I have lost my Certificate of Incorporation – what should I do?

I have lost my Certificate of Incorporation – what should I do?

Quick Answer

If you lost your certificate of incorporation, you can get a copy from your company formation agent or Companies House.

If you lose the certificate of incorporation for your limited company or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), don’t worry too much. You can easily get another copy of this document depending on how you set up your company.

  • If you formed your company online through Companies House or a company formation agent, a digital certificate would have been sent to you by email immediately after incorporation.
  • You can download a copy of the certificate free of charge through Companies House WebCHeck or beta service, or the client account you created with your company formation agent. If you incorporated through Rapid Formations, you can access and download your certificate of incorporation by logging into our free online Admin Portal.
  • If you registered your company by post and you would like to order a replacement hardcopy, you will have to order one directly from Companies House. You should contact them by phone or email and provide your company name and Company registration number (CRN). However, it’s easier to just download a copy online.

Related: Companies House WebCHeck explained 

What is a certificate of incorporation?

Companies House issues a certificate of incorporation to all limited companies and LLPs when they are set up. This document proves that the company or LLP has been legally incorporated as per the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 or the LLP Act 2000. You will have to provide this certificate to open a business bank account, apply for a loan or funding, sell shares to new investors or sell your business to someone else.

What information does the certificate contain?

A certificate of incorporation contains a number of important details about a limited company or LLP, including:

  • Registered company or LLP name.
  • Company registration number (CRN).
  • UK country of registration – England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland.
  • Company structure – limited by shares, limited by guarantee, Limited Liability Partnership.
  • Company law under which the company/LLP is registered.
  • Date of incorporation.
  • Situation of the registered office address – England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
  • Issuing Registrar – Cardiff, Edinburgh or Belfast.
  • Official seal of the Registrar of Companies (Companies House).
  • UK Royal coat of arms.

Related: What is a company registration number?

Get a replacement certificate from Rapid Formations

Rapid Formations’ free Online Admin Portal is available to all UK-registered limited companies and Limited Liability Partnerships. Our sophisticated Software Filing system allows you to access and manage company details online, download incorporation documents, purchase paper copies of incorporation documents, report changes to Companies House and file confirmation statements.

Existing customers are automatically registered for this service at the time of company formation. Non-clients can register free of charge at any time to take full advantage of the aforementioned benefits. Simply visit our homepage and create a new account by clicking ‘Client Login’ on the top right-hand corner.

By Rachel Craig at Rapid Formations – Follow Rachel on Google +

10 Comments

  1. If someone uses my certificate of incorporation to get a license for their business, can they also use it for a loan without my knowledge? In short, is it safe to let someone use my COI to open their business?

    • Hi Daniel,

      I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you mean. Why is someone using your certificate of incorporation?

      Rachel

  2. the company name has been changed and i didnt yet get new certificates no allotment no,also i have lost the certificate what should i do? I know the folio no.

    • Dear Hareesh
      Thank you for your message.
      With a company name change you would receive a Certificate of Name Change. If you did not receive this certificate you can download it from the Companies House Beta website – please see link https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/ and type in the company name or number and then go to the Filing History section and download the relevant document.
      Kind regards

  3. A copy of our Certificate of Incorporation has been requested and I’m unable to find.

    Following the instructions you gave to Tim I was able to get to the information on our company but unable to locate an IN01 within the list of documents.

    Is this because we registered pre-Web by post? If so, can I still apply by email or do I have order via phone?

    KR’s

    • Dear Trevor
      Thank you for your message.
      I think the only reason an IN01 would not be available would be due to the age of the company. Companies House will be able to find the old document and send it to you –though there will be a small charge for this.
      Kind regards

  4. Our original formation documents were lost by the bank that we were trying to open an account at. They claim that they moved offices around and the documents somehow got misplaced. Should we worry about someone trying to use them? Our concern is that someone will use them to establish credit or other financial support and then we will be held liable for that financial obligation.

    Kind Regards

    • Dear Tricia

      Thank you for your message

      I think you should purse this matter with the bank as the have made the mistake. I do not expect that anyone will try to make changes to your company details or use them for any other support as institutions are usually looking for proof of the officers behind the company and no one else would have this.

      If you are in any doubt I would advise speaking to a lawyer.

      Kind Regards

  5. I have lost my certificate of incorporation – twice! I don’t want to ask my accountant for another copy as she will think i’m more stupid then I look! How do I get a replacement?

    • Hi Tim
      Thanks for your message.
      You can order a new Certificate of Incorporation to receive e-mail or by post. To order it by e-mail you would go to a section of Companies House called “Webcheck”. You would find your company details and enter the page where it shows the company name, and when the company accounts and Annual Return are due and to the right there is an option to “order information on this company”. You would choose that and on the next page, you would see the list of all documents which have been submitted to Companies House for the company and you would go right to the bottom and order the document called “IN01”. The first page of this document is the Certificate of Incorporation. The cost would be £1 for this document.

      If you want the document to be printed and posted out to you, you can order it by contacting Companies House on 0303 1234 500. The cost for standard delivery of the document (usually 5-7 working days) is £20. If you want the document delivered with Companies House express service the cost would be £60.

      Kind Regards

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