How to Register a Company with Companies House
Registering a company with Companies House is a step towards turning your business dream into a money-making reality. You can pay an accountant to take care of the registration process for you. Or you can do it yourself by following the steps outlined in this article.
- Did you know? With our company formation packages, you can register a company with Companies House from just £9.99.
1. Decide If It’s the Right Option for You
Before finding out how to register a Ltd company, take some time to consider the alternatives.
If you are a contractor, it could make more sense to become a sole trader. Under this model, you are in full control of your company. There are no directors or shareholders to consult. And you don’t need to register with Companies House.
That said, there are two significant benefits to registering a limited company:
- Your personal assets should be protected if the company gets into financial trouble.
- It’s an effective way to manage your tax, particularly if your company is set to make a profit of over £25,000 per year.
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.
2. Pick a Name for Your Limited Company
When you register a company name with Companies House, you need to be sure it hasn’t been taken and that it can’t be confused with the name of another business.
Consider choosing a name that explains what your business does (i.e. ‘Sankey and Tucker’s Delicatessen’). Steer clear of names that are difficult to spell, and think about whether it will work well in a web address. Perhaps you’ll decide to include a high-value search term that you’ll use in a Google pay-per-click campaign to drive people to your website.
Have a name in mind already? With our free online search tool, you can check whether your company name is available with Companies House.
3. Seek Help from an Expert
A company formation specialist can help you:
- Register your company with Companies House
- Manage your tax by supplementing your earnings from the company dividends
- Complete the Memorandum of Association that spells out how you will run your company and for what purpose
- Issue shares to other shareholders and understands the types of shares available
Did you know? With our company formation packages, you get expert help on how to register a limited company. 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. Register with Companies House
Companies House is the government agency that holds the records of all the limited companies in the UK. They’ll want to know the name and address of your company and the name of the company director. You’ll also need to fill in and return some forms.
If you don’t have a separate address for your business, you should use your home address to register your company. 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.
5. Register for Corporation Tax
You should 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 with Companies House. This will include your tax reference number and the deadline for filing your annual return.
6. 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.
7. Register your Company as an Employer
You must do this, even if the only person you’ll be paying is yourself as the company director.
8. Set Up a Business Bank Account
Before they’ll give you an account, some banks will want to see the documents you provided to Companies House and perhaps even a business plan. Don’t forget to check what fees the bank charges for standard business services like setting up a standing order or clearing a cheque.
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.
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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.