How to Add Your Business to the Company House Register
Making the decision to register your business with Companies House is a big step in any entrepreneur’s life. The good news is that you can complete the process online and you’ll only have to do it once. In this article we’ll explain how to register a company with Companies House in 9 simple steps.
1. Give Some Thought to the Alternatives
Is registering a limited company with Companies House the right option for you?
Depending on your circumstances, it could make more sense to become a sole trader. Here, you are in full control of your company. There are no directors or shareholders to consult. And you don’t need to register your business with Companies House.
Another option is to enter into a business partnership. In this case, you share responsibility for the company with someone you trust – including shared responsibility for all profits and losses.
2. Weigh Up the Benefits of Registering Your Business
There are attractive benefits to registering your business with Companies House. For one thing, your personal assets be protected if the business builds up debts it can’t pay back. This is the meaning of ‘limited liability’ in the phrase ‘limited liability company’.
Registering a limited company can also be a way to manage what you pay in tax. For instance, you might decide to:
- Draw the bulk of your income in company dividends, which aren’t subject to the income tax that applies to an ordinary salary
- Take advantage of the tax write-offs and expenses available to registered business owners
3. Speak to an Expert
A company foundation specialist can help you:
- Register your company with Companies House
- Minimise what you pay in tax and explain which tax-deductible costs you can offset against the company’s profits
- Issue shares to other shareholders if there are people you’d like to invest capital to get the company up and running
Did you know? With our company formation packages, you can add your business to the Company House register quickly and simply. 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!
4. Choose Your Business Name
This name needs to be unique to your business – that means it can’t already have been registered with Companies House.
- Choose a business name that you feel comfortable saying and that will have positive associations for your future customers.
- Give some thought to how the name will look on marketing material. Is it easy to spell? Does it give an idea of the service your business offers?
5. Register with Companies House
Once you’ve chosen your business name, it’s time to register it with Companies House. This process is known as ‘incorporation’.
As well as registering your business name, you’ll need to fill out and return a few standard legal documents, including:
- Memorandum of Association – includes your business name, address and the type of business
- Articles of Association – spells out your rights as the director of the company and the rights of any shareholders
If you don’t have a separate address for your business, you should use your home address for Company House registration. But if you aren’t comfortable with your home address being made public, we offer a Registered Agent Service which lets you register your business at our Central London location.
6. 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
7. Register as an Employer
Even if the only person you’ll be paying is yourself in your capacity as a company director, you’ll need to register your business as an employer.
8. Register for VAT
If your annual turnover will be more than £85,000, you should register for VAT. This is something an accountant can help you with.
9. Register for Corporation Tax
Make sure to do this in the first three months or you could have to pay a fine. HMRC will send you the information you need after you register your business. Look out for your unique 10-digit your tax reference number and make a note of the deadline for filing your annual return.
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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.
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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.