← Magazine

Company Registration Number (CRN) in UK

What is a Company Registration Number in UK and what is the CRN used for? The definitive guide provided by your UKincorporation.co.uk’s team.

What is a Company Registration Number in UK (CRN)

Also referred to as a “company number”, a “Companies House registration number”, a “registered number”, or “CRN”, the company registration number in UK is a unique reference number, which purpose is to identify the company and verify that it has been incorporated at Companies House as a legal entity (i.e., a ‘legal person’ in its own right).

The company registration number is automatically generated and assigned by Companies House to a company during the incorporation process.

The CRN is a vital piece of information for anyone dealing with a UK registered company, and can be used to check the company’s status and details, such as its registered address, directors, and shareholders, through the Companies House website.

Formats of Company Registration Numbers

The CRN is a combination of numbers and sometimes letters, and is used to identify the company and its legal entity.

The format of a Company Registration Number (CRN) in the UK varies depending on the type of company it is.

Company type CRN format Example
Limited company (Ltd) “0” + 7 numbers 01234567
Limited liability partnership (LLP) “OC” + 6 numbers OC123456
Public Limited Company (PLC) “0” + 7 numbers 00123456
Community Interest Company (CIC) “0” + 6 numbers + “LTD” or “PLC” 012345LTD or 012345PLC

It’s important to note that the format of the CRN can change depending on the company’s history and status. For example, if a company changes its legal structure from a Ltd to a PLC, its CRN will also change to reflect this. Additionally, if a company is dissolved and then restored, it may be assigned a new CRN.

In addition to the above mentioned formats, there are also formats for companies and organizations that are slighty different, such as assurance, investment, Royal Charter and foreign companies.

Company Registration Number vs Company Tax Number vs VAT Number vs UTR

In the UK, a company registration number (CRN), a company tax number (CTN), the VAT number and the UTR are four different numbers that serve different purposes.

  • CRN
    Unique number that is issued to a company when it is registered with Companies House
  • Company Tax Number, also known as a Corporation Tax Reference Number (CTRN)
    Unique reference number that is issued to a company by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) when it registers for corporation tax. The CTRN is used to identify the company’s tax records and is used to file tax returns and make tax payments.
  • VAT Number
    Issued by HMRC only once you apply to be VAT registered. It’s a similar number, can be identical in some cases to CRN, but has a different purpose: is the number used to identify VAT-registered businesses.
  • UTR
    A “Unique Taxpayer Reference” assigned by HMRC to a company, a partnership, an organisation, or an individual who registers for Self Assessment.

Uses of company registration number

The CRN is used to identify a company for filing and compliance purposes, in particular:

  1. Filing documents with Companies House
    The CRN is used to file various documents with Companies House. Specifically:

    1. Filing annual account
    2. Filing annual return
    3. Filing and updating a confirmation statement
  2. Updating company’s details
    CRN is used to update various company informations, like:

    1. Company name
    2. Registered office address
    3. Article of Association
    4. SAIL address (or registering a new one)
    5. PSC (People with Significant Control) informations
  3. Business administration
    1. Setting up a bank account
    2. Issuing and/or transferring shares
    3. Creating dividend vouchers
  4. Credit checks
    The CRN is used by credit reference agencies to carry out credit checks on a company. This information can be used by lenders and other companies to assess the creditworthiness of the company.
  5. Legal proceedings
    The CRN is used in legal proceedings involving the company. It is used to identify the company and its legal status.
  6. Company searches
    The CRN is used by individuals and companies to conduct company searches. This information can be used to verify a company’s details, such as its registered office address and directors.

Procedure for getting a CRN

You don’t have to apply for one – HMRC is notified by Companies House when new companies are formed.

Likewise, do not confuse your company registration number with your VAT number, employer PAYE reference number, Government Gateway User ID, company authentication code, or any other number or reference that your company may be provided with.


Where does the registration number need to be displayed?

In the UK, a Company Registration Number (CRN) must be displayed on all official company documents and stationery. This includes:

  1. Business letters
    The CRN must be included in the company’s letterhead, along with the company’s registered office address and other contact details.
  2. Invoices and receipts
  3. Websites
    It’s important to include the Registration Number on the company’s website, usually in the footer section.
  4. Marketing materials
    All marketing materials, such as brochures, flyers, and business cards.
  5. Order forms
    Order forms and purchase orders issued by the company.

Ensure that the CRN is displayed accurately and clearly on all official documents and stationery. This helps to identify the company and ensure that it is operating legitimately and in compliance with regulations. Failure to include the CRN on official documents and stationery can result in penalties and fines.

How to check company registration number

Checking a Company Registration Number is a common procedure that offers the ability to verify company’s details, check its status for legal proceedings, carrying out credit checks in order to assess the creditworthiness of the company, track company’s compliance with Companies Hous requirements of conducting various business transactions.

There are several methods to check the CRN:

Option 1: Companies House website

To check the company registration number (CRN) for a UK-established company using the Companies House website, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Companies House website at https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/ and click on the “Search for a company” button.
  2. Type in the name or number of the company you want to search for in the search box and click on the “Search” button.
  3. From the list of search results, select the correct company by clicking on the name of the company.
  4. Once you have selected the company, you will be taken to a page that displays the company details, including the CRN. The CRN is usually located near the top of the page, under the company name and registration date.

Option 2: OpenCorporates.com

Alternatively, you can also check the company registration number on OpenCorporates.com, the UK Government’s Open Data website, which provides free access to information on millions of companies registered in the UK.

  1. Enter the company name or number in the search box and click on the search button
  2. Select the correct company from the list
  3. Retrieve the company details, including the CRN

Option 3: Accounting firms

Accounting firm like us can provide a wide range of services to individuals and businesses, depending on their needs and requirements. Having access to several databases and resources allows us to conduct in-depth research and analysis on companies on behalf of our customers:

  1. Credit checks
    This information can be used to assess a company’s creditworthiness and financial stability.
  2. Company analysis and financial and operational performance
    Company’s financial and operational performance check on revenue growth, profitability, and market share. This information can be used to help clients make informed business decisions.
  3. Regulatory compliance check
    Check of company’s compliance with regulatory requirements, such as tax filings, environmental regulations, and employment law. This information can be used to identify areas of risk and ensure that clients remain compliant with regulations.
  4. Due diligence check
    Involves investigating a company’s financial and operational records to identify potential risks and issues. This information can be used to support mergers and acquisitions, investments, and other business transactions.

Fill the form below in order to get in contact with our team.


Will I get a new registration number if I change my company name?

No, changing your UK company name does not result in the issuance of a new company registration number (CRN). The CRN is a unique number that is assigned to a company when it is registered with Companies House, and it remains the same throughout the life of the company.

When you change your company name, you will need to inform Companies House and update your company’s records. You can do this online or by submitting the appropriate forms and documentation to Companies House. Once your company name change is approved by Companies House, the new name will be updated on the public register, and all official documents issued by the company will need to use the new name.

Do sole traders and partnerships have a company registration number?

Since sole traders and business partnerships are not required to register or incorporate at Companies House, they do not need a company registration number. Instead, they are required to register for self-employment with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and obtain a unique taxpayer reference (UTR) number.

The UTR is used to identify self-employed individuals and partnerships for tax purposes, such as filing self-assessment tax returns and paying income tax and national insurance contributions. The UTR is also used by HMRC to track a self-employed person’s tax records and compliance with tax requirements.


Company Registration Number (CRN) in UK

Company registration number UK

Ask for consulting

Request a consultation today.

You will be contacted by our team as soon as possible.

    I consent to the processing of my personal data in accordance with Legislative Decree 196/2003. *