Companies House in Scotland: A guide for Business Owners.

The Role of Companies House in Scotland

Companies House operates across the UK and maintains a separate office in Edinburgh for registrations in Scotland. Its primary functions include:

  • Incorporation of Companies: It registers company information and allows access to the public. All new Scottish companies are legally required to register here.
  • Maintaining Company Records: It keeps up-to-date data on companies, which includes annual accounts and confirmation statements.
  • Dissolution and Restoration: It handles the striking off and restoration of companies to and from the register.

Registering with Companies House in Scotland

When you decide to form a scottish company, registration with Companies House is a must. Here are the steps typically involved:

  • Choose a Company Name: Your chosen name must be unique and not too similar to another registered name. The 'Companies House WebCheck' service can be used to check name availability.
  • Select a Company Type: Determine whether you’ll be registering a private limited company, a public limited company, an LLP, etc.
  • Prepare Necessary Documents: This includes a memorandum of association, articles of association, and form IN01 which includes details of directors and the address of the registered office.
  • Filing with Companies House: You can submit your registration online or by post. Online registration is typically faster and cheaper.
  • Paying the Registration Fee: Fees vary depending on the method of registration and the type of company you are forming.

Annual Requirements and Compliance

Once your company is registered, Companies House requires you to file certain documents annually:

  • Confirmation Statement: This confirms that the information they hold about your company is current.
  • Annual Accounts: These provide a financial snapshot of your company’s performance.

Failure to comply with these annual requirements can result in penalties or even striking off the company from the register.

Online Services

Companies House provides various digital services which are useful for business owners:

  • WebFiling: Allows you to submit documents and updates for your company online.
  • WebCheck: A free service to view company information and track the filing history.
  • Companies House Direct: Offers more detailed reports and documents, often for a fee.
  • Email Reminders: A handy service to help you keep on top of your filing deadlines.

Public Access to Information

One of the pivotal roles of Companies House is to provide public access to company information. This transparency is vital for investors, business owners, and the general public. It allows anyone to verify company details, check on competitors, or gather information for market research.

Additional Support.


Companies House also provides a wealth of guides and resources to help businesses understand their legal responsibilities. They offer support on various aspects of running a business, including guidance on director's duties, reporting changes to your company, and how to close down a company.

Location and Contact

For businesses in Scotland, Companies House has an office in Edinburgh. You can reach out for support or to deliver documents in person, though most services are easily accessible online.


Understanding and utilising the services of Companies House is fundamental to successfully starting and maintaining a company in Scotland. From registration to compliance and accessing valuable business information, Companies House is a critical resource for Scottish businesses. 

You might also like:
A Friendly Guide to Setting Up Your Own Company in Scotland.
Running a Company in Scotland