Skip to main content

A capital idea

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Company guidance

A recent survey has revealed that us Brits can, on average, only correctly name 4 capital cities.

Of course, there are easy ones. France, for example. I’m sure everyone reading this will be thinking – Paris.

But further afield, it starts to get a bit more muddled. Let’s see how you fare. What are the capital cities of the following countries?

  1. Brazil
  2. Australia
  3. Germany
  4. South Africa
  5. Canada
  6. Turkey
  7. India
  8. New Zealand
  9. USA
  10. Scotland

Easy? I’ll reveal the answers later.

Our offices

Here at Companies House, we have 4 offices based in the capitals of each of the 4 home nations:

  • Cardiff, Wales (where I’m based)
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • London, England
  • Edinburgh, Scotland (that’s given that one away)

Each of our offices has an information centre where you can access our digital services.

Only our Cardiff office is open 24 hours a day to receive documents. Our offices in Belfast, Edinburgh and London have opening hours between 9am to 5pm. We have letterbox facilities in London and Edinburgh, but not in Belfast.

Why 4 offices?

Every company must have a registered office where all communications and notices can be sent. It’s part of the information we need when we register a company.

Your registered office must be based in the country that your company is registered. A Scottish company cannot have its registered office in England and vice versa.

We incorporate companies in 3 separate jurisdictions: England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Northern Ireland and Scotland have separate legal systems – whereas England and Wales are treated as one, having the same legal system and courts.

Once incorporated, the company’s registered office must always stay in the same country. The only way you can officially move your registered office to another country, is by dissolving it (closing it down) and incorporating it in another country.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop a Scottish company having a place of business in England (or an English company having one in Scotland etc). But, it must maintain a registered office within its country of registration. In fact, the location of your registered office will not affect where you trade, in any way.

Our 4 offices are there to help you incorporate your company. Mostly, this is now done online. But whether you’re based in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England or Wales – you can still file paper documents or visit our offices for information and guidance.

Also remember, that filing online is quicker, cheaper and there’s less room for errors.


How did you get on? Here are the answers:

  1. Brazil – Brasilia (although most people think Rio de Janeiro)
  2. Australia – Canberra (not Sydney. Again, a popular choice)
  3. Germany – Berlin (not Munich)
  4. South Africa – Pretoria (did you say Cape Town?)
  5. Canada – Ottawa (Montreal another common choice, but no)
  6. Turkey – Ankara (not Istanbul)
  7. India – New Delhi (Mumbai gets the vote here)
  8. New Zealand – Wellington (Auckland, nope)
  9. USA – Washington, D.C. (New York is great, but not the capital)
  10. Scotland – Glasgow (only kidding… of course, it’s Edinburgh. It’s where our office is based)

How many did you get?

  • 1-5 Okay, perhaps you need to get out more.
  • 5-8 Well done.
  • 9-10 You could be the new Alan Whicker. (Look him up. There’s even a song about him, the 'Wikka Wrap').

To keep in touch, sign up to email updates from this blog, or follow us on Twitter.

Sharing and comments

Share this page