In the UK, all limited companies, including LLPs, are legally obligated to provide their details to Companies House from the moment of incorporation.
There are established resources available for you to use if you’d like to learn more about a particular company. In this article, we’re going to look at how you can search for limited company information online.
How do you search for limited company information online?
If you’d like to find out more about a specific company – out of general interest, or prior to doing business with them, then you can use the online Companies House search service.
It lets you search for information about all of the registered UK companies.
There are two different platforms that you can use to do this, which include:
The Companies House Register is completely free to use, with no hidden fees or costs. The WebCheck service is a little more involved as it requires registration, and there is a £1 fee to retrieve certain documents about a company.
What information can you find via Companies House?
As the Registrar of all UK companies, the Companies House platform is the ultimate resource if you need to find out information about a particular company:
You can extract a wide amount of information, including:
• All registered company addresses, including historical addresses
• The date that a company was incorporated and registered
• The status of the company and whether it’s currently active or inactive
• The type of company, such as a private limited company or limited liability partnership
• The company number
• All existing and previous officers for the company, such as directors and company secretaries
• The correspondence address of existing company officers
• The nationality, date of birth, country of residence and occupation of any company directors
• Information about any persons with significant control in the company
• Company accounts
• Confirmation statements
• The nature of the business
• Any company document images such as appointment filings, confirmation statements and other filings
• Information about mortgage charges
• Any previous or historical company names
• Information relating to any insolvencies
• Additional business activities
Companies House search also has a handy feature to keep you updated about any company changes. You can choose to follow the company and you’ll receive email alerts when any new filings or amendments are made in relation to a specific company. You have to register for an account to do this, but it’s a completely free service.
What companies are includeded in Companies House search?
It’s a legal requirement for all companies that are registered in the UK to provide details to Companies House. This includes company formations such as:
• Private companies limited by shares or guarantee
• Public limited companies
• Private unlimited companies
• Limited liability partnerships
• Limited partnerships
How businesses use the Companies House search
Businesses get a lot of benefits out of using the Companies House search service as it allows them to learn more about businesses that they work with, or seek to work with. It allows you to look into the history of existing companies to determine their overall health. It’s an opportunity to assess whether or not there are glaring issues before entering a business relationship with a company. It’s also a useful tool for businesses to learn more about competitor companies.
Is the Companies House search function available for consumers too?
The Companies House search, and the WebCheck service, are both open and available for the general public to use. In fact, many consumers choose to use the Companies House search to ascertain the legitimacy of companies they work with. For example, if someone is employing a company to provide consulting services for them, they can use the Companies House search to check the historical data about that company.
Although it’s still a more useful tool for companies, the Companies House search is a great way to perform some due diligence on a company before entering into partnerships or agreements with them.