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How to Register a Company Name with Companies House

Looking to start a limited company? First, you’ll need to register a company name with Companies House.


Having a registered company name will show potential customers that your business is legitimate and trustworthy. It’s pretty simple to register a company name and you should only need to do it once.

Read on for our quick explainer about how to register a company name.


1. Run a Company Name Check

Before you register a company name with Companies House, you need to be sure it hasn’t already been taken.

Choose a name that helps explain what your business does when it’s read in isolation, and avoid names that are difficult to spell. Think about how your name will work as a web address.

To distinguish your business from others offering similar services, consider including your location (i.e. ‘South Leeds Roofers and Joiners’).

Have a name in mind already? With our free online search tool, you can check whether your company name is available with Companies House.


2. Start a Limited Company

Once you’ve chosen your company name, it’s time to register it with Companies House. This process is known as ‘incorporation’.

As well as registering your company name, you’ll need to fill out and return a few standard legal documents:

• Memorandum of Association – a record of your company name, address and the type of business you run.
• Articles of Association – spells out your rights as the director of the company and the rights of any shareholders.

Did you know? With our company formation packages, you can start a limited company quickly and simply. There are four packages to choose from:

• E-Formation (£9.99): perfect if you want to register 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!


3. Register for Corporation Tax

After setting up a limited company with Companies House, you’ll need to register it for Corporation Tax. You should do this within three months.

To register for Corporation Tax, you’ll need your company’s 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). HMRC should send this to you by post within 14 days of registering your company with Companies House.

How to find out your company UTR number?

You can also find your Company Unique Tax Reference (UTR) on any correspondence you receive from your Corporation Tax Office. You can also phone HMRC on 0300 200 3310 to request your UTR number.


4. Register for VAT

You should register for VAT if your business’s annual turnover is more than £85,000. This is something that an accountant or company formation specialist can help you with.


5. 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.


6. Set up a Business Bank Account

Some banks will want to see the documents you provided to Companies House and even a business plan before they’ll give you an account. Don’t forget to check what fees they charge 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

Find out more and sign up today

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Formation bundles



e-formation formation icon
  • £9.99
  • E-Formation

  • Set up a basic Limited Company that’s ready to trade and choose anything else you need as extra.
north east south west location pin icon
  • £19.99
  • Essential

  • An easy way to set up a company that’s ready to trade. Plus, your official printed certificates.
entrepreneur formation icon
  • £59.99
  • Entrepreneur

  • Your official certificates & company register. Plus, a registered business address, FREE for 3 months.
super formation icon
  • £99.99
  • Super

  • Your official documents, and confirmation statement. Plus, a registered business address, FREE for a year.
  • £29.99
  • Starter

  • The hassle and risk-free option for getting started and growing your limited company.
  • £79.99
  • Essentials

  • Starter plus a comprehensive SME legal documents and credit score build & monitor service.
  • £149.99
  • Pro

  • Essentials plus a 24/7 legal advice helpline, and your home address privacy secured.

Knowledge hub

Ready to have your company set up?
Registering a company might seem an intimidating process, but it’s actually much simpler than you think: especially in the hands of seasoned company formation agents like us. We’ll not only help you with registering a company, but offer a range of services to support your business at all stages of its life. We’ll help you sort out your company registrations online, with a process so quick and easy you can go ahead and focus on the fun bits.
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.

Learn more about starting a business