What is a company authentication code? What is a company authentication code?

What is a company authentication code?

Company authentication codes are unique strings of characters that are used to verify the identity of a company in the UK. It is a 6-digit alphanumeric code that Company House issues to each company. This code is like a company officer’s online signature authorising information the company has posted online.

What is the company authentication code used for?

There are several things that a company can make with this code including:

  • Making changes to the company’s registered office
  • Accepting an existing secretary’s resignation or appointing a new secretary
  • Accepting an existing director’s resignation or appointing a new director
  • Filing a return of allotment of shares
  • Filing dormant company accounts
  • Filing a confirmation statement (previously an annual return)
  • Making changes to the company’s accounting reference date

There is a need to restrict the way the company authentication code is handled. This is a unique code to be passed on to only authorised personnel such as the accountant in the company. If the code is compromised, a company can email Companies House with complete details.

How to get a company authentication code

Each company has to register with Companies House. Once they are registered, they can make a request for the company authentication code.

What is the new Companies House WebFiling account?

This new system of getting Companies House services from a single login was initialised on September 12, 2022. When you log into your existing WebFiling account after the new process has been initialised, you’ll be asked to provide additional details to enable these new services.

The next time you login, a multi-factor authentication process will enable access to all Companies House services within the same account. What this means is that with your existing email ID and password, you can access all your WebFiling account benefits. If you’re a new user, you can sign up for the new Companies House WebFiling account to gain access to these benefits.

Changes to your Companies House WebFiling account

Besides additional security features, your new Companies House WebFiling account will offer you more flexibility in managing the online filing process.

The new system:

  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Confirm authorised personnel who can file reports on behalf of the company
  • Link your company to this new WebFiling account with better filing control
  • Delegate and remove the authority that you provide people to digitally file reports on your behalf
  • Sign up for emails that help you run your company

After you’ve linked your company account, you won’t have to put in your authentication code every time you file something online. This is very convenient if you own or manage more than one company because you can do everything from one viewpoint – so no need to keep track of different login details or get confused between accounts!

The new account will also let you digitally authorise yourself and other directors to file for your new company as part of the online incorporation process. All in all, this is a great first step in creating a single sign-in across all Companies House services which will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run!

Where to find my company authentication code

  • Sign in to Companies House WebFiling as an authorised company representative
  • Click on the ‘Request an authentication code‘ button
  • Enter the company’s registration number
  • Then click on ‘Request code

The Companies House will dispatch the code to the company’s registered office by post. This can take up to 5 days. If the company already has a company authentication code, Companies House will send a reminder. It is important to note that this code is not sent via email or disclosed over the phone.

Can I change my company authentication code?

The code that Companies House generates for you can be changed to something more memorable, but be careful not to make it too obvious. If you’ve registered multiple companies, use a separate code for each of your companies. To make changes to the company authentication code:

  • Log in to your Companies House WebFiling account
  • Select ‘Company authentication
  • Once you’re in, enter your new 6-character code
  • Select ‘Changing code
  • The update is complete

How to file a confirmation statement (annual return) with your company authentication code

Private limited companies can now file a confirmation statement, which was earlier known as ‘annual return,’ with the new service introduced by Companies House using their company authentication code. Qualifying companies:

  • Should be a private limited company
  • Single shareholder
  • Employs 1 – 5 officers
  • Equal to or less than five PSCs or people with significant control

To avail of this service you’ll need:

  • A separate Companies House account that is different from your WebFiling account
  • You company authentication code
  • Your company number
  • Credit card to pay the £13 annual fee

How to use WebFiling to make online changes to company details

Before you send your confirmation statement, you can make the following changes:

  • Enter your company’s new registered office address
  • Enter any new director and secretary details
  • Authorise people with significant control (PSC)

When you send your confirmation statement, the following changes are allowed:

  • Statement of capital
  • Shareholder information
  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code
  • Exemption from keeping a PSC register
  • Trading status of shares

There is a separate information section within the confirmation statement that you can utilise to fill in these details. You can also do this through a third-party system, which you have appointed to handle and make changes to your company authentication code. 

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