Companies House Business Registration: Do It in 9 Simple Steps
Thinking about starting a new business? The decision to register with Companies House can set you on the road to managing your tax more efficiently. And the process is simpler than you might think.
Read on to discover how to register a company with Companies House in 9 simple steps.
1. Take a Look at the Alternatives
One alternative is 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 could enter a business partnership. Under this model, you share responsibility for the business with someone you trust. And that includes splitting all the profits.
2. Understand the Benefits of Companies House Business Registration
So why might you want to register a company with Companies House? Well, for one thing, your personal assets should be protected if the business builds up debts it can’t pay back. This is the meaning of ‘limited liability’ in the phrase ‘limited liability company’.
Registering a limited company can also be a way to manage your tax more efficiently. For instance, you might decide to:
- Draw the bulk of your income in company dividends, which aren’t subject to the income tax that applies to an ordinary salary.
- Take advantage of the tax write-offs and expenses available to registered business owners
3. Pick a Name for Your New Company
The name you register with Companies House needs to be unique.
Top tips when choosing a business name:
- Research the market that you’ll be operating in – the names of your competitors should provide inspiration when choosing your own.
- Avoid company names that are hard to spell – and make sure it rolls easily off the tongue.
- Keep the name short – a punchy company name will be easier to remember and it will look better on marketing material.
- 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?
Got a name in mind? With our free online search tool, you can check whether your company name is available with Companies House.
4. Get Expert Help
A company foundation specialist can help you:
- Minimise what you pay in tax
- Register your company with Companies House
- Complete the Memorandum of Association that explains how you will run your company
- Issue shares to other shareholders and understand the types of shares available and how they work
5. Here’s How to Register a Company with Companies House
With our company formation packages, Companies House business registration is simple and you can 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 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!
6. Register your 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.
7. 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.
8. Register for Corporation Tax
Remember to do this in the first three months or you could have to pay a fine. 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.
9. Set Up a Business Bank Account
Before they’ll give you an account, some banks will want to see the documents you provided to Companies House and maybe even a business plan. But first, you should 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
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.
Ready to have your company set up?
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.