I think people are surprised at what information is available on the public register and it’s often overlooked when you are dealing with an individual or a company.
We’re required by law to make the information we collect available to the public. If you’re a director of a registered company, some of your details will be made public. This includes your:
- month and year of your date of birth
This information is available for anyone to look at on Companies House service, not just for enforcement or legal purposes. If you’re having work done on your home and they are a limited company, you can check to make sure that they are who they say they are.
If you’re in business and dealing with another company, you can check their details before signing on the dotted line.
How to follow companies
Another feature is our service to follow companies for free. This allows you to be notified when an action happens on any company. Just enter your email details and we’ll notify you when something is filed for the company or companies you’re following.
The companies will never find out you’re following them. It’s completely confidential.
A good safeguard would be to follow your own company, so you’ll be notified if any changes occur. And if it’s something you’re not aware of, you can investigate further.
Fifteen minutes of fame
In February 1968, Andy Warhol exhibited his first international retrospective exhibition in Stockholm. The exhibition catalogue contained the quote:
In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.
In later years he became tired of the quote which became a common question asked by the press. But he repeated it in a 1979 interview, saying:
My prediction from the sixties finally came true: in the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.
He died in 1987, before realising exactly how true.
In today’s celebrity culture it seems that everybody wants to be famous. In a poll of children and young adults aged 4 to 18, their dream jobs contain YouTube celebrity, actor and musician. It seems that everyone wants their 15 minutes.
Information from the Companies House register often appears in the newspapers or digital news. Our communications team will answer press enquiries every week about various aspects of company law or how to retrieve information on specific companies.
TV shows like “Don’t Pay And We’ll Take It Away”, “Don’t Get Done, Get Dom” and “Watchdog” regularly refer to checking company and director data, but it’s not very often that we get a mention as the source. When we do, a little buzz goes around the office and you can hear those coffee machine conversations. “Did you see so and so last night?” “We were mentioned in…”
So, it was quite exciting earlier this year when that buzz went around. “Did you see Vera last night? They checked our register to find out a company’s PSCs.”
Luckily these days, you can catch up on most programmes, and at 35 minutes into “The Seagull”, they access the relevant information from our register.
Okay, so it wasn’t 15 minutes – but 60 seconds of glory.
I’m sure we’ve been mentioned on some other programmes. I can vaguely remember a mention on Bergerac which was repeated a while ago. But I cannot confirm that.
Can you think of any other programmes where we’ve had a mention?