A company number and a tax number are completely different. Your company number is officially known as a Company Registration Number (CRN). It is issued by Companies House immediately upon incorporation. It is unique to your company and is displayed on your certificate of incorporation. You must provide it whenever you contact or submit information to Companies House.
Your CRN is not the same as your company’s tax number. Your tax number is officially known as a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and it is issued by HMRC shortly after company formation. Your company’s UTR will be included in the first letter you receive from HMRC at your registered office. It will be printed next to a heading like ‘UTR’, ‘Tax reference’, ‘Official Use’ or ‘Reference’. HMRC will use the UTR to identify your firm whenever you contact them about tax.
Your company registration number and unique tax reference are both extremely important. You must keep both of them to hand because you will need to provide them on a number of occasions throughout the life of your company.
About Company Registration Numbers (CRNs)
- A unique number that is issued by Companies House upon company formation.
- Consists of 8 numbers, or 2 letters followed by 6 numbers.
- Used to identify individual companies and verify their legal existence.
- Printed on the certificate of incorporation and all official correspondence received from Companies House.
- Displayed on public record next to your company name.
- You must provide your CRN in the following situations:
- filing and updating your annual confirmation statement (formerly the annual return)
- submitting annual accounts
- registering with HMRC for business taxes
- reporting changes to your company’s details
- filing a Return of Allotment of Shares
- issuing share certificates
- appointing and removing directors and secretaries
- filing tax returns
- contacting Companies House about anything else relating to your company
- You must display your CRN on all forms of business stationery, including emails and websites.
- You can also locate this number by entering your company name into Companies House WebCHeck.
- This number will remain unchanged for the life of your company. No other business will ever be issued with the same number, even if after your company is dissolved.
About Unique Taxpayer References (UTRs)
- A unique number issued by HMRC within a few days of company formation.
- Printed on a letter that is delivered to your registered office address. The letter will also contain information about your tax obligations.
- Consists of 10 digits.
- Used to identify individual companies and verify their tax status.
- You must provide your UTR in the following circumstances:
- informing HMRC if your business is dormant (inactive)
- registering for corporation tax, VAT, and PAYE
- paying corporation tax and VAT
- filing tax returns and VAT Returns
- paying employees
- notifying HMRC about changes to your registered details
- changing your corporation tax accounting period
- contacting HMRC about anything else relating to your company
- You can locate your company’s UTR on all official correspondence from HMRC and the ‘Notice to Deliver a Company Tax Return’.
What to do if you cannot find your CRN or UTR
As previously mentioned, there are a number of places you can find these numbers. You can find your CRN on your certificate of incorporation, all official mail received from Companies House, online via WebCHeck or through our Online Company Manager facility.
You can find your UTR on all official mail from HMRC and by logging in to your corporation tax online account. If all else fails, contact Companies House or HMRC direct!