09 July 2015

New Companies House search facility

First impression of the new free access to UK company data

The new Companies House search facility, giving free access to information on UK companies and copies of filed documents, has been launched in beta here.

My first impression is that it's excellent - immediate one-click access to documents, a huge improvement on the previous elaborate process of selecting, paying for and downloading documents through the public Webcheck facility and the subscription services used by business customers.

The only downside I can see is that information is now so easily accessible that I'm sure there will be an increase in abuse. There appears to be no attempt to prevent automated services harvesting information, which is now all free of charge, which could be used to assist in identity fraud, to identify targets for spam, or to put together more sophisticated abuses. the information was all there before, but was only available if you knew you wanted it and  were prepared to pay your quid per document.

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