Northern Ireland Companies

From October 2009 the Companies Act will apply to all UK companies. Companies registered in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland will all fall under one registrar. This will integrate all existing Northern Ireland companies (approximately 38,000) and all future incorporations to Companies House systems.

Historically companies that were registered in Northern Ireland were governed by the Company Registry Northern Ireland which was previously part of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment Northern Ireland (DETINI). All company records have now been transferred to Companies House in Cardiff, the main UK registrar. The Belfast registry will still continue in a similar capacity to that of Companies House in Edinburgh which operates for Scottish companies.

So what are the main changes for Northern Ireland (NI) companies?

  • Forms – NI companies will begin using the new forms in October 2009 as set out by the Companies Act 2006. All UK companies will be switching to these new forms. For more information please see our pages on the new Companies House forms.
  • Data – All of the NI company data will be merged into a single register held by Companies House. This will mean that company searches, name checks, and the supply of information will all be accessed via Companies House websites. The DETINI websites previously used will no longer available from 1 October 2009.
  • Registered Office – Any company previously registered in NI and all future NI registered companies will still need to maintain a registered office in Northern Ireland. They will not be able to switch locations to Scotland, Wales or England.
  • Company Numbers – All companies registered in Northern Ireland will retain their NI prefix. For example, NI123456.
  • NI registry – The office currently located at Waterfront Plaza, 8 Langbank Road, Belfast, will continue to operate to support NI companies. It will now operate as part of Companies House. All communication will now be handled by Companies House. Previous DETINI contact details, emails, websites, etc. will no longer operate after 1 October 2009.
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