What is a company seal?
A company seal is also known as a common seal. It’s an embossing tool used to stamp certain legal documents. This proves that the document is official and approved by the company and its directors. In other words, it acts as the signature of the company. The company’s name is engraved on its seal and it leaves an indentation on paper when used.
Company seals are prepared by a law/legal stationers or you can purchase a seal through a company formation agent who purchases the seal on your behalf.
This guide answers the most common questions about a company’s seal and its uses. If you would like Accountant Online to purchase your company seal, you can order it here or talk to our Client Services Team for more information.
When is it used?
You are usually notified when required to use a company seal. They are usually used to mark official documents as authentic. You may use a company seal on:
- Minutes Of Meetings
- Share Transfers
- Company law documents
- Contract law documents
- Property law documents
Who can use the company seal?
According to the Companies Act 2014, a company’s seal can only be used “by the authority of its directors, or of a committee of its directors authorised by its directors in that behalf”.
This means that the directors must give permission before any other person uses the seal.
Each time the seal is used, it needs to be signed by a director or other authorised person and it must be countersigned by the company secretary or other authorised person.
Where do I keep my company seal?
Your company seal is usually kept in Ireland. However, if it’s regularly used outside of Ireland, you may need a separate seal with the name of the country on it.
For example, the word “Spain” should be on the seal if it’s only used in Spain. The word “France” should be on the seal if the director concludes business in France.
Rather than having a number of company seals in different countries, the company seal is usually kept at the registered office in Ireland. This means that if a contract is completed in Spain, the seal would be sent to the director and then returned to the registered office in Ireland when the business is concluded.
Replacing your Company Seal
You may need to buy a new Company Seal if changes are made to your:
- Company Name: If your company name changes, even slightly, you will need to purchase a new Company Seal with the correct name on it.
- Company Type: If your company structure changes, for example, if you change from a Public Limited Company to a Private Limited Company, you will need to purchase a new seal to reflect the change.
The Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020
The Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act was put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Act, which has now been extended until December 31rst, 2021, means that the directors and company secretary responsible for signing off on the use of the company seal can do so remotely.
Usually, two directors or one director and one company secretary are required to witness and sign off on the use of the company seal on official documents in person. However, this Act means that these signatures can be made on separate pages in separate locations and still be valid. This ensures that companies can execute documents remotely and safely.
Order your company seal today
If you need a company seal, you can order one through a law/legal stationers or you can purchase a seal through a company formation agent who purchases the seal on your behalf. It is usually purchased after you set up your Limited Company because you need to make sure your company name is approved first.
Order your company seal through Accountant Online today. You’ll receive your company seal within 2-3 working days.