Company Formation

What is a company registration number?

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A company registration number is a unique number assigned to a company by the government. It is used to identify the company and its legal status. In this article, you will learn who needs a CRN, where to find it and when it is useful.

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Answer Adeosun
Jul 8, 22 · 4 min read
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As you might know, every company incorporated in the UK must be registered with the Companies House. The Companies House is the official registrar for companies who wish to transact business in the UK. Incorporated companies must also file annual accounts and statutory statements every year with the Companies House. One of the important digits that must be included when requesting information or filing a report with a government agency is the company registration number (CRN).

This article, therefore, explains what the CRN is all about.

What is a company registration number?

A company registration number is a unique identifier for companies incorporated in the UK which is assigned during registration with the Companies House. It is also sometimes referred to as registration number, company number, or simply CRN. Whenever you provide the CRN, it shows your company is a legal entity recognised by the UK government.

It is important to know that the CRN is an 8-character code, that is, it can contain Arabic numbers and sometimes in combination with at most 2 alphabets.

How is the CRN formatted?

Two factors come into play on the two letters that prefix your CRN. One is the type of company you are setting up and the other is the location/jurisdiction of the company which could be England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. The Companies House has a guide with a full list of CRN letter codes and their interpretations on their website.

Who needs a CRN?

Only companies incorporated with the Companies House are assigned CRNs. So, if you are a sole trader or you have a company whose registration is with other government agencies like the HMRC or Charity Commission, you may not be assigned a CRN.

Registration with the HMRC earns you a UTR number (Unique Taxpayers Registration number) which is issued to all taxpayers in the UK while with the Charity Commission you have a registration number different from CRN.

Where does the company register number appear?

The company register number can appear in different documents. Some of them are the following:

  1. On the certificate of incorporation of the company.
  2. Emails or other correspondence from your company formation agent or accountant.
  3. On a business name change certificate.
  4. Any official letters or other documentation received from Companies House.
  5. Using Inform Direct’s company search tool.

When is the CRN useful?

Since it identifies the company, you will need to provide your company registration number on many occasions.

You’ll need to quote the company registration number when doing any of the following at Companies House:

  • Changing the company name
  • Modification of the company's registered address.
  • Setting up or changing a SAIL address
  • Moved the location of statutory records between the head office and SAIL address.
  • Appointment or dismissal of a director of a company, a secretary of a company, or an LLP member.
  • Modification of the contact information of a company director, company secretary, or LLP member.
  • Filing a confirmation statement (which replaced the annual return from 30 June 2016)
  • Filing of company's annual accounts.
  • Submitting copies of resolutions.
  • Allocation of shares or other modifications in the share capital of the company.
  • Amendment of the company's accounting reference date.
  • Dissolution of the corporation.

How to get a CRN?

Company registration numbers are assigned automatically when businesses incorporate, which means that you don’t need to follow a separate process to get your CRN.


Whether you are domiciled in the UK or not, once your company is registered with the Companies House, you are automatically issued a CRN. It is therefore important to know where you can find it and when to use it.

How to get a company registration number?

You will need to:
HowTo step image

1. You can get your company registration number when you have successfully registered or incorporated your company with the Companies House

There is no other route to obtaining it

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