Companies House has encouraged businesses to use its improved online tools as it announced it will not be reopening its London office, or customer-service counters in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
Headquartered in Cardiff, the agency closed its location in the English capital at the start of the pandemic – and it has remained shut ever since. Also shuttered in response to the pandemic were walk-up counters in Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff, which offered in-person support with Companies House services.
In light of improvements to its online platforms, the agency has decided it will not be reopening any of these facilities, it has announced.
“Working with customers, we’ve put new ways in place to submit documents, enhancing our digital offering and reducing reliance on public counters,” Companies House said, in a statement. “As we continue to transform our services to provide a truly modern and digital service, it’s been decided that our public counters will not reopen.”
The agency added: “It’s quicker and easier to file information online. Our online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
In response to an inquiry from PublicTechnologyCompanies House indicated that no jobs have been lost as a result of the closure of the offices and counters.
It also said that anyone who requires assistance with digital platforms can call a support line that is open from 8.30am to 6pm on weekdays, and offers step-by-step help with online services. The agency also employs a dedicated Customer Care team, whose role is to support users who still file paper documents. An Accessibility Team, meanwhile, “provides reasonable adjustments to customers who would otherwise struggle to use our services”, it said.
While the support counters are now closed, Companies House still runs offices in Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff, where members of the public can still deliver documents by hand.
The agency, which is sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, manages the registration and dissolution, as well as the filing of annual accounts, updated company information, and other official documents for more than four million limited companies registered in the UK. An additional 500,000 firms are registered with Companies House each year.
Members of the public can also use its free online services to search for information on businesses and directors, and download company documents.