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6 March 2024

How to get a Certificate of Incorporation in 2024

The Certificate of Incorporation is a document that anyone who has set up a company will have been issued with. Learn more about what it is and what you can do with it in our blog.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Woman with her new coffee shop after registering with Companies house and getting a Certificate of Incorporation.

When you register your limited company, limited liability partnership (LLP), or other type of business with Companies House, you will be issued with a Certificate of Incorporation. 

You might be wondering: ‘What is a Certificate of Incorporation?’ This important document acts as proof that your company exists, is registered, and includes all of your company’s details. For example, it includes the date your company was incorporated and its registration number.

Read on to find out more about the certificate and what it is used for.

What is the Certificate of Incorporation used for?

Anyone who plans on expanding their business operations abroad will likely need their Certificate of Incorporation notarised. It acts as proof that your company has existed continuously since its inception, and that it is a valid and registered company. 

As a result, you will also need to get your certificate notarised and legalised. We can assist you with both of these processes. 

The Certificate of Incorporation will also be needed to open business bank accounts and apply for loans. It is essentially your company’s identification document. 

How do I get a Certificate of Incorporation?

It is less a question of how do I get a Certificate of Incorporation, and more of a question about how do I register a company. Companies House will give you a certificate as soon as your company registration application has been approved.

Register with Companies House

You can register your company directly with Companies House by using the Government’s website. This will cost £12, and your company will be registered within 24 hours. 

The registration process will take you through different stages, such as checking what form your company will take. For example, a limited company, LLP, sole trader or something else. 

Also, you will be asked to input a name, directors, shareholders, guarantors, people with significant control over your company, provide documents such as the memorandum of association and articles of association, check what records you have to keep, and then submit your application.

You can also register by post, which is also the only way you can choose to not include ‘limited’ in your company name.

Register through a third party

There are also businesses that will help you with registering your new company, and offer additional services.

Whatever way you choose to register your company, you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation once it is done.

What if I need to replace my Certificate of Incorporation?

In the event you lose your Certificate of Incorporation, or it gets damaged, then you can get a replacement. You have several options available.

Through Companies House

First, you can find your company listing on Companies House and download a PDF of your certificate from there. 

To do this, you just need to search for your company and click on it. 

Then, you need to go to ‘filing history’ and then find ‘Incorporation’ which should have an option to view the PDF next to it.

You can also call Companies House and order a certified copy, though this costs £15. There is also a same-day service which costs £50.

Through a third-party

If you used a third-party to register your business through Companies House, then it is possible that your account that you made with them will have your company documents on it. 

We recommend that you check your account for any documents to see if there is a PDF of your Certificate of Incorporation available. 

What is included on the Certificate of Incorporation?

Information on the certificate includes details on where and when your company was incorporated. 

The details are as follows:

  • Registered company name
  • Company Registration Number
  • Incorporation date
  • Type of company; for example, LLP or Public Limited Company
  • Country of incorporation in the UK; for example, England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland
  • Location of registrar; for example, Cardiff
  • Legislation under which the company was incorporated; this will depend on the year of formation

The official document also includes:

  • Royal coat of arms
  • Official seal of the Registrar of Companies
  • Companies House seal

Will I need a new certificate if I change my company’s name?

If you change your company’s name, you will not need to get a new Certificate of Incorporation. This will always show your company’s original name.

However, you will be given a ‘Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name’. 

This additional certificate shows both your company’s original name, as well as its new name. It will also state the date of the name change, as well as all of the information included on the original Certificate of Incorporation.

Finally, if you plan on registering your company in a foreign country to expand your business operations, you will need to get the Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name notarised and legalised alongside your original Certificate of Incorporation. 

How we can help

If you plan on using your Certificate of Incorporation to expand operations overseas, or for anything else that requires you to go abroad, then we can help.

Our Notary Public, Nathan Woodcock, has years of experience in notarial matters; he can notarise your certificate for you so it is accepted as valid.

You can arrange your notary appointment to be at one of our offices in London, Manchester, or Sheffield. However, you can also use our mobile notary service to book your appointment at a reasonable time and place that suits you; this could be at home, an office, or anywhere else suitable. 

We can also assist you with consular legalisation, or with getting an apostille from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Either one will be a requirement, as you cannot use documents overseas without legalisation or an apostille. 

For apostilles, we work closely with the FCDO which allows us to offer a standard apostille service that takes 10 to 15 days, and a fast-track service that takes 5 to 7 days. 

You can visit our webpage to learn more about our fees and see how much our services cost. 

Get in touch today if you need our help with notarising and legalising your certificate.


If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services,
contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0330 133 6480 or email

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services, contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0330 133 6480 or email