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Registration
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Registration


1. How do I register a UK establishment?

Within 1 month of opening a UK establishment, an overseas company must deliver to Companies House the following information:

a completed ‘Registration of an overseas company opening a UK establishment’application (Form OS IN01);
the current registration fee (£20).
If the company is registering its first UK establishment, it must also deliver to Companies House:

a certified copy of the company’s constitutional documents (e.g. charter, statute, memorandum and articles of association etc) with a certified translation in English if the original is in a language other than English;
a copy of the company’s latest set of accounts (with a certified translation in English if the original is in a language other than English) if:
- they are required to be filed under parent law ; or
- the company is incorporated in an EEA state and is required by its parent law to prepare and disclose accounts but its parent law does not require such accounts to be audited or delivered.
When an overseas company registers a further UK establishment, it is not required to again deliver these documents and may instead state in the return that they have been delivered in respect of another UK establishment (giving the registered number of that establishment).

Please note: if the fee is not included the documents will be rejected. Cheques should be made payable to Companies House.

Further information on the filing of constitutional documents, accounts and accounting requirements can be found in the ‘Overseas Companies Regulations 2009’.

2. Where do I send the registration documents?

You can send your registration documents to any office of the registrar i.e. Cardiff, London, Edinburgh or Belfast, regardless of where in the UK the establishment is situated.

If the registration is urgent you can use our premium ‘Same Day’ service (not available in London), provided all the required documents are delivered to one of our offices before 3pm (Monday-Friday). The fee for this service is £50. Please note posted applications are subject to postal delays and we can only provide the same day registration on the day the document is received. If you send your application by post or courier you must clearly mark the envelope “Same Day Application”.

3. What are certified copies of documents and certified translations?

A certified copy is a copy certified as correct and authenticated by an officer of the company, permanent representative, person authorised to accept service, administrator, administrative receiver, receiver manager, receiver or liquidator.

Constitutional documents and accounting documents delivered to Companies House may be in a language other than English but must be accompanied by a certified translation into English.

A certified translation means a translation certified to be a correct translation. It must be authenticated by the appropriate person e.g. an officer of the company; a permanent representative; a person authorised to accept service; an administrator; an administrative receiver; a receiver manager; a receiver; a liquidator. The person certifying the translation must sign at the end of the document.

4. What about the name of the company?

You may register an overseas company using its corporate name (its name under the law of the country it is incorporated), or an alternative name under which it proposes to carry on business in the UK. Once such an alternative name is registered it is treated for UK legal purposes as a company’s corporate name.

There are a number of controls and restrictions which apply to your choice of name. These are explained more fully in ‘The Company and Business Names (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009’ (SI2009/1085) and in our ‘Incorporation and Names' guide.

The restrictions include:

prohibitions on the use of certain words that are offensive or the use of which would constitute an offence;
requirements for prior approval for names that include certain sensitive words or suggest a connection to HM Government or certain other public bodies;
the prohibition of names being registered that are the same as those already on the Companies House index of company names register;
a requirement to use only permitted characters, signs, symbols and punctuation within a name;
The application of the restrictions depends on the following circumstances;

whether you are registering under the overseas company’s corporate name;
whether you are registering an alternative name; and
whether the overseas company is in the EEA (European Economic Area) or not.
An EEA company is one governed by the law of an EEA State.

5. What rules apply to the names of EEA companies?

Depending on whether you are registering a corporate or alternative name the following rules apply:

EEA company registering its corporate name (including a change of corporate name)

An EEA company may always register its corporate name provided only that the name is made up of permitted characters under the Company and Business Names (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009’ (SI2009/1085).

However, you are advised to check the index of company names maintained at Companies House if you want to avoid registering a corporate name which is the same as an existing company name.
EEA member company registering an alternative name (including a change from corporate to alternative name)

Registration of an alternative name by EEA companies is subject to a range of controls and restrictions. These include requiring the use of only permitted characters in the name; preventing the registration of a name the same as one on Companies House index of company names; requiring evidence of appropriate authorisation to use a sensitive word in a name or to adopt a name suggesting a connection to HM Government or certain other public bodies; and preventing the use of offensive names.

If an overseas company’s application to register an alternative name does not meet all the requirements it will be rejected and the company will be asked to choose a different name.
Overseas companies wishing to change their alternative name or change their corporate name to an alternative name should file a ‘Registration of change of name of overseas company as registered in the UK’ (Form OS NM01). Please note a fee of £10 is payable with this form and if it is not included the document will be rejected.

6. What rules apply to the names of non EEA companies?

The following rules apply to corporate and alternative name registrations:

Non EEA company registering a corporate or alternative name (including change of name)

Non EEA corporate or alternative name registrations are subject to a range of controls and restrictions. These include requiring the use of only permitted characters in the name; preventing the registration of a name the same as one on Companies House index of company names; requiring evidence of appropriate authorisation to use a sensitive word in a name or to adopt a name suggesting a connection to HM Government or certain other public bodies; and preventing the use of offensive names. If an overseas company’s application to register a name does not meet all the restrictions it will be rejected and the company will be asked to choose a different name.

Overseas companies wishing to change their registered corporate or alternative name (including from corporate to alternative and vice versa) should do so on Form OS NM01.


7. What rules apply to the names of UK establishments?

A UK establishment can be registered with a name that is different to the UK registered company name of the overseas company. If different from the registered company name, the registered name of a UK establishment is subject to the same range of controls and restrictions as UK company names. These include requiring the use of only permitted characters in the name; preventing the registration of a name the same as one on Companies House Index of Company Names; requiring evidence of appropriate authorisation to use a sensitive word in a name or to adopt a name suggesting a connection to HM Government or certain other public bodies; and preventing the use of offensive names. If an overseas company’s application to register a UK establishment’s name does not meet all the restrictions, it will be rejected and the company will be asked to choose a different name.