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1. Register for online filing and keep your authentication code safe
Our online filing service offers many advantages over filing on paper.
It’s a quicker and more secure way to send us your company information, and there are built-in checks to help you avoid errors or rejection. You’ll also get an automatic email acknowledgement when we receive your submission.
Register for online filing.
Keep your authentication code safe
The authentication code is a 6 digit alphanumeric code we issue to each company. It’s used to authorise information filed online and is the equivalent of a company officer’s signature.
You should treat your company’s authentication code with the same care you would your bank card PIN. Anyone who knows your code has the ability to change your company’s details online.
Here are some tips for looking after your authentication code:
- if you decide to change your code to something more memorable, mix letters and numbers so your code is not easy to guess
- only share your code with someone you trust to file information for your company
- if your code becomes known by someone you do not trust, then change it
- change your code if it’s known by someone no longer authorised to file information for your company (such as staff who’ve left your company or your previous accountant)
We’ll never ask for your authentication code over the phone or via email.
If you’re contacted by someone asking for your code and claiming to be from Companies House, you should report it to us immediately on 0303 1234 500.
2. Sign up to our PROOF scheme
Companies House deals with around 50 to 100 cases of corporate identity theft every month.
- changes to your registered office address
- changes to your officers (appointments, resignations or personal details)
- your confirmation statement
When you sign up to the free service, any forms covered by PROOF can only be filed online. We’ll reject any paper versions of the forms and send them back to the registered office address.
Signing up to the service is quick and easy and can help you prevent fraudulent changes to your company. You can also leave the PROOF service at any time.
3. Use our free Follow service
Follow is a part of our free Companies House Service (CHS) which lets you receive email alerts of company transactions. The alert tells you instantly what’s been filed with us as soon as it’s been accepted.
The email will contain a link to the filing history of the company where you’ll be able to download a copy of the document for free.
You’ll also receive an alert when we remove a transaction.
If you’re a company director or auditor, the Follow service is a convenient way of keeping track of changes in company activity. You’ll then be alerted to any transactions on your company and will be able to address any problems quickly.
4. Choose the right correspondence address
It’s important to understand the differences between each address type and what address information appears on the public record.
You do not need to use your home address as your correspondence address, or your company’s registered office address. If you run your company from your home and do not want your home address made public, you’ll need to consider using a different address for each of these.
If a director chooses to use their home address as their service address or the company’s registered office address, it will appear on the public record.
If you only have this address to offer, there are third-party service providers and agents who can provide registered office services. All providers of registered office services will charge a fee for their services.
If you decide to use a registered office service, it’s important to have it in place before you incorporate your company. You cannot remove a registered office address from a company’s record after incorporation, even if it’s your home address. Any changes or former addresses remain on file and available to the public.
There are new laws to help you protect your home address on the public record, or remove it from publicly available documents.
5. Check website addresses are genuine
If you receive a suspicious email with a link to a web page that requests your email address and password, it may be a scam.
Always check that the URL (the website address) you’re about to visit is a genuine Companies House or GOV.UK address. For example, a request for a password reset for our online filing service will have an address that starts: ewf.companieshouse.gov.uk
If the link does not contain ‘.gov.uk’ within the address, it’s not a Companies House page and could be a scam. Do not enter any details or click any links or buttons. The web page is not linked to our services and will send your details to the scammers.
If you receive a suspicious email, forward it to email@example.com and then delete it. Do not open any attachments or disclose personal information.
6. Be aware of scam emails and telephone calls
We’ll never contact you by email or telephone to find out who your officers are, or to ask for secure information such as authentication codes.
If you receive a suspicious email with an attachment asking you to enter personal information such as an authorisation code, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it.
Do not open any attachments or disclose personal information.
If anyone telephones you claiming to be from Companies House asking for this information, try to obtain a return telephone number and contact us immediately on 0303 1234 500.
7. Report fraud
Follow the correct procedures for reporting fraud and cyber crime. You can help prevent others from becoming a victim.
If you receive a suspicious letter, invoice or telephone call, contact us immediately on 0303 1234 500.
If you receive a suspicious email, forward it to email@example.com and then delete it. Do not try to view any attachments contained in the email.
Action Fraud is the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre for the police. If your details have been used without your consent, or you suspect fraudulent activity, report it to Action Fraud or call 0300 123 2040.
We keep our website and social media channels up-to-date with any known fraud and scams. This helps you to stay informed, as well as providing information on what you should do if you come across fraudsters and how to help protect yourself.