December 2008


Companies House to change its Form Numbering System

Due to the new Companies Act and the continued development of the Companies House IT systems it was felt that the current numbering system could not be consistently applied across the whole range of Companies House forms. The current system refers to the relevant sections of the 1985 Companies Act.

Furthermore, there is an unknown risk of legislative section numbers overlapping with current and old legislation, which could be problematic not just for Companies House IT systems but also for the systems of registered companies.

This has led to a new numbering system being developed which will be used on the majority of forms sent into Companies House. It will be the primary identifier on each document.

The numbering system of the forms will not be based on the relevant section of the Companies Act 2006. Each form will, however, mention the relevant section. For example, the form for the change of accounting reference date will include ‘in accordance with Section 392 of the Companies Act 2006'.

All the Companies House forms will be replaced. Many of the forms have been prepared in draft form but are subject to change and, of course, should not be used. The definitive forms will be published by 1st July 2009.

Each registered company form number will have three elements (if appropriate) as follows:

  • Form Function Name
  • Form number
  • Location number (if appropriate)

Examples of three forms using this system are

  • APO1 Appointment of director
  • APO1c Appointment of director (Welsh form)
  • APO2 Appointment of corporate director

Where possible the most frequently used forms will have low numbers. For example, notification of a new director will be a very frequently used form. It is planned that this will be form number APO1.

There are more forms for some things than under the present system (probably necessarily so). For example there are three forms at present for the appointment of a director or secretary, terminating appointment of director or secretary and change of particulars for director or secretary. These will be replaced by ten forms.

Some of the forms seem rather long. The form ‘Application to register a company' is 28 pages. The annual return (including continuation sheets) is 22 pages.

Features of the annual return include:

  • An address for the Single Alternative Inspection Location of the company records (if applicable).
  • Identification of which of the company records (if any) are kept at the Single Alternative Inspection Location.
  • Details of a corporate secretary (if applicable).
  • Location of the registry of the corporate body or firm, according to whether or not it is in the European Economic Area.
  • Directors' service addresses.
  • Details of corporate directors.
  • Statement of capital including (if applicable) details of capital in currencies other than sterling.
  • A statement that the company was or was not a traded public company.
  • A statement relating to voting rights for each class of share.

Of course, most companies will not have to complete many of the sections on the annual return.

The new Companies Act - a half-day update

We are delighted to be able to give every person who attends The new Companies Act - a half-day update a free copy of a newly compiled book. It describes the new numbering system and provides draft copies of the forms that are most frequently used.

We are also pleased to announce that Companies House will be represented at the next presentations of The new Companies Act - a half-day update in London, Birmingham and Manchester during January and February. Their representative will spend time answering any questions that you may have with regard to The Companies Act 2006 and the new forms.

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