Confirming the Structure of a Company

UK companies conducting business internationally, setting up overseas branches or opening a bank account in another country will often need to provide evidence of the structure of the UK registered company.

Various documents can be used for this purpose and these documents will usually require legalisation before they are presented overseas.

Certificate of Good Standing

A Certificate of Good Standing is a formal document issued by Companies House and is commonly used to affirm the details of a UK company. Primarily, the certificate details which jurisdiction a company is registered in, the law that governs the company and the fact that the company has been in unbroken existence since the date it was incorporated.

In addition to this the certificate can also show the following:

  • Directors names
  • Directors service addresses
  • Directors date of birth (Only Month and Year will be shown for security purposes)
  • Secretary names
  • Secretary Service address
  • Registered Office

Additional information recorded at Companies House can also be shown in most cases. Historically, the certificate could also show the details of the shareholders and the issued share capital, however, Companies House will no longer include this information.

We can assist with obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing and can then also legalise this with the apostille accordingly.

Incumbency Certificate

A Certificate of Incumbency is very similar to a Certificate of Good standing with respect to the details that are shown on the document. The main difference is that the document is issued by a private agency, such as ourselves, rather than the registrar of companies. The benefit of this document over the Certificate of Good Standing is that the certificate can show details about the shareholders and the issued share capital, however, this is typically not regarded as an official document in the same sense that a Certificate of Good Standing would be.

Other Documents

A variety of other documents can also be used to substantiate a company’s corporate structure. Some common examples of this include:

  • Current Appointments Report
  • Latest Confirmation Statement/Annual Return
  • Company Information Report
  • Memorandum of Association
  • Resignation and Appointment documents


Most company documents will require solicitor certification in order to be eligible for the apostille. The Certificate of Good Standing is an exception to this rule as the document will be signed by a Companies House registrar.

Whilst many documents can be used to confirm various details about the structure of a company these will often only provide a snapshot of the company structure at a given time. If the current appointments or share structure has changed over a period of time a single document may not be sufficient. In such an instance a group of documents may be used to confirm the structure of a company over a period of time.

When multiple documents relate to an individual company it is possible to legalise these together, in most cases, as part of a bound set.

We offer two options when legalising company documents:

  • Option 1 – Individual Processing: We arrange for each individual document to be solicitor certified and issue one apostille to each document. The fee for this is £66.00 each.
  • Option 2- Combined Processing: As above, we can combine multiple documents into a bound legal set that is then issued with one apostille. The fee for this is £90.00.

If you require assistance with confirming your company structure and the legalisation of your company documents please contact us today.

About the Author

The Apostille Service are pleased to provide advice on a wide range of document legalisation matters. Our team of advisors contribute to the blog.