Companies House, the UK registrar of companies, today announced the launch of its public beta search service allowing users to access all of its digital data free of charge.
This means users will be able to access over 170m digital records on companies and directors including financial accounts, company filings and details on directors and secretaries.
Prior to this users had been required pay a nominal fee of up to £1. The BIS has previously said customers spent a total of £8.7m accessing company information held by Companies House in 2013-14.
"In making this move to free data we'll be giving £6m back to UK Plc but more importantly removing a barrier to accessing the public information on companies," Tim Moss, Registrar of Companies, said.
"When we've previously released data for free we see increases in its use. This can only be good for the economy as it encourages people to use the data in new and innovative ways, carry out more analyses on companies, and make better decisions."
Companies house will be using feedback received through the new site's survey link as well as releasing new search features over the next few months.
The new service is available here.