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Successfully register a company with Companies House

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Starting a business

Read our guide to avoid having your company incorporation application rejected.

Last financial year we registered over 644,000 companies; 99% online and 1% on paper.

Over 8% of online incorporation applications and nearly 53% of paper applications were rejected – but these were for reasons that can easily be avoided.

When you register a company with us, use this checklist to ensure your application is successfully processed:

Is your company name taken?

Check your proposed company name in our company name availability checker. Double-check again just before submission in case the name has been taken during the application.

Keep your company name consistent

Make sure the name you choose is the same throughout the application and any supporting documentation.

Does your company name contain a ‘sensitive’ word?

We have a list of sensitive words and expressions in our guidance. If you use any of these, you'll need to provide supporting documentation with the application.

Correct memorandum of association

Make sure that the right memorandum of association is with the incorporation document (IN01). It must also contain a printed name, signature and date.

Graphic of a laptop with a green tick on the screen - indicating a successfully completed application
Image credit: adaption of Tim.

Providing your nationality

We only accept correctly spelled nationalities. Do not state an ethnicity in this section.

Full names

Make sure that full names of people listed on the application are provided, not initials.

Entering shareholders

When you enter shareholders for a company – known as ‘subscribers’ to the company – check that the subscribers are correct. For example, make sure the shareholders’ names are accurate and that the company is not subscribing to itself.

A subscriber (person or limited company) must have its own legal personality (for example, able to enter into contracts, sue or be sued). If the subscriber is a corporate body, make sure you have evidence to confirm that the corporate body has a legal personality.

Exemptions of some public details

A person or company – known to us as ‘officers’ – can only claim exemption of disclosing some details to third parties (credit reference agencies) in certain circumstances; such as being at serious risk of violence or intimidation. This is also true of certain information relating to people with significant control (PSC).

Further guidance can be found on our site to see if you or companies you are registering are eligible for exemption.

Further information

Although this is not a comprehensive list, we’ve highlighted some of the main reasons we reject applications to incorporate a company.

For more detailed information on registering a company see our incorporation and names guidance.

Finally, file online. Electronic applications result in fewer rejections due to inbuilt validation. Online applications are also usually processed within 24 hours of receipt. Paper applications usually take up to 10 working days to process.

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  1. Comment by Janine Eves posted on

    Could I suggest that you also include some guidance on the submission of company address, particularly if they are actually the home address of the applicant. This will become especially important in the light of GDPR come May 2018.
    many thanks