The limited company structure provides a number of benefits. Limited liability for its owners. Tax efficiency. Prestige. These are just a few of the reasons why someone may wish to form a limited company.
When you look at the potential downsides to running as a limited company, the most common topic that comes up is the public register.
Certain information is placed on the public register when you form a limited company. This is to ensure transparency (and so, trust) in the companies that are incorporated.
In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at whether a company’s share and shareholder information is published.
Shares and shareholders
Shares are the unit in which ownership of a company is measured.
Shareholders, as the name would suggest, are the people – or other companies – who hold these shares. Shareholders are the owners of the company.
Share and shareholder information is placed on the Companies House register
This means anyone who is interested can freely, and relatively simply, look up a company on the Companies House search and see how many shares are in the company, the type of shares these are – and who owns them.
However, it’s important to mention that Companies House doesn’t necessarily hold the latest share information for a company.
Share and shareholder information is included in a company’s incorporation documents. Any share changes after incorporation don’t need to be reported until the company files its annual confirmation statement.
Here’s how to find the information
- Enter the name of the company on the search tool
- Click on the appropriate company name
- Select ‘Filing history’
- Scroll to the most recent ‘Confirmation statement’ (if you can’t find one, scroll to ‘Incorporation’)
- Open the PDF – the share and shareholder information will be here
So there you have it. Yes, share and shareholder information is placed on the Companies House register, but, this information is not always up to date.
The more recent the incorporation or last confirmation statement, the more accurate the information is likely to be.
We hope this helps. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.