How to Register a New Company with Companies House
If you’re looking to run your own business, the first step is to register a new company with Companies House.
Before registering a new company, you’ll need to choose a unique business name. And you’ll also need to complete some paperwork specifying how the business will be run, who’ll be in charge and whether any shareholders have invested in the business.
Read on for a quick guide to how to register a new limited company.
1. Decide If a Limited Company Is Right for You
For some people, it makes more sense to become a sole trader. Here, 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.
Alternatively, you might want to consider entering a business partnership. In this example, you pool your resources with one or more owners and share in the profits and losses of the business.
But there are major benefits to registering a new company:
- Your personal assets should be protected if the company hits the rocks (limited liability).
- You can manage your tax effectively by drawing dividends from the company’s profits rather than drawing a salary subject to income tax.
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. Choose a Unique Name for Your Limited Company
Before you register a new company with Companies House, you need to pick a unique name that describes your business.
- You might want to include details such as your location in the business name.
- You should also give some thought to including words that describe the service you offer.
- Make sure to pick a name that is easy to pronounce and easy to spell. Consider asking a graphic designer to work it up with a company logo – how does it look?
Got a name in mind? With our free online search tool, you can check whether your company name is available with Companies House.
3. Speak to an Expert
A company formation specialist can help you:
- Register your company with Companies House
- Decide how best to structure your company to manage your tax more efficiently
- Complete the Memorandum of Association that spells out how you will run your company and for what purpose
- Issue shares to other shareholders and understand the types of shares available and how they work
Did you know? With our company formation packages, you can register a new limited company online and get expert help when you need it. 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 when registering a new company you have 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 the New Company 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 and company secretary
- You will 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 new 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. Registering a New Company as an Employer
You must do this even if the only person you’ll be paying is yourself in your capacity 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.
Did you know? 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
7. Register for Corporation Tax
To avoid incurring a fine, you should do this within the first three months of registering a new company. 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.
8. 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.
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.