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Non-UK residents are legally obliged to provide proof of ID and address when forming a company. In this article, we will take you through the requirements if you are a non-UK resident. Let’s get started.
Why do you need to provide proof of ID and address?
Rapid Formations, like all company formation agents, are regulated by the:
- Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) 2019 regulations
- Know Your Customer guidelines
- London Local Authorities Act 2007
Collectively, these specify the legal need for us to verify the ID and address of our company formation customers and certain people associated with the company that is being formed. As a non-UK resident, this verification process requires us to collect proof of address and ID documentation.
Who needs to provide proof of ID and address?
When registering a limited company, we are required to verify the following people:
1. Our company formation customers
This is the account holder that we have on record, and is generally the person who has taken care of the payment process. It does not matter if this person will play no role in the company that is being formed (as a director, shareholder, or person with significant control) – we are still required to verify them due to Know Your Customer guidelines.
2. Shareholders with more than 25% of the company shares
Shareholders are the owners of the company. If a shareholder is to hold more than 25% of the shares in the company, we must verify them.
3. Directors with a service address
Directors are the company officers tasked with the day-to-day running of a company. If a director is going to be using our address as their service address (sometimes referred to as the correspondence address by Companies House), we are required to verify them.
A private company limited by shares can be formed with just one person or multiple people. Regardless of how many shareholders and directors your company has, if they meet the criteria set out above, they must be verified.
How is an individual verified?
Shortly after completing your order with us, the account holder will receive an email from our Compliance and ID Team detailing the two steps to providing us with the necessary proof of ID and proof of address documentation.
Step 1 – Proof of ID
What documentation can I use as proof of ID?
We will accept any (in-date) government-issued form of ID that includes a photograph of you, as long as the following information is included on the document:
- As mentioned, a photo of you
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- An expiry date, or
- Date of issue
The most commonly used forms of ID are:
- Driving Licence
- National Identity Card
How do I provide my proof of ID?
The initial compliance email sent to the account holder will be followed by an email from Credas, an HMRC-approved ID specialist. Credas allows you to provide your ID information to us digitally within just a matter of minutes via a smartphone (at no cost to you).
You will receive a separate version of the Credas email for each person in your company who needs to provide ID – please forward these emails to the appropriate people.
The email will provide a link that enables you to download the Credas app to your phone. Once you have downloaded the app, you (and the other people in your company who must be verified) should:
- Enter your unique registration code included in your email (every individual in your company will have their own unique code)
- Check that the details shown on the app are correct. If there are any problems, get in touch with our Compliance and ID Team
- Provide the email address that your Credas invite was sent to
- Accept the Credas terms and conditions
- Follow the on-screen prompts to take a selfie
- Follow the on-screen prompts to take a clear photo of your ID document
- Confirm your name and date of birth
- Submit your ID application
Our team will then review the information that you have sent, and will be in touch if there are any problems.
Providing proof of ID if not using Credas
Credas is the fastest way to provide your proof of ID. However, if you do not wish to use Credas or don’t have access to a smartphone, you can send a scan of the ID document to us via email.
If you live in the EU
Your ID document should be certified by one of the below:
- Chartered Accountant
- Medical Doctor
- Minister of religion
When certifying the document, the individual should photocopy the original and then, directly on the copied document, write the following: Certified to be a true copy of the original document seen by me
Sometimes they will use a stamp, which is permitted. We will not, however, accept a document that has been certified digitally (such as via a word processor).
The person certifying the copy should then sign and date the document, and write down their address and occupation. You should then scan the photocopy and send it as an attachment to the email address that we have provided you, being sure to provide your company name in the email.
If you live outside of the EU
Your ID document should be notarised by a public notary.
When notarising the document, the individual should photocopy the original and then, directly on the copied document, write the following: Certified to be a true copy of the original document seen by me
They may use a stamp, which is permitted. We will not accept a document that has been certified digitally (such as via a word processor).
This person notarising the copy should then sign and date the document, and write down their address and occupation. You should then scan the photocopy and send it as an attachment to the email address that we have provided you, being sure to provide your company name in the email.
Step 2 – Proof of address
What documentation can I use as proof of address?
The most common forms of proof of address documentation are:
- Bank statements
- Utility bills (such as water, gas, electricity, and broadband)
- Government-issued certificates of residence (common for non-UK residents)
For the document to be valid, it must include your name, residential address (business addresses are not permitted), and importantly, a date of issue that is within the last 3 months.
Unfortunately, we can not accept mobile phone bills or tenancy agreements/contracts as a form of proof of address. If you are unsure whether or not a document is appropriate, please get in touch with our Compliance and ID Team.
How do I provide my proof of address?
To upload your proof of address document (remember, you will need to upload address documentation for every necessary person within your company):
- Go back to the email from our Compliance and ID Team, detailing the 2 steps to providing us with the documentation
- Scroll to ‘STEP 2’ and select the ‘Click Here’ link
- You will be taken to a small form where you must provide your company name and, if your package includes an address service, a brief description of your business’s purpose and the reason that you wish to use our address service
- Click the ‘Upload Proof of Address’ button
- Proceed to upload the document
- Select ‘Submit’
Our team will then review the information that you have sent and will be in touch if there are any problems.
Please note: if the document is physical (paper), we will accept a scan or photo in any file format. For digital documents, we will only accept the original PDFs. We will reject scans, screenshots, or photos of these.
We hope you find this article helpful, as you work to verify all the necessary people within your company. If there are problems regarding general verification, and proof of ID and address documentation submitted to us, a member of our Compliance and ID Team will be in touch. Alternatively, you can contact them.
Thank you for your help in ensuring our company remains compliant.