"Company House" - Principal Source of checkSURE Company Data
Company House is a term often mistaken for Companies House, the UK government agency that regulates companies and business. If you want to call Companies House, 'Company House' - it's a free country!
Company House, the UK's regulatory body for company registrations and financial records, is an impressive regime and held up as a model of best practice around the world. The remit for Company House is to regulate the corporate sector and provide company information on UK companies. It does not hold information on all the companies in the world!
Company House has two main functions: the administration of the companies' registry and the provision of company information to the public. Whilst it is excellent at storing information, it is not so good at presenting it in an easily digestible fashion on the Web. In fact, whilst it is often thought that Company House is a government department, it is an executive agency of the DTI.
Company House - World Beating
As an agency, Company House operates within an increasingly dynamic public sector with demands for rising levels of efficiency and accuracy for the taxpayers. Company House aims to satisfy regulatory obligations and customer needs efficiently and economically and is generally accepted to be world class. In practical terms, Company House delivers, where possible, products and services information, guidance booklets, FAQs and company information to any one who contacts them. checkSURE takes delivery of Company House information in basic form through an intermediary company called ICC and then reformats for ease of use, display and storage in several report formats through its innovative web service.
Company House is also one of the few public sector organizations that can say that it is at the forefront of digitizing its information so that it can be accessed through the Web - although, it has some way to go in this respect from the point of view of ease of use. In fact, over a 100 million company documents received in Company House over the last 15 or so years are available through the checkSURE service as PDF images. Apparently, the total grows by more than 5 million documents a year, making it one of the world's largest publicly-accessible repositories of digital image-based information.
Company House - Internet Savvy
Company House is also one of the few UK government organisations that dominates the Internet addresses associated with their name. Clearly someone with knowledge of the Web within the Company House building has decided that these should be protected.
All recent and current records of millions of trading companies, together with those of company secretaries and directors, are covered. Given the Department of Trade and Industry's plans for the delivery of public sector services through the web by 2005, Company House is definitely ahead of the game in this respect.
checkSURE's information is primarily dependant on the quality of information supplied and held by Company House and the company house documents since the directors of Company are legally required to submit certain types of information and keep this data up to date. Even though the data is received unformatted it can be analyzed either by computer or by the mark one human eyeball.
Obviously checkSURE's information, like all UK data deliverers, is only as good as what the law can cajole, induce or enforce individual directors and owners of the Company and businesses that it covers to submit to Company House for addition to the Government governed database.
However, since the legal measures taken against those who do not adhere to the law and refuse to submit accurate information in a correct and timely manner is taken reasonably seriously in the UK, Company House has a superior track record than broadly similar bodies in other countries in getting the data right.
In the Federal Republic of Germany, for example, many limited businesses choose to pay an enforced levy rather than reveal their financials to their German equivalents.
This may be a sensible position from a commercial point of view since company data is sensitive at the best of times and meeting these legal reporting requirements might endanger their business plans.
Nonetheless, when business people choose to limit their liability behind a legal personality such as that of a limited company, they should expect to provide information on their activities, which is available to everyone.
A comparative study of the worldwide regulatory regimes for incorporated businesses would undoubtedly show some deficiencies in the way that the UK Company House operates. Nevertheless, there is an executive agency that the United Kingdom should be very proud to promote as being amongst the best at what it does in an increasingly changing globalised economy - this is Company House.
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Britain may be getting a bit of an economic bashing but here’s an institution of which we should be proud. For more infomation on Companies house go to this page - Read More