1. Weigh Up the Alternatives to a Limited Company
The most popular alternative to registering a company is to operate as a sole trader.
This model has several advantages, particularly if you are a contractor and work for yourself. For one thing, you are in full control. There are no directors or shareholders to run things by. And for another, the only real paperwork you need to worry about relates to your end-of-year taxes.
Another option is to enter a business partnership. Here, you and your partner share responsibility for everything to do with the company and split the profits equally.
2. Consider the Benefits of Registering a Company
There are several advantages to registering a limited company. Perhaps the main one is that your personal assets should be protected if the company builds up debts it can’t pay back. This will give you room to take a little more financial risk when getting the business off the ground.
Registering a limited company can also open avenues to being tax efficient. For instance, you could draw the bulk of your income in company dividends, which aren’t subject to income tax.
What’s more, a limited company can claim more in allowable expenses and reliefs than a sole trader or a partnership. There are tax deductible costs which you can offset against a company’s profits, meaning you get to keep more of your money.
Not sure whether a limited company is right for you? Give one of our business experts a call on 020 7129 8651 (or click ‘feedback’ on the sidebar), Mon-Fri, 9-5.30, for some free advice.
3. Pick a Name for Your Limited Company
The name you register with Companies House needs to be unique. Choose something that you like saying and hearing because you’ll likely be doing both many times a day. Give some thought to how the name will look on marketing material and make sure it’s easy to spell.
Got a name in mind? With our free online search tool, you can check whether your company name is available with Companies House.
4. Get Expert Help
A company foundation specialist can help you:
- Minimise what you pay in tax
- Register your company with Companies House
- Complete the Memorandum of Association that explains how you will run your company
- Issue shares to other shareholders and understand the types of shares available and how they work
5. Pick a Company Formation Package
With our company formation packages, cheap company registration (UK) is quick and simple. There are four packages to choose from:
- E-Formation (£9.99): perfect if you want to secure a company name and don’t need any official printed documents.
- Essential (£19.99): offers you complete confidence that you’re starting a company with the rules and regulations covered.
- Entrepreneur (£59.99): kick-start your next big venture with official compliance and additional documents of incorporation.
- Super (£89.99): the complete secretarial and compliance package to establish your company on a robust footing.
Best of all, when you sign up for one of our company formation packages, we pay the £12 Companies House filing fee for you!
6. Register Your Company as an Employer
You must do this even if the only person you plan on paying is yourself in your capacity as company director.
7. Register for VAT
If your annual turnover will be more than £85,000, you should register for VAT. This is something an accountant or company formation specialist can help you with.
8. Register for Corporation Tax
Make sure to do this in your first three months of trading or you could have to pay a fine. HMRC will send you the information you need after you register your company with Companies House. This will include your tax reference number and the deadline for filing your annual return.
9. Set Up a Business Bank Account
If you don’t have time to shop around, we can save you the hassle and help you set up a business bank account. We have a special relationship with Barclays which means you’ll get a range of great benefits with a Barclays Bank Business Account for Start-ups:
- Free business banking for 12 months (terms and conditions apply)
- Loyalty rewards – the longer you bank, the more money you get back
- Support and guidance from the Barclays Business Banking telephone team
- Manage your account online, by phone, via the Barclays Mobile Banking app or in branch
Register your own business from £9.99
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- Set up a basic Limited Company that’s ready to trade and choose anything else you need as extra.
- An easy way to set up a company that’s ready to trade. Plus, your official printed certificates.
- Your official certificates & company register. Plus, a registered business address, FREE for 3 months.
- The hassle and risk-free option for getting started and growing your limited company.
- Starter plus a comprehensive SME legal documents and credit score build & monitor service.
Ready to have your company set up?
What is a company formation agent?
Formation agents perform company registrations in partnership with Companies House. We’re one of the largest, and also the cheapest. We don’t just get your company registered then leave you to it – we use our experience to help you start your business properly. There are plenty of reasons to use a formation agent rather than go directly to Companies House. If you ask us, though, the best thing is that we go through the whole process with you, and get your application submitted securely online. We provide expert advice on the legal hurdles while you incorporate, and recommend good quality solutions that you might need after you’ve formed.
What’s the difference between sole trader and limited company?
Think of it this way: when you form a limited company, you put a protective shield between you and your business. Being a sole trader is the opposite – you have no protection. As a sole trader, you are responsible for any debt you might come into while you’re in business. When you register and become the director of your own limited company, you have less personal responsibility. The benefits are that you can claim back expenses, and add to your salary with dividend payments at the end of the year. For more information, see our Help Centre article about limited companies and sole traders.
How do I register a company?
Easy, we’ll do it for you. Check out our formation bundles to learn more about our different products. They start at £9.99, and go all the way up to our Super bundle. Limited company formation is a straightforward business if you’re as well-versed with the process as we are. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our company formation guides for an introduction and some insider tips.
Why The Formations Company?
We’re dedicated to British business, and love nothing more than seeing new companies flourish. 750,000 UK companies have trusted us to help them register, and we have thousands of happy customers who’ve seen how simple the formations process can be. We’re cheaper than going to Companies House directly, and cost less than most accountants. Our online application is incredibly simple, and if you’ve got all your documents handy it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to complete. So what are you waiting for? Start your business today.