Companies Act 2006 - The Registrar’s Index

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Section 1099: The registrar’s index of company names

1408. This section replaces section 714 of the 1985 Act with changes. It provides for the registrar of companies to keep an index of the names not only of companies incorporated under Companies Acts but also of business entities formed under other legislation and of overseas companies with a UK branch.

1409. The section provides power for regulations to update the categories of business entities that are included in the index. This power is subject to negative resolution procedure.

Section 1100: Right to inspect index

1410. This section retains the public right to inspect the index. (It can be searched online, without charge, at The index of company names is important not only as the means of access to the information on the public record of companies incorporated in the United Kingdom but also as the list of names with which a proposed new name is compared to ensure that a new entity is not registered in a name that is the same or similar to that of an existing entity.

Section 1101: Power to amend enactments relating to bodies other than companies

1411. This section provides power for the Secretary of State to amend the rules for the names that can be adopted by other business entities on the index of company names. This power is subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

1412. Each category of business entity is subject to its own rules which include various safeguards to minimise the risk of public confusion. These rules differ from those that apply to companies in particular as regards the adoption of a name the same or similar to one already on the index. This lack of reciprocity is a weakness of the existing system which this section provides power to address.

Section 1102: Application of language requirements

Section 1103: Documents to be drawn up and delivered in English

1413. These sections set out language requirements. Section 1103 sets out the general rule that all documents must be in English (subject to the exceptions in the following sections). Section 1102 provides that this general rule, and its exceptions, apply automatically to documents required under the Companies Acts and Insolvency Act 1986 (and its Northern Ireland equivalent).

1414. There are however a variety of other pieces of legislation which may require companies in certain circumstances to supply material to the registrar. Depending on the nature of the particular requirement and its origin (for example, whether it responds to European Community law), it may or may not be appropriate to apply the language provisions of this Act unchanged to such material. Subsection (2) of section 1102 therefore enables the Secretary of State to make regulations to apply specified requirements to documents filed under other legislation.

Section 1104: Documents relating to Welsh companies

1415. This section provides an exception to the general rule in section 1103: documents relating to Welsh companies may be drawn up and filed in Welsh (and sometimes only in Welsh). It replaces, without any substantive change, section 710B of the 1985 Act.

Section 1105: Documents that may be drawn up and delivered in other languages

1416. This section sets out the circumstances in which documents may be drawn up and filed in other languages, but requires them to be accompanied by a certified translation into English. These documents are listed in subsection (2): agreements affecting the company’s constitution, documents relating to group accounts for companies in a group, and instruments relating to company charges. For some companies, documents of these sorts may well originate in languages other than English, and there may be an interest in ensuring that the original version is registered with the registrar. Subsection (2)(d) also allows the Secretary of State to extend the categories of documents to which this section applies.

Section 1106: Voluntary filing of translations

1417. The main purpose of this section is to implement aspects of the amended First Company Law Directive (68/151/EEC). It provides that companies may send the registrar certified translations of documents relating to the company. Subsection (2) enables the Secretary of State to set out in regulations the languages and documents in relation to which this facility is available. Subsection (3) provides that these regulations must as a minimum specify the official languages of the EU, and the documents covered by the amended First Company Law Directive (68/151/EEC) (see section 1078), to ensure compliance with that Directive. However, other languages (and categories of document) may be covered by the regulations.

Section 1107: Certified translations

1418. This section provides that a “certified translation” is one that has been certified in a manner prescribed by the registrar. It also provides that, where there is a discrepancy between an original and a translation, the company may not rely on the translation as against a third party, but the third party may rely on the translation (unless the company can show that the third party had knowledge of the original). This implements article 3a.4 of the amended First Company Law Directive (68/151/EEC).

Section 1108: Transliteration of names and addresses: permitted characters

1419. This section is a new provision. It deals with the possibility that the name and address of a director or of an overseas company may use a character set (for example, that of Urdu or Japanese) which is different from those with which the bulk of Companies House’s users are familiar. This section restricts the characters that are permitted for names and addresses in a document delivered to the registrar to those specified in regulations. The regulations, which are subject to negative resolution procedure, may also provide for names and addresses to be delivered in their original form.

Section 1109: Transliteration of names and addresses: voluntary transliteration into Roman characters

1420. This section is a new provision. It provides for the possibility that the Regulations made under section 1108 may permit letters and characters that are not drawn from the Roman alphabet, for example Greek letters. This section permits these names to be transliterated provided that certain requirements are met.