When a new limited company or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is registered with Companies House, it receives a Certificate of Incorporation. This contains important information including the company name, the date of incorporation and the company’s unique registration number.
This Company Registration Number (CRN) identifies your business to entities such as Companies House.
What is a Company Registration Number?
A Company Registration Number (also known as a CRN, Companies House number or simply company number) is a unique code that allows Companies House and other entities to quickly and easily identify a business.
Companies use the same CRN throughout the life of the company, allowing it to be identified easily even if the company name, address, directors or business activities change. Your CRN is generated digitally and automatically assigned on the date of incorporation.
Company Registration Number format
Companies can recognise their registration number by the unique format that differs from that of other important numbers like their VAT number, employer number or unique taxpayer reference.
A CRN is 8 characters long and comprises either 8 digits or 2 letters and 6 digits.
Companies in England and Wales have 8-digit CRNs beginning with 0 or 1
Companies in Scotland have CRNs beginning with ‘SC’ followed by 6 digits
Limited liability partnerships (LLPs) begin with ‘OC’ followed by 6 digits
Scottish LLPs begin with ‘SO’ followed by 6 digits
CRNs for Northern Irish companies begin with ‘NI’ followed by 6 digits
Northern Irish LLPs begin with ‘NC’ followed by 6 digits
Where can I find my Company Registration Number?
Your CRN can be found on your certificate of incorporation from Companies House that you received upon registration. It can also be found on:
Any other official communications from Companies House
The public register by searching for your company name
Any correspondence from a company formation agent or accountant who dealt with Companies House on your behalf
When do I need my Company Registration Number?
There are numerous circumstances where a company may need to identify itself to certain bodies using its CRN. These most commonly include:
Businesses will need to quote their CRN to Companies House when making changes, such as:
Changing the company’s name, address and other details
Adding or removing a new director, company secretary or partner
Changing the company’s status or dissolving the company
Dealing with HMRC
Companies will also need to quote their CRN in dealings with HMRC including:
Registering for and paying corporation tax
Filing annual accounts
Registering for and reporting PAYE
Informing HMRC if a company has been made active or dormant
Dealing with banks
Companies will also need to quote their CRN when opening a business bank account or applying for loans, bridging finance and other forms of commercial credit.
Company Registration Number FAQs
Do sole traders need a Company Registration Number?
Only limited companies and limited liability partnerships need to register with Companies House. Therefore, sole traders do not need a CRN, even if they trade under a company name rather than their own.
Where do I need to display my Company Registration Number?
What is a Companies House authentication code?
A Companies House authentication number is not the same as a CRN. It is a 6-character alphanumeric code provided by Companies House upon registration. This code allows users to access its online filing system and make changes to their company records.