A Simple Guide to Registering a UK Company

Registering a business in the UK is the first step towards turning your entrepreneurial dreams into money-making reality.

CO-WORKING SPACES

The process of registering a UK company includes choosing a unique business name and filing the memorandum and articles of association with Companies House. The good news is that with a company formation package you can now complete the process online.

Read on for a simple guide to registering a UK company.

 

  1. Understand the Benefits of Registering a UK Company

There are several good reasons to consider registering a business in the UK. They include:

  • Your personal assets should be protected if the company hits the rocks (this is what’s meant by ‘limited liability’).
  • You can manage what you pay in income tax by drawing dividends from the company’s profits rather than a salary.
  • No two companies can be set up with the same name. This means you have sole use of your business name and it is protected for as long as the company exists.
  • You can build for the long-term. Shareholders will be more willing to wait for dividends until there is a decent profit to pay out. Banks, on the other hand, want interest payments to be made regardless of profit levels.

 

  1. Take Care of Registering a Business Name (UK)

Before registering a business in the UK, you need to decide upon a unique business name. Consider:

  • Choosing a name that helps explain what your business does
  • Avoiding business names that are difficult to spell
  • Whether the name will work well in a web address
  • Including a high value Google search term that you might want to bid on through pay-per-click advertising

Got a name in mind? With our free online search tool, you can check whether your business name is available with Companies House.

 

  1. Gather Information About Your Business

When registering a UK company, you will need to give Companies House the following information:

  • 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 this can be the same person as the director. Companies House will want to know their name, date of birth and residential address.
  • Registered office – 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.

If you don’t have a separate address for your business, you should use your home address when registering 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.

 

  1. Allocate Company Shares

Should you decide to register a limited company, you’ll need to nominate shareholders and decide how many shares they’ll receive.

If you are the only person in your business, this can be as simple as making yourself the sole company director and shareholder and allocating yourself one share worth £1.

If you issue more shares in your company at a later date, you should notify Companies House within a month of doing so.

 

  1. 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 and shareholders.

 

  1. Submit Everything to Companies House

Before you do so, give everything a careful once over. You will need to pay a fee to Companies House if you want to make certain corrections after you file your information.

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 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!

 

  1. Registering a UK Company as an Employer

You should do this, even if the only person you’ll be paying is yourself as the company director.

 

  1. Set Up a Business Bank Account

When registering a business (UK), you’ll want to keep your business and personal finances separate. So remember to give your new company its own bank account. This will also make life easier when it comes to submitting your tax returns.

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

Find out more and sign up today

 

  1. Register for Corporation Tax

Make sure to do this within three months of registering a business in the UK 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.

 

  1. 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

Our simple process

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Formation bundles to suit all businesses

E-Formation

Quick and easy

£9.99

INCL. VAT | ONE OFF

Essentials

Value for money

£17.99

+VAT | ONE OFF

Entrepreneur

Cost-effective

£39.99

+VAT | ONE OFF

Super

Most popular

£79.99

+VAT | ONE OFF

Pro

All inclusive

Was £149.99

Now £114.99

+VAT | PER YEAR

Go limited

For sole traders

£29.99

+VAT | PER YEAR

Go limited +

For sole traders

£59.99

+VAT | PER YEAR

Limited Company

Digital

Limited Company

Digital & Printed

Limited Company

Bound MOA, Digital &
Printed docs

Limited Company

Digital, Printed & Bound.

Limited Company

Digital, Printed & Bound.

Limited Company

Digital

Limited Company

Digital

Must haves

Up to £100 cashback

Business bank account

Bookkeeping software

Business phone number

-

Must haves

Up to £100 cashback

Business bank account

Bookkeeping software

Business phone number

-

Must haves

Up to £100 cashback

Business bank account

Bookkeeping software

Business phone number

-

Must haves

Up to £100 cashback

Business bank account

Bookkeeping software

Business phone number

-

Must haves

Up to £100 cashback

Business bank account

Bookkeeping software

Business phone number

Discounted Apple tech

Must haves

Up to £100 cashback

Business bank account

Bookkeeping software

Business phone number

Fraud protection

Must haves

Up to £100 cashback

Business bank account

Bookkeeping software

Business phone number

Fraud protection

Guides and support

Lifetime support

Business hub manager

Ltd company e-book

Guides and support

Lifetime support

Business hub manager

Ltd company e-book

Guides and support

Lifetime support

Business hub manager

Ltd company e-book

Guides and support

Lifetime support

Business hub manager

Ltd company e-book

Guides and support

Lifetime support

Business hub manager

Ltd company e-book

Guides and support

Lifetime support

Business hub manager

Ltd company e-book

Guides and support

Lifetime support

Business hub manager

Ltd company e-book

Free expert advice

Accountant consultation

Trademark consultation

Free expert advice

Accountant consultation

Trademark consultation

Free expert advice

Accountant consultation

Trademark consultation

Free expert advice

Accountant consultation

Trademark consultation

Free expert advice

Accountant consultation

Trademark consultation

Free expert advice

Accountant consultation

Trademark consultation

Free expert advice

Accountant consultation

Trademark consultation

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Registered agent

3/MOS. free

Registered office address

Service address

Mail forwarding


Registered agent

12/MOS. free

Registered office address

Service address

Mail forwarding


Registered agent

+ Digital scan & send

Registered office address

Service address

Mail forwarding


Registered agent

Available as an added service

 

