How to Register a Limited Company with Companies House
Running a business is complicated. But the steps you need to take to register a limited company with Companies House shouldn’t be. Start by deciding what type of company structure is most suitable for your type of business. When it’s time to register, gather the required information and register online.
1. Choose a Company Structure
Chances are you’ll want to register a ‘private company limited by shares’. This is what people usually mean when they talk about a limited company.
Under this structure, your company will be a separate legal entity. That means it’s responsible in its own right for everything it does, including any debts it accrues. So your personal finances be protected if the company goes into liquidation.
An alternative business structure is a private company limited by guarantee. This is appropriate for charities and not-for-profits.
2. Get Some Help
You should seek expert advice before you register a company with Companies House.
A company formation expert can guide you through the process. They’ll also explain how to manage your tax when your company starts trading.
- Once your company is up and running, you will need to register for corporation tax and VAT (the latter only if your turnover meets the £85,000 threshold).
- You should also register as an employer, even if you will be the only person drawing a salary in your capacity as company director.
3. Choose a Name for Your Company
When you register a limited company with Companies House, you’ll need to give it a unique company name.
- Your company name will be rejected if it is already on the Companies House register or if it is too similar to one that is.
Got a name in mind? With our free online search tool, you can check whether your company name is available with Companies House.
4. Gather Your Company Information
Much of the information you provide when you register a company with Companies House will be made publically available. This will include basic information about the company directors and shareholders, and the address of your registered office.
If you don’t have a separate address for your business, you should use your home address to register a limited company with Companies House. 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.
- Your registered office must be in the UK and it must be possible to reach the company directors at the address.
5. List Your Shareholders
As the name suggests, every company limited by shares must have at least one shareholder. In the simplest case, the shareholder is also the company director. You will also need to assign a monetary value to the shares in your company.
- If you are the only person in your business, you should make yourself the company director and sole shareholder and allocate yourself one share worth £1.
6. Complete the Necessary Paperwork
The most important documents are the memorandum and articles of association. These are the legal documents that define the responsibilities of the company directors, the purpose of the business and the powers of the shareholders.
Did you know? With our company formation packages, you can register a limited company with Companies House 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!
7. Double-Check Everything
After you register a company with Companies House, your company name and many of the other details you supplied will be placed on a public record. So you should check all the information you provide very carefully before clicking ‘submit’.
- Companies House charge a fee for updating certain information, so be wary of typos.
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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.