Companies House


Information Fair Trader Scheme

Companies House achieved full accreditation to the Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS) in March 2009.

The scheme is run by the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) and its purpose is to set and assess standards for public sector bodies. It requires them to encourage the re-use of information and reach a standard of fairness and transparency. Companies House achieved full IFTS accreditation, which ensures that re-users can be confident that they will be treated reasonably and fairly.

The Scheme supports the aim of the Regulations by adhering to 5 basic principles:

  • Openness;
  • Transparency;
  • Fairness;
  • Compliance;
  • Challenge.

Companies House undertook a validation process as part of requirement to achieve IFTS accreditation. This was to allow OPSI colleagues to assess whether Companies House was meeting the required standards set out in the scheme.

View the Companies House IFTS accreditation report (PDF)

Companies House Statement of Public Task

Companies House exists to carry out the functions of the Registrar of Companies as laid down in legislation, and some delegated functions of the Secretary of State.

The main functions of Companies House are:

  • the incorporation of new companies, re-registration and changes of company name;
  • the dissolution of companies and striking off the register of defunct companies;
  • examining and registering company information delivered under the Companies Act and related legislation; and
  • making the information available for public inspection and use.

This includes but is not limited to, Limited Companies, Limited Liability Partnerships, Limited Partnerships, European Limited-Liability Companies, European Economic Interest Groupings and Overseas Companies.
If you have any questions regarding this public task statement please contact us.

Copyright and Crown copyright

Copyright is usually owned by the person or organisation that created the work. In the case of copyright works produced by civil servants, the copyright is owned by the Crown and qualifies for Crown copyright protection under section 163 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Government departments do not own copyright in their own right.
The material published by Companies House may be broadly split into two categories:

a) Material produced by Companies House

Material of this sort (e.g. guidance booklets) is subject to Crown copyright protection, and Companies House controls this copyright under a Delegation of Authority from the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO). Crown copyright also covers database rights, logos and visual images. Any Crown copyright protected material held by Companies House (other than the Royal Arms and departmental or agency logos) may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium provided it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. Where any of the Crown copyright items are being republished or copied to others, the source of the material must be identified and the copyright status acknowledged. If Crown copyright is infringed, Companies House is authorised by the Controller of HMSO to take such lawful steps as may be required to rectify the situation.

b) Material on the public register

With the exception of a small category of material which is exempt from statutory disclosure requirements, the Registrar is required by law to make the information comprised in documents sent to him available for public inspection. Information on the public register is made available by virtue of approvals issued by the Registrar in accordance with section 47 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and Schedule 1 of the Database Regulations (SI 1997/3032). Companies House imposes no rules or requirements on how the information on the public register is used.

Companies House Copyright Policy

Companies House and Re-use

Companies House, as a public information provider, makes all information relating to limited companies available for public inspection. It places no restriction on how the information is used after purchase other than the following:

  • All customers, including bulk customers, must take their own legal advice regarding possible breach of third party copyright.
  • Customers cannot reproduce the Crown insignia or use the Companies House logo.
  • If information is used from guidance notes, the website, publications or statistical tables the customer is required to credit Companies House as the source of the information.

Service Standards

Companies House Public Targets

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