Does my limited company need a company seal?

No, your limited company does not need to have a company seal?

What is a company seal?

A company seal – also sometimes called a corporate or common seal – is a device for stamping the limited company's name, and usually the registration number also, onto documents.

Why were seals introduced for limited companies?

All UK limited companies used to be required to have a company seal which had its company name “engraved in legible characters”.  The use of this seal was required on all contracts, deeds and share certificates to make them valid and the idea behind it was straightforward. The use of the company seal was a clear indication of authorisation and action on behalf of the limited company.

What are the rules on using company seals now?

The old rules have now been done away with and the use of a company seal has not been legally required since 1989 when it’s use was made optional.

The current legal position in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is now defined in the Companies Act 2006. This states that you can make limited company documents valid by having them signed instead. They can be signed by two officers of the company (e.g. two directors or a director and company secretary) or by a single director and an independent witness.

The use of a company seal is likely to decline further as online transactions become the norm and the easier option. However, a company seal remains a legitimate means to authenticate documents and some limited companies still to choose to use them for various reasons including to convey a sense of tradition and formal company image or if doing business internationally with a country where company seals are still legally required.

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