Table of Contents
All limited companies are assigned a company authentication code upon their incorporation. This code, made up of 6 unique letters and numbers, acts as the company’s online signature. Keeping the code safe is vital, as it can facilitate a number of high-profile changes to a company.
For example, anyone with the code could appoint new directors, resign existing directors, and even change the registered office address to an entirely different address.
If your code does fall into the wrong hands, you’ll want to update it as soon as possible. In this post, we’ll look at how to change your company authentication code.
How to change your company authentication code
Fortunately, whether you’re changing your authentication code for security reasons, or you just want it updated to something more memorable (we do advise caution if this is the reason), making the change is relatively simple.
Before we start, you will need a Companies House WebFiling account. If you don’t have one, you should create a WebFiling account now.
Once you have an account, you’re ready to change the authentication code. To do this:
- Log in to Companies House WebFiling.
- A security code will be emailed to you. Access your email account, find the code and enter it on the WebFiling page.
- Click ‘WebFiling’.
- Enter your company number and select the jurisdiction in which your company was formed (‘England or Wales’, ‘Scotland’, or ‘Northern Ireland’)
- Confirm that the company information presented to you is correct.
- Enter the existing company authentication code.
- Select the ‘Company authentication’ link located on the right of your screen.
- Enter and then re-enter your new, chosen 6-character code. Confirm the change via the ‘Change code’ button.
That’s it. Your company authentication code will now be updated.
You will not receive an email or mail confirmation of the new code, so if you do need to make a note of it, make sure it is stored somewhere safe.
Do you use our Online Client Portal? Now update it there
Rapid Formations’ Online Client Portal is designed to help you take care of your company admin. Through this free tool, you can appoint and resign directors, update your registered office and even apply for a business bank account (and much more).
However, to ensure that the Online Client Portal syncs up with Companies House correctly (and so enables you to make the updates mentioned above), the company authentication code on the system needs to be valid.
So, if you have updated your company authentication code with Companies House and are using our Online Client Portal, you need to update it there too. To do this:
- Log in to your Online Client Portal.
- Select the ‘My Companies’ box.
- Select ‘View’.
- Scroll to ‘Auth. Code’ and select ‘Edit’.
- Enter the new company authentication code and select ‘Save’. The code will then be updated.
Please note, this should only be done after you have changed the code via Companies House WebFiling, as the above function does not wholly change the code, it simply updates the code that is stored on our system.
What should you change the company authentication code to?
The company authentication code needs to be made up of 6 letters and/or numbers.
We recommend using a random selection of both.
Do not use full words or dates and certainly don’t use words and dates that have a relationship to you or your company (such as your name, date of birth, company name, or date of incorporation).
If you have more than one company, it may be tempting to use one authentication code for all of the companies under your control. We’d advise against this, as if the code for one company gets compromised, they will all be compromised.
Who can I give the company authentication code to?
The code should only be passed on to trusted individuals in your company (such as directors and shareholders), your accountant, and your company formation agent.
If a business relationship ends with someone who has access to the code, you should consider changing it.
What to do if you have misplaced your company authentication code
If you formed your company with us, log in to your account, click on ‘My Companies’, and then click on your company name. You will then be able to view your code.
However, if this code is old or you didn’t use us to form your company, you can request a new code from Companies House. See our ‘Lost Companies House WebFiling authentication code’ blog for instructions on how to do this.
Here’s what to do if the damage has already been done
If you are concerned that your company authentication code has been accessed by someone not associated with your company, the first thing you should do is check to see if any changes have been made without your consent.
You can do this by using the Companies House ‘Search the register’ tool.
If changes have been made to your company without your authority, email email@example.com immediately, providing as much information as possible about what has happened.
Thanks for reading
You should now know how to update your company authentication code.
We hope you have found this post helpful. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch via a comment if you have any questions.