Register as a business
Registering your business with us
If you are a business (or body corporate), you must register with us if you intend to use any of the following protected titles in your company or trading name:
- Ophthalmic optician;
- The title of optometrist;
- The title of dispensing optician;
- The title of optician(s);
- The title of registered optician when it is not registered;
- Or takes or uses any name, title, addition or description falsely implying that it is registered.
A body corporate is a limited company or limited liability partnership that has been incorporated with Companies House. In addition, you must meet the eligibility requirements for registration, which are set out as below, to register.
You cannot be registered with the GOC if you do not satisfy the registration requirements set out below.
We have produced a flowchart explaining the body corporate registration process.
If you require any assistance completing your registration form, please contact the Registration team at email@example.com or on 020 7580 3898 (option 1).
Important Notice – Joining the register during 2024/25 registration renewal
You must register with us as a body corporate if you intend to use a protected title in your company or trading name. We are approaching the end of the current registration year which runs from 1 April – 31 March. Body corporate registrants are now able to renew their registration for 2024/25.
If you want to apply to join the body corporate register, you have two options:
Option 1: Register now and then complete renewal (in total this will cost £575)
If you need to register before 1 April, we will send you a PayPal invoice upon receipt of your application for:
- Quarter 4 2023-24 fee = £95
- Registration fee = £75
- Total = £170
Once registered you will need to login to MyGOC and complete annual renewal as a body corporate registrant. You will need to pay the annual registration fee:
- Annual renewal fee 2024/25 = £405
This must be completed by 31 March 2024 or you will be removed from the register.
Option 2: Register after 1 April (in total this will cost £485)
This option is only applicable if you intend to start using a protected title after 1 April.
Upon receipt of your application after 1 April, we will send you a PayPal invoice for:
- Quarter 1 2024-25 fee = £405
- Registration fee = £80
- Total = £485
What action do I need to take?
If you need to proceed with Option 1, please click “Begin Application” once you have read through the rest of the guidance on this page and are ready to apply.
If you wish to proceed with Option 2, no action is required until 1 April. You will need to submit your application after this date.
How to apply
- Before you begin your application read the important information, provided below, in full. It will save you time and help you complete the application
- Complete the application form to register as a business with the GOC, including any required supporting documentation.
- Pay the appropriate application fee.
The information you will need to complete an application to register as business with us
- Relevant information about the business including:
- registered address
- any practice addresses
- If you are applying under:
- Category A - details of all company directors
- Category C - a completed Qualification under Section 9(2)(c) of the Opticians Act 1989 form - this will need to be uploaded as part of the application (see registration requirements for more information)
- Details of any declarations you may need to make relating to the applicant and any director (including non-GOC registered directors). Find out more about when and how to make a declaration.
Please do not begin this application without having the information listed above available as you will not be able to complete it. You are not able to save progress on this form.
In order to be eligible to enter the register, your body corporate needs to meet one of the following requirements:
The majority of the directors are registered optometrists, registered dispensing opticians or registered body corporates. Complete this category if the majority of directors (over 50%) are GOC registered optometrists, dispensing opticians and/or body corporates or, if there is only one director, they are a registered optometrist or dispensing optician or body corporate.
Note: We treat a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) 'designated member' as being equivalent to a company director.
The applicant was included in a health service ophthalmic list on 20.11.1957. If you consider that you meet these requirements please contact the Registration team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
(i) The greater part of the applicant’s business consists of activities other than the testing of sight and fitting and supply of optical appliances; and(ii) that so much of its business as consists of the testing of sight is carried on under the management of a registered optometrist; and(iii) that so much of its business as consists of the fitting and supply of optical appliances is carried on under the management of a registered optometrist or registered dispensing optician.
Complete this category if fees for work as optometrist or dispensing opticians, and receipts for optical appliances designed to correct, relieve or remedy a defect of sight, do not exceed 49% of the total receipts of the body corporate for sales and services in the year.
The testing of sight must be under the management of a registered optometrist and the fitting and supply of optical appliances must be under the management of a registered optometrist or dispensing optician.
The person(s) named, or their successors must have full powers of management and discretion on professional issues. You must notify us if this situation changes.
If you are applying under this category you will need to complete and attach the Qualification under Section 9(2)(c) of the Opticians Act 1989 form with your application.
We will not be able to process your application under this category without it.
The applicant is an Industrial & Provident Society and the testing of sight is carried on under the management of a registered optometrist and the fitting and supply of optical appliances is carried on under the management of a registered optometrist or dispensing optician. If you consider that you meet these requirements please contact the Registration team at email@example.com for further information.
Using a protected title
If you are intending to use a protected title, you will need a title of permission letter from our Registration team in order to incorporate your business with Companies House.
To request one please fill out this application form.
If you use a protected title and do not register you shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine. If you are unsure if your body corporate falls into this category you should seek your own independent legal advice.
You may register with us if you are not using a protected title so long as you satisfy the registration requirements, specifically those set out in 'Registration requirements' above.