What is a certificate of incorporation? What is a certificate of incorporation?

What is a certificate of incorporation?

When you incorporate a company in the UK, you’ll be entered into an internationally recognised database managed by Companies House, which in turn lends authority and reputation to you and your services. One particular document provided when this process has been undertaken is a certificate of incorporation, and you can continue to read our article to learn more about it.

What information is required in a certificate of incorporation?

Once a company has been officially incorporated in the UK, it will be legally recognised as operating in existence – meaning that it has satisfied all requirements in order to be considered valid and properly registered. The type of information required for a certificate of incorporation is the same, regardless of the size of the business. It includes:

  • Address and location of the company
  • The legal company name and registration number
  • The name of the owner(s)
  • The name and details of the board of directors, if they are present
  • The date
  • The name of the incorporation authority (typically Companies House)
  • Type of company

This is just a selection of the information required, and some of it will be filled in on behalf of the applicant (such as the name of the incorporation authority, which will be added during the confirmation process). Other information will include specific details relating to the business itself, and for a full breakdown, you can visit gov.uk and navigate to the appropriate section, or get in touch with our professional team at Workhy for further information.

Do I need a certificate of incorporation?

A certificate of incorporation is one of the most efficient and reliable ways to verify that a business has been officially recognised and recorded in the Companies House database. Not only is this reassuring for customers, but it also safeguards the company owner and ensures that their name can’t be misused.

Although not the same as a trademark or patent, it is the closest thing that a business can get to when officially documenting the presence of their company in the market, allowing them to trade with the confidence that their business is fully verified by Companies House. The majority of businesses want a certificate of incorporation to demonstrate that they are, in fact, a legally recognised entity with permission from the highest authority to operate and function. Without a certificate, your business might struggle to be taken as seriously as those in possession of one.

How to get a certificate of incorporation

The process is fairly straightforward and can be undertaken in as few as 4 steps.

  1. You will need to apply for a certificate online and this is something that we specialise in. Alternatively, you can visit the Companies House website directly and make your application, but it can be a bit more difficult.
  2. You will be required to submit all of the relevant and necessary information. This data is what will be reviewed before approval, so it’s important to be as accurate as possible.
  3. You’ll then need to assure Companies House that you and your business comply with the Companies Act of 2006, which is a requirement in order for your application to be processed.
  4. You’ll need to make your payment. If you ever lose your copy, you can request a new one for £15, or £50 if you’d prefer to enjoy same-day service. Once your payment has been made, you can then expect to receive your certificate within the timeframe detailed below.

How long does it take to get a certificate of incorporation?

With two main options to incorporate a company and receive the certificate (online or in paper form), the turnaround time does vary. When submitting a form online, the usual processing time is 24-48 hours. This is because all data is submitted digitally and can be reviewed by a member of Companies House far more rapidly than when submitting a paper application. On the other hand, a paper application will typically be processed in 8-10 days. Delays can and have been known to occur from time to time, and this is another reason to have an expert handle the application online, as they will be well-versed in the process.

Where can I find my certificate of incorporation?

Once processed, approved, and delivered, you can expect to receive your certificate of incorporation in the mail, which will be professionally printed and internationally recognised. In cases where you may have lost, damaged, or misplaced your certificate, you can request a new one directly from Companies House. The best way to do this is by calling them, or if this isn’t an option, by sending them an email instead. Additionally, by visiting the Companies House website and searching their database, you’ll be able to find a digital copy of your certificate, which can be printed or downloaded and saved for future use.

Workhy is here to help you set up a company in the UK

At Workhy, our team has helped countless entrepreneurs and business owners set up and manage their companies in the UK. We are always by your side to establish your company completely online, take care of your tax filings and self-assessments, handle your VAT and EORI applications, and even open business bank accounts on your behalf. Our team has looked after many clients from around the world, no matter where they might be located. If you’re keen to establish a company in the UK, we are here to help.

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