales:

  • 8-digit company registration number
  • “OC” prefix on a company registration number (for limited liability partnerships (LLPs))
  • “LP” prefix on a company registration number (for limited partnership companies) 

For Scotland:

  • “SC” prefix on a company registration number 
  • “SO” prefix on a company registration number (for limited liability companies)
  • “SL” prefix on a company registration number (for limited lpartnership companies)

For Northern Ireland:

  • “NI” prefix on a company registration number (for limited companies)
  • “NC” prefix on a company registration number (for limited liability partnerships (LLPs))
  • “NL” prefix on a company registration (for limited partnership)

Note: Sole traders are not incorporated in this way and therefore they do not have a company registration number. Additionally, general partnerships (also referred to as “ordinary partnerships”) do not have a company registration number. 

It Is a Legal Requirement to Display Your Company Registration Number

You are legally expected to display your limited company’s registration number on all your business stationary. This includes, but not limited to, the following:

  • Letterheads
  • Faxes
  • Compliment slips
  • Emails
  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Online content
  • Order forms

Your Company Registration Number Is Displayed on Important Documents

Your company’s Certificate of Incorporation, along with any statutory mail sent by Companies House, will display your company registration number. The company registration number is usually printed alongside or beneath a heading such as “Company No.” You may also find it on the public register next to your company details. 

Ultimately, to find your company registration number you can run a Companies House search by simply logging on to Companies House WebCHeck service, free of charge, and following these steps:

You May Often Need to Provide Your Company Registration Number 

There may be a number of occasions when you’ll have to use your company registration number. For example:

•          Communicating with Companies House

•          Submitting annual returns 

•          Filing your accounts

•          Changing your company name

•          Changing your registered office/SAIL address

•          Adding a new company director/secretary

•          Removing an existing company director/secretary

•          Changing the details of directors and secretaries

•          Registering for business taxes

•          Paying your Corporation Tax

•          Filing Company Tax Returns

•          Filing copies of resolutions

•          Increasing capital of shares

•          Issuing share certificates.

•          Issuing dividend vouchers

•          Amending your Accounting Reference Rate (ARD)

Your Company Registration Number Is Different From Other Numbers

With so many official numbers and documents, you might be forgiven for confusing your company numbers. However, it’s crucial that you familiarise yourself with the following in order to help you easily recognise your company registration number:

  • Unique taxpayer reference (UTR): issued by HMRC, this is comprised of 10 digits (e.g. 0123456789), and is used to identify a company for tax-related purposes.
  • VAT number: issued by HMRC for companies registered for Value Added Tax. This number contains nine digits, with the “GB” prefix (e.g. GB123456789)
  • Employer reference number: issued by HMRC when employers register to implement PAYE (Pay as You Earn) for their employees. The first part of the reference consists of three digits, identifying the tax office that deals with the appropriate PAYE. The second part follows a forward slash, and identifies the tax office’s employer reference (e.g. 123/AB456).

A Formations Company Can Help

Seeking the correct information and advice is vital for business owners who are just starting out. The decision to utilise the services of a reputable formations company can help alleviate the oft-demanding administrative tasks associated with forming a company. This includes seemingly trivial things such as locating and understanding your company registration number!

For more information on the above, or for any related assistance, contact our friendly team today and you can begin setting up your business address, today. 

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