Although there is no legal requirement for your company to have a seal, there may be circumstances when a seal is required.
Although many contracts require only a signature, possibly witnessed, some require the authority of the attachment of the seal to the document.
Generally, any contract which must be evidenced by a Deed will require the attachment of the company seal (or, because Companies Act allows companies to dispense with the use of their seal, by being signed "as a Deed" by two directors or a director and the secretary, or, by a director and a witness).
The seal is the signature of the company, and the manner of its use is set out in the articles of association.
It is usual for the seal to be witnessed by a director or a secretary, and for details of each document to which the seal is affixed to be entered in a Register of Seals, which is subsequently brought to a board meeting.
This procedure enables the seal to be used between board meetings, but subsequently grants the authority of the whole board to its use. To evidence this Chairman should initial below the most recent item in the Register. If all items are numbered sequentially (and it may be helpful to insert the number from the sealing register on the document sealed) authority can be evidenced by a minute such as this draft.
When conducting business overseas, or entering into contracts with overseas customers, or foreign lawyers, local regulations may require that your company applies its seal to legal documents, contracts, or lease agreement.
A company that has a common seal may have an official seal for use outside the United Kingdom. The official seal must be a facsimile of the company's common seal, with the addition on its face of the place or places where it is to be used. The official seal when duly affixed to a document has the same effect as the company's common seal.
The person affixing the official seal must certify in writing on the deed or other document to which the seal is affixed the date on which, and place at which, it is affixed.
Coddan offers a company seal as an optional extra. A company seal can be ordered from Coddan at the same time as you order your company formation, or as a stand alone service.