Protect your company from corporate identity theft

How the protected online filing (PROOF) scheme can help you prevent fraudulent changes to your company.

This free service lets you protect your company from unauthorised changes to your records. It prevents the filing of certain paper forms, including:

  • changes to your registered office address
  • changes to your officers (appointments, resignations or personal details)
  • changes to your company name by special resolution

It’s important that your company’s records are correct because they’re sometimes used to check its legitimacy if you apply for a loan.

Fraudsters are known to hijack a company by changing the details of the company’s directors and registered office. This leaves the company vulnerable to further fraud.

Companies House deals with around 50 to 100 cases of corporate identity theft every month. If you suspect fraudulent activity against a company you should report this to Companies House.


Join PROOF using the Companies House online filing service. You’ll need to be registered for online filing.

Once you’ve signed in, complete the following steps:

  1. Select the ‘Join PROOF’ link near the padlock icon at the top of the overview screen.
  2. Agree to the terms and conditions.
  3. Select ‘Protect this company’.

You’ll get an email to let you know if your application has been successful.

Once you’ve joined, the forms covered by PROOF can only be filed online, so:

  • tell anyone who files documents for your company that you’re joining PROOF
  • give them the authentication codes they’ll need to file online

Companies House will reject any paper versions of the forms and send them back to the registered office address.

You can leave the PROOF service at any time.

Watch a video demonstration on how to join PROOF

Video demonstration of how to join PROOF

Check if you’re registered for PROOF

Your company’s PROOF status is displayed on its online overview screen and:

  • you’re registered for PROOF if the padlock icon is locked
  • you’re not registered for PROOF if the padlock icon is unlocked
  • your application is in progress if there is a clock icon

When you cannot join PROOF

If your company has an ongoing internal dispute between its officers, you will not be able join PROOF until it has been resolved.

Leaving the PROOF service

To leave the service select the ‘Leave PROOF’ link at the top of your company’s online overview screen. You’ll get an email confirming you’ve left the service.

Once you’ve left the service your company will no longer be protected against fraudulent filings on paper. The registrar may also terminate the agreement with immediate effect under clause 8.2 of the PROOF terms and conditions (MS Word Document, 749 KB).

Forms covered by PROOF

Limited company forms

Form Description
AR01 Annual Return
AP01 Appointment of director
AP02 Appointment of corporate director
AP03 Appointment of secretary
AP04 Appointment of corporate secretary
CH01 Change of director’s details
CH02 Change of corporate director’s details
CH03 Change of secretary’s details
CH04 Change of corporate secretary’s details
TM01 Termination of appointment of director
TM02 Termination of appointment of secretary
AD01 Change of registered office address
NM01 Change of company name
Change of company name by special resolution  

Limited liability partnership (LLP) forms

Form Description
LL AR01 Annual Return
LL AP01 Appointment of a member
LL AP02 Appointment of a corporate member
LL CH01 Change of member’s details
LL CH02 Change of corporate member’s details
LL TM01 Termination of appointment of a member
LL AD01 Change of registered office address

In June 2016, the annual return was replaced by the confirmation statement. These forms are not in the PROOF scheme.

All other documents are accepted on paper if delivered by a company in the PROOF scheme.

Filing paper forms covered by PROOF

If you need to file one of the forms covered by PROOF on paper while you’re still registered for PROOF, you’ll need to complete a paper consent form.

You should only use a paper consent form if absolutely necessary. See the PROOF terms and conditions for more information.

Call the Companies House contact centre on 0303 1234 500 to request a paper consent form.

PROOF terms and conditions

The registrar of companies operates the PROOF scheme under an agreement under section 1070 of the Companies Act 2006.

Any company joining the PROOF scheme does so on the terms set out in the PROOF terms and conditions (MS Word Document, 749 KB).

Published 21 November 2014
Last updated 6 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. NM01 and change of name by special resolution added to the PROOF service.

  2. Updated PROOF T & C

  3. Terms and conditions updated due to new insolvency rules.

  4. Note added that confirmation statement won't be in PROOF scheme.

  5. Leaving PROOF guidance updated.

  6. Welsh translation added

  7. First published.