23 June 2015
Companies House has released a new service that will allow all public digital data held on the UK register of companies to be accessed free of charge.
The service was originally intended for release in April but was delayed, finally appearing on 22 June. Users have access to over 170 million digital records and can search for a range of information including financial accounts, company filings and details on directors and secretaries throughout the life of the company.
The data can be accessed freely through a web service and application program interface, and will supply real time updates on the situations of companies. The register contains information on over 3.5 million companies, and more than 9 million changes are made to its records every year.Although the data was previously available to all, Companies House had been charging for its use.
In a video statement that accompanied the release, Companies House Chief Executive Tim Moss said that the move to free access could ‘only be good for the economy as it encourages people to use the data in new and innovative ways, carry out more analysis on companies and make better decisions’.
The service is now in beta, meaning that although it has been released to the public, it could still have some bugs. Companies House has asked for feedback on the service, and has announced that it will be releasing a range of new search features in the coming months.
The new service can be accessed here.