The Company Register should be national and include the following fields:

Company number

Each company should have a unique company number. By law all websites, letterhead, invoices, prospectuses, and contractual documents should cite the issuing company number.

Name of the company

The name of the company should be unique (no other identically named company should appear on the register), but the registration of similar names should be allowed (without prejudice to intellectual property rights).

Service of legal documents

The service of legal proceedings and contractual notices should be the same as for the Individuals Register. Each director should be required to provide a current email address to which the registrar can forward notifications.


Listed companies should be required to publish their statutory accounts to the register.


The search should indicate whether any petitions have been filed to liqu-idate the company. The system should allow anyone to register for email alerts in the event a petition to liquidate is filed, or a judgment debt goes unsatisfied for more than fourteen days.


These should be listed on the register and have their names linked to their corresponding entries on the Individuals Register or the Foreign Nationals Register.

Trading names

All trading names belonging to the company should be listed and link to their entries in the Trading Names Register.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove