How to Register My Business Name with Companies House
If you’re looking to start a limited company, you’ll need to register a business name with Companies House. This will indicate to potential customers, partners and investors that your business is legitimate and can be trusted.
In this article, we explain how to register your business name. And walk you through the other steps on the road to starting up a limited company.
1. Run a Business Name Check
Before you register a business name with Companies House, you need to be sure it hasn’t already been taken and is not too similar to any that have.
Choose a name that helps explain what your business does and avoid names that are difficult to spell. Think about how the name will look on marketing material. Is the name one you are comfortable saying? You’ll probably find yourself doing so many times every day.
Got a name in mind? With our free online search tool, you can check whether your company name is available with Companies House.
2. Register My Business Name
Once you’ve chosen your business name, it’s time to register it with Companies House — a process known as ‘incorporation’.
Companies House is the government agency that hold the records of all the limited companies in the UK. They’ll want to know the name and address of your business, and the name of the company director and shareholders. You will also need to fill in and return some forms.
Did you know? With our company formation packages, you can register your company quickly and simply. There are four packages to choose from:
- E-Formation (£9.99): perfect if you want to register a business 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. 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
4. Register Your Business as an Employer
You must do this even if the only person you’ll be paying is yourself in your role as the company director.
5. Register for Corporation Tax
You’ll need to register within your first three months of trading or you could have to pay a fine. HMRC will send you the information you’ll need after you complete the process of incorporation. This will include your tax reference number and the deadline for filing your annual return.
6. Register for VAT
You should register for VAT if your annual turnover is more than £85,000. This is something that an accountant can help you with.
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.
- 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.