ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Knowledge guide to international company registration

This Knowledge Guide provides information about the company registers of countries internationally, and where possible, access to the registers. The guide covers official and unofficial information sources from the print collection of the ICAEW Library & Information service and the internet.

Last updated: December 2014

Company registration in Australia

Publicly available information from the Australian Business Register, supplied by companies when they register for an Australian Business Number (ABN), can be accessed via the ABN Lookup.

Certain companies are required to lodge financial reports with the Australian Securities and Investments Commissions (ASIC). Generally, small proprietary companies do not have to send financial statements to the ASIC. Go to Search ASICs registers to carry out a search for company information.

Companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) must also submit their financial statements to the ASX.

Company registration in Austria

Publication requirements for small, medium and large corporations differ depending upon the size and legal form of a firm. All are filed in the commercial register.

Financial statements for some companies including those listed on the stock exchange, banks, insurance companies and large AGs must also be published in the official daily newspaper the Wiener Zeitung

Company information is available from the European Business Register (EBR).

Company registration in Belgium

The Central Register of Commerce in Belgium is managed by Euro DB. Information from the register is available via a subscription service.

Certain companies have to file accounts with the Central Balance Sheet Office of the National Bank of Belgium. The National Bank of Belgium provides information about filing annual accounts including companies which are required to file.

Company accounts are available from the National Bank of Belgium through their Central Balance Sheet Office web section. Accounts can be searched for by company number or name. They can also be obtained via the European Business Register (EBR).

Company registration in Canada

The Corporations Canada section of the Industry Canada site has information on business incorporation. There is also a directory of Canadian federal corporations.

The Canadian Business Services Centres contains information about registering a business and is organised by province/territory.

Only quoted companies are obliged to make their financial statements public. SEDAR, the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval, is a filing system developed for the Canadian Securities Administrators and provides access to public securities documents and information filed by public companies.

Company registration in Denmark

The Central Business Register (CVR) contains primary data on all businesses in Denmark. Information, including financial data, can be downloaded from the site for a fee.

Company information can also be obtained via the European Business Register (EBR).

Company registration in Europe

The European Business Register (EBR) is a network of national business registers and information providers from over 25 European countries. The company information comes from the official business registry of the country. A subscription is required to use this service.

Company registration in Finland

The National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland is the official register for Finnish companies. Most businesses must submit their annual accounts to the register. Further information can be obtained from the Trade Register.

Company information is available from the Finnish Business Information System, and can also be obtained via the European Business Register (EBR).

Company registration in France

The trade and companies register Infogreffe provides access to company information and annual accounts.

The filing of accounts and other statutory information is published in the Bulletin Officiel D'Annonces Civiles et Commerciales (BODACC), the official bulletin of civil and commercial notices.

Company information can also be obtained from the European Business Register (EBR).

Company registration in Germany

The Company Register provides a centralised point of access for company information and is free of charge.

All companies are required to file annual accounts with the Federal Gazette Business Register (Bundesanzeiger Verlagsgesellschaft) and to publish them once a year.

The Common register of the German federal states is a portal providing access to registers of companies, cooperatives and partnerships registered in all federal states in Germany.

Company information can also be obtained from the European Business Register (EBR).

Company registration in Gibraltar

The Gibraltar: Finance Centre provides a summary of company registration in Gibraltar.

Company information can be obtained from the European Business Register (EBR).

Company registration in Greece

Business Search is a service provided by the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Greece (ACCI). This service displays detailed company data. Registration is required.

Company information can also be obtained from the European Business Register (EBR).

Company registration in Guernsey

The Guernsey Register holds information on all companies registered in Guernsey. A Company search is available, with charges applying for some information.

Company registration in Hong Kong

Companies must register and file financial statements with the Companies Registry. The Companies Registry website outlines what information is available to the public. Data can be accessed via the Companies Registry's Cyber Search Centre. A charge is made for some company information.

Company registration in India

Companies register within the various States and Union Territories with the Registrar of Companies (ROC).

