How to Register a UK Company
Are you ready to take your killer business idea to market? The first step is to gather the information you’ll need to register a UK company with Companies House. This will include choosing a business structure and formalising how your company will be run. See Step 1 to start learning how to register a company in the UK.
1. Choose a Company Structure
When most entrepreneurs register a UK company, they opt for what’s called a ‘private company limited by shares’.
This business structure can be an effective way of managing your tax. For instance, as a company director, you can draw some of your income from the company dividends, thereby paying less in income tax.
Another benefit is that your personal assets – such as your house and car – shouldn’t be at risk if the company gets into financial trouble. This is what’s meant by the term ‘limited liability’.
2. Register a Company Name (UK)
Before you register a company in the UK, you need to check that your company’s name is available.
Top tips when choosing a company name:
- Research the market that you’ll be operating in – the names of your competitor companies should provide inspiration when choosing your own.
- Pick a name that’s meaningful – your company name will be the first thing people learn about your business, so does it explain what you do?
- Keep the name short – a punchy company name will be easier to remember and it will look better on marketing material.
- Avoid company names that are hard to spell – and make sure it rolls easily off the tongue.
3. Select a Company Formation Package
With our company formation packages, you can register a UK company quickly and simply. There are four packages to choose from:
- E-Formation (£9.99): perfect if you want to register a company name (UK) and don’t need any official printed documents.
- Essential (£19.99): offers you complete confidence that you can register a company in the UK 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. Enter Your Company Information
When you register a UK company, much of the information you provide will be made publically available. Companies House will want details of your:
- Registered office – this is the address where Companies House and HMRC will send mail. It must be in the UK and it must be possible to reach the company directors at the address.
- Company directors – your company must have at least one director. Companies House will want to know their name, date of birth and residential address.
- Shareholders – every company must have at least one shareholder, but it can be the same person as the director. Companies House will want to know their name, date of birth and residential address.
If you don’t have a separate address for your business, you should use your home address to register a UK 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. Allocate Company Shares
When you register a company in the UK, you’ll need to allocate shares to your shareholder(s). The simplest way is to allocate one share to each shareholder, and make each individual share worth £1.
6. Complete the Memorandum and Articles of Association
These documents formalise how your company will be run. They need to be agreed on and signed by the company director(s), shareholder(s) and secretary before you register a UK limited company.
7. Submit Everything to Companies House
For same-day registration, submit your application by 3pm. And that’s it – good luck with your new business!
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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.