Today, customers have learned to leverage review websites to check the legality of a new company they intend to acquire goods or services from for the first time. This avenue can provide valuable information for customers willing to invest time and effort in investigating a company more thoroughly.

One of the problems corporations face while establishing new entities is deciding what to name that new entity. How do you find out if the name you chose is already taken? Where do you go to find accurate information on the structure of an entity you intend to get into business with?

These and more show the importance of entity search in business. Entity search is indeed a complex process, and the information you seek will dictate how you go about it. There is indeed a variety of options available to approach entity search.

Different locations in the United Kingdom will have different methods to run a business entity search. Owing to this wealth of options, running a business entity search has become easier than ever. Technology has also had a very massive impact on the time these processes take.

Different Ways to Run a UK Business Entity Search and their Cost

There are two primary ways to run a business entity search in the United Kingdom: Using the Companies House Website or a Company Check Website.

  1. Using the Companies House

Companies House serves as the registry for all UK limited companies. It simply means that every company registered in the United Kingdom will have to be transparent about certain aspects of its affairs to the Companies House.

The Companies House search service is open to the general public and this allows searches on companies that have been incorporated (registered) in the UK. You can obtain a vast range of company details which can be very useful if you’re considering working with another company or using their services.

Just by typing the name of the company, number, or the name of a director, you will immediately get a suggestion of names from the register that match your search. You can also narrow the search down by deciding to search companies, officers, or disqualifications and then scroll through the results to find what you’re looking for.

Once you have found and clicked on a company, you’ll be presented with the overview screen. Information you can use this method to get include:

  • Registered company address: current and previously registered office addresses
  • Date of company incorporation: when the company was registered
  • Company status: if the company is still active or dissolved
  • Type of company: e.g., private limited company, PLC, limited liability partnership
  • Company number
  • Current and resigned officers: Directors, company secretaries, and LLP members, coupled with the dates of their appointments and resignations
  • Correspondence address (service address) of company officers: This is often the same as the registered office address
  • Nationality, country of residence, date of birth, and occupation of company directors
  • Disqualified directors
  • Persons with significant control (PSCs): this will include their date of birth, nationality, correspondence address, country of residence, the nature of their control over the company, and when Companies House was notified of their PSC status
  • Company accounts: The last annual accounts were made up to, and when the next accounts are made up to and due to be filed
  • Confirmation statements: including the date of the last confirmation statement and when the next one is due
  • Nature of business: categorized by up to four Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, which describe what the company does
  • Company document images: PDFs of confirmation statements, micro company accounts, appointment and termination filings, company address changes, incorporation documents, and other filings made by a company since its formation
  • Mortgage charge data
  • Previous company names
  • Insolvency information
  • Other business activity
Cost

According to reports, the register is available for anyone to use free of charge and it’s usually available 24 hours a day.

  1. Using a Company Check Websites

There are numerous company check websites available in the UK for conducting high-quality, expertly curetted company searches. These Check Websites combine comprehensive information collection with advanced search tools to ensure you can find detailed information about the company you are searching for.

Some of these websites include a customizable search form, and shareable analysis and visualization tools such as charts and graphs, for pinpointing trends. Some searches, like Nexis®, DataGardener, and Endole’s, offer more in-depth insights like the number of employees, business credit data, contact information, shareholders, and more.

By making use of these sites, you can discover different types of data and connected insights that could otherwise take longer to gather following an online Companies House search. Information you will find using Company Check Websites include:

  • Key Financials and Financial Insights like Growth and Decline vs. the previous year.
  • Detailed company information, including Group Structure data like parent company, sibling (partnered company), and child (subsidiary company) information.
  • Profile information about Companies, Directors, and Secretaries, including Age, Company Name changes, Appointment changes, and more.
  • Industrial categorization, as well as a summary of their trading activity.
  • Legal information like 6Y County Court Judgements and their repayment status.
  • And more
Cost

This will mostly depend on the Company Check Website you intend to use. While a good number of them are free, some also charge as low as £1.

Conclusion

In this competitive business world, before you make crucial financial decisions, you must be able to trust the information you are using. Business entity searches offer information that’s pertinent, reliable, and can be used to safely grow your business.