Company registration in Ireland

The Companies Registration Office is the central repository of public statutory information on Irish companies and business. A Company Search is available as well as information on company registration and filing requirements.

Company information can also be obtained from the European Business Register (EBR).

Company registration in the Isle of Man

The Companies Registry maintains the register and records of all companies and other business types incorporated in the Isle of Man. An online search is available and company documents can also be purchased.

Company registration in Italy

Company information can be accessed via the Italian Business Register. Some company information is available for free, with registration required for other services. Information can also be obtained via the European Business Register (EBR).

The Chamber of Commerce portal provides information on setting up a business in Italy.

Company registration in Jersey

Companies register with the Jersey Financial Services Commission Companies Registry. The web site include company search, application forms, guidance notes and information on relevant legislation.

Company information can also be obtained from the European Business Register (EBR).

Company registration in the Netherlands

Companies are obliged to enter their key details in the Trade Register which is managed by the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce. Searching the register is free but a charge is made for some information. Information on how to register a company can be found on the Chamber of Commerce site.

Company information can also be obtained from the European Business Register (EBR).

Company registration in New Zealand

Companies must register and file annual returns with the New Zealand Companies Office.

Company information is available from the Companies Office Register. Basic company information is free whilst other data is priced.

Companies listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) must also submit their financial statements to the NZX.

Company registration in Norway

The The Brønnøysund Register Centre is a government body under the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries which consists of a number of national registers.

The Register of Company Accounts collects annual accounts from all private and public limited companies, savings banks, mutual insurance companies and petroleum enterprises.

The Register of Business Enterprises registers all Norwegian and foreign business enterprises in Norway. Most information in the Register is available to the public.

Online access to Announcements from these registers is available. Fees for information apply for most of the services from the The Brønnøysund Register Centre

Company information can also be obtained via the European Business Register (EBR).

Company registration in Portugal

Companies must register and file financial statements with the Commercial Registry. See the Institute of Registries and Notaries for more information (Portuguese language only)

Company registration in Singapore

Companies file with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). A list of Filing requirements is available on their site.

A Directory of Registered Entities is also available on the ACRA site. Basic information such as registered number, name and status is available for free with other information priced.

Company registration in South Africa

Companies must register with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. The CIPC offers a number of free search facilities via the Find Enterprise & Intellectual Property Information section of its site.

Company registration in Spain

Capital companies file their financial statements with an agency of the commercial registrar in their province. Information is supplied to the Registro Mercantil Central (Central Business Register) which provides access to information on registered companies.

For more information on setting up a company see the Spanish Registers site.

Company information can also be obtained via the European Business Register (EBR).

The stock market requires that quoted companies supply particular information to the National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

Company registration in Sweden

Companies must register with the Bolagsverket which is the Swedish Companies Registration Office.

Limited liability companies have to file annual accounts with the Bolagsverket. Other companies may have to file accounts depending upon their size.

Company information is available from the Bolagsverket and also the web site Allabolag.se.

The European Business Register (EBR) also provides company information for Sweden.

Company registration in Switzerland

Zefix, the Central Business Names Index of the Federal Commercial Registry Office, contains details of all companies listed in the Commercial Register.

Not all companies are required to publish financial statements.

Company registration in the UK

Companies House is the registration body for the UK, including Northern Ireland. Information from Companies House includes advisory documents on company formation and company names, checklists for company registration, guidance notes and forms. It also offers a company information database. Some company details are free, with charges applying for other documents.

The Registry of Credit Unions and Industrial and Provident Societies is the registration body for Northern Ireland responsible for credit unions and industrial and provident societies only; companies in Northern Ireland register at Companies House. The registry website offers forms, guidance and a searchable database of registered entities.

Company information for the UK is available from the European Business Register

Company registration in the US

Incorporation is the responsibility of the State governments with requirements varying according to State law. See the Register with State agencies section of the US Small Business Administration web site for links to States web sites.

All public companies have to file financial statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Private companies are not required to do so. Search for company filings in the SEC's EDGAR Database.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by fax on +44 (0)20 7920 8621 or by email at library@icaew.com.