Isn’t it annoying when you can’t remember your PIN number? I’ve had the same number for years, it’s never changed, and I use it at least two or three times a week. How could I forget it? What’s more difficult is remembering those PINs, codes and passwords that you do not use as frequently. If someone asked me my national insurance number or my driving licence number, I couldn’t tell them instantly, but I know where to find them.

It’s a bit like knowing your authentication code when send your information to Companies House using our online services. You might only use it once or twice a year, but you need to have it to make your online filings.

The authentication code is a 6-digit alphanumeric code issued to each company. The code is used to authorise information filed online and is the equivalent of a company officer’s signature.

If you’re new to online filing, you’ll need to register your email address and password. Select ‘Request an authentication code’. Enter your company registration number and Select ‘Request code’.

Your code will be sent by post to your company’s registered office. If your company already has a code, we’ll send a reminder. For security reasons, we cannot send your authentication code by email or tell you over the phone. You’ll use the same authentication code for your company for either our online filing services or third-party software.

You should treat your company’s authentication code with the same care as your bank card PIN. Anyone who knows your code is able to change your company’s details online. If you forget your code, do not wait until you’re due to file to request a new code.  It can take up to 5 days to arrive, or longer during busy periods.

Just like your bank PIN number you can change your authentication code to something more memorable, but do not make it easy to guess. Use a mix letters and numbers keep it safe. Only share your code with someone you trust to file information for your company. Change your code if it’s known by someone you do not trust and remember to change your code if it’s known by someone who’s no longer authorised to file for your company (such as staff who’ve left your company, or your previous accountant).

So, a quick test for you. Do you know what your authentication code is? If not, you might want to check when your company filings are due and make sure that you have your code well in advance in order to file before the deadlines.