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Newspaper registration
Further Information

Newspaper registration

1. Who should register?

The proprietor(s) of a newspaper published in England or Wales (or Northern Ireland) must register certain details with the Registrar of Companies in Cardiff (or Belfast). However, registration is not required if the newspaper:

is owned by a company incorporated under the Companies Act 2006, or under one of its predecessors (or corresponding Northern Ireland Acts);
is, or will be, published at intervals exceeding 26 days;
is, or will be, issued free of charge (unless it consists mainly of advertisements - see below).

2. What is a newspaper?

Section 1 of the Act defines a 'newspaper' as any paper containing public news, intelligence, or occurrences, or any remarks or observations therein printed for sale, and published in England or Northern Ireland periodically, or in parts or numbers at intervals not exceeding 26 days between the publication of any two papers, parts or numbers.

Also any paper printed in order to be dispersed, and made public weekly or more frequently, or at intervals not exceeding 26 days, containing only or principally advertisements.

3. How do I register?

Complete Form NLR1 and send it to the Registrar of Companies at Cardiff (or Belfast) together with the registration fee of 50p (but also refer to the next paragraphs).

Usually the names of all the proprietors must be registered but, where it would be inconvenient to register all the names, the Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills can authorise the registration of one or more 'representative proprietors' instead. This may be, for example, where there are a large number of proprietors or where the proprietors are not present in the UK.

If you want to register a newspaper on this basis, you should write to the Registrar setting out the reasons that make it inconvenient to register the names of all the proprietors. You should also give information to show that the proposed representatives are well able to meet any claims that may arise for libel or otherwise in connection with the management of the newspaper. If a registration is made on this basis, the registration fee is £1.

Form NLR1 can be obtained from the Registrar in Cardiff or Belfast - addresses are shown in chapter 2 under Further Information.

4. What other documents have to be filed?

None on registration, but a return on Form NLR1 has to be filed annually in July. A filing fee of 25p is payable on this return, or 50p if there has been a change either in the proprietors or in the name of the publication. The Registrar sends a blank return to each registered newspaper shortly before the due date.

If there is any change of registered proprietors at any other time of year, this should be notified on Form NLR2. This form can be obtained from our website.

5. How are fees paid?

Cheques or Postal Orders should be made payable to 'Companies House' and sent with the form(s) to the relevant address shown in chapter 2.

6. What if the newspaper ceases publication?

If a newspaper ceases publication, or becomes the property of a company – (see question 2 above) - you should notify the Registrar. No fee is payable.

7. Do any other details have to be published?

Irrespective of registration under this Act, the business name used by a publisher who is not:

a registered company trading under its corporate name;
an individual trading under his/her own name; or
a partnership trading in the true names of all the partners;
is subject to the restrictions on names imposed by the Company and Business Names (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009.

8. Is the name of the newspaper protected?

Registration under the Act does not protect the name of the newspaper; any number of registrations could be made using the same name. A name may be protected by registering it as a trade mark. Further details may be obtained from the Trade Marks Registry of the UK Intellectual Property Office on:

Tel: 08459 500505

The Patent Office changed its name to UK Intellectual Property Office (UK- IPO) on 2nd April 2007