Companies House introduced authentication codes as a means of ensuring that instructions it received to make changes to a company, were in fact from authorised persons.
In the past (and to a certain extent the present) documents such as Form AD01 (previously Form 287, change of company registered office or Form AP01 (Form 288a), appointment of a director or secretary, were sent to Companies House by bogus individuals.
On the assumption that the documents were genuine, the requested changes were then made and enabled persons who were not officially representatives of the company to commit fraud or other illegal acts.
Authentication codes are now issued on the incorporation of every UK company. The Form PR1 is no longer used to apply from membership of the Companies House Proof Scheme as this paper document could be subject to the same manipulation as any other paper document capable of fraudulently being filed with the Registrar of Companies.
The use of authentication codes and initial registration with the Proof Scheme must now take place online. As the person incorporating the company would be provided with the unique code (usually via their email address), there is generally less chance of false registrations taking place.
On making any changes to the company, the issued code would have to be input and validated.
Changing an Authentication Code
Authentication codes can be changed online to one which the user may find easier to remember. Of course, the original code must be used in order to log on to the system in order to make the alteration.
The code can not only be used on the government Web filing service, it can also be used in any third party system which is capable of communicating with Companies House.