What information do businesses have to make available?
If you are looking for information about a business, bear in mind that businesses that are not registered do not have to make publicly available the same kind of information as that which is legally required from businesses registered at Companies House.
- For detailed information about the information that companies have to provide see the information below or see the Companies House guidance pages
- Companies and LLPs have to send their details to Companies House and they have to update them on an annual basis. All the Companies House information is publicly available
- The information that companies and LLPs have to send to Companies House includes their accounts. However, small and medium size companies and LLPs are allowed to send abbreviated accounts, rather than full accounts. There are further exemptions for 'very small companies'
- For detailed information about the formation of limited liability partnerships (LLPs), see Companies House guidance Limited Liability Partnership Incorporation and Names
- For details of the regular information that LLPs have to provide, see Companies House guidance Limited Liability Partnerships
- Companies House provides basic details about companies free and makes charges for financial and other data
- In the larger libraries you can find basic financial data for some companies free in printed directories. The directory 'Kompass United Kingdom Register' covers leading national industrial companies; 'Key British Enterprises', at Bedford Central Library, covers leading national companies (and other businesses); and 'D and B Business Register, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire' covers companies (and other businesses) both large and small and provides a 'risk rating' for each business. Search the online library catalogue to see which libraries hold these books.
- If a business is a sole trader or a ordinary business partnership there may be little or no information required to be publicly available
- There are some requirements for anyone using a 'business name', which is 'a name used by any person, partnership or company for carrying on business, unless it is the same as their own name'
- Although there may be little or no required information, some business information publishers provide some details, such as the names of the sole trader or partners and the number of employees
- In the larger libraries you can find 'D and B Business Register, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire', which covers all kinds of businesses, large and small. The publisher also provides a 'risk rating' for each business. Bedford Central Library has 'Key British Enterprises' which covers leading national companies and other businesses. Search the onlinelibrary catalogue to see which libraries hold these books.
Page last updated: 7th August 2020