 


Registered agent

Available as an added service

 

 


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Company admin

Confirmation statement

1st board meeting mins

Digital register & mins

 

 

 

Company admin

Confirmation statement

1st board meeting mins

Digital register & mins

Dissolution service

Dormant returns

Company filling edits

Company admin

Confirmation statement

Digital register & mins

Dissolution service

Dormant returns

Company filling edits

PSC Online Register

Company admin

Confirmation statement

Digital register & mins

Dissolution service

Dormant returns

Company filling edits

PSC Online Register

PAYE registration

VAT registration

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Legal and cashflow
management

Legal health check
and 24/7 advice helpline

Legal contract creator

Company debt recovery

Company credit checking
and monitoring

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Legal and cashflow
management

Legal health check
and 24/7 advice helpline

Legal contract creator

Company debt recovery

Company credit checking
and monitoring



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Upgrade for support and peace of mind

Get up and running with everything you need to start and run your business. Subscribe and let us take care of your on-going filing requirements.

Starter

£29.99

+VAT

PER YEAR

RRP £220, SAVE 86%

Limited company

TFC support agent

TFC hub access

Business phone number

Business bank account

Tax and accounting

Digital docs

Confirmation statement

Dissolution Service

Company Filling Edits

Dormant Returns

Continue with one-time purchase

Upgrade for support and peace of mind

Get up and running with everything you need to start and run your business. Subscribe and let us take care of your on-going filing requirements.

Starter

£29.99

+VAT

PER YEAR

RRP £220, SAVE 86%

Limited company

TFC support agent

TFC hub access

Business phone number

Business bank account

Tax and accounting

Digital docs

Confirmation statement

Dissolution Service

Company Filling Edits

Dormant Returns

Continue with one-time purchase

One off payment

A one time payment that's required in full at time of purchase.

Per year payment

A recuring yearly payment that includes access all the services contained in the Pro bundle. Payment will automtically be taken on the day of initial purchase every year.

Limited Company documents

Certificate of Incorporation:

The certificate provides confirmation that your company has been incorporated under the Companies Act 2006.

Memorandum and Articles of Association:

The Memorandum of Association is a written legal agreement signed by all initial shareholders of a company, agreeing to form the company. Articles of Association are the written rules which define how the company will be run. These rules are agreed on and signed by the company director, shareholders and secretary.

Share certificates:

If a company is limited by shares, a Shareholder Certificate is sent out at the time of incorporation or just after incorporation. The certificate includes information such as the company’s registered address, plus the names and addresses of the shareholders.

Limited Company documents

Certificate of Incorporation:

The certificate provides confirmation that your company has been incorporated under the Companies Act 2006.

Memorandum and Articles of Association:

The Memorandum of Association is a written legal agreement signed by all initial shareholders of a company, agreeing to form the company. Articles of Association are the written rules which define how the company will be run. These rules are agreed on and signed by the company director, shareholders and secretary.

Share certificates:

If a company is limited by shares, a Shareholder Certificate is sent out at the time of incorporation or just after incorporation. The certificate includes information such as the company’s registered address, plus the names and addresses of the shareholders.

First board meeting minutes:

Even if you’re both a shareholder and director of your company, you’ll still need to hold an initial board meeting. It’s a legal requirement that if requested, you can provide the first board meeting minutes, as it is proof that a company director was formally appointed. At The Formations Company, we’ll provide you with a template to easily fill out your minutes.

Company must haves

Business Bank Account:

It’s a legal requirement to have a business bank account as a limited company. We’ve handpicked a range of different types of business bank accounts to suit all types of business. You can even get up to £100 cashback with some of our business bank accounts!

Bookkeeping software:

Bookkeeping software is essential for a new limited company as it's a legal requirement to keep financial records of the company. It can also save you a lot of time and money, even if you’re not ready to trade yet!

Business phone number:

Every business needs a new phone number and bOnline is here to make it clear and simple. You’ll get a new phone number with unlimited calls free for 90-days and only £9 per month, thereafter, so you can keep your business and personal numbers separate.Every business needs a new phone number and bOnline is here to make it clear and simple. You’ll get a new phone number with unlimited calls free for 90-days and only £9 per month, thereafter, so you can keep your business and personal numbers separate.

Company must haves

Business Bank Account:

It’s a legal requirement to have a business bank account as a limited company. We’ve handpicked a range of different types of business bank accounts to suit all types of business. You can even get up to £100 cashback with some of our business bank accounts!

Bookkeeping software:

Bookkeeping software is essential for a new limited company as it's a legal requirement to keep financial records of the company. It can also save you a lot of time and money, even if you’re not ready to trade yet!

Business phone number:

Every business needs a new phone number and bOnline is here to make it clear and simple. You’ll get a new phone number with unlimited calls free for 90-days and only £9 per month, thereafter, so you can keep your business and personal numbers separate.Every business needs a new phone number and bOnline is here to make it clear and simple. You’ll get a new phone number with unlimited calls free for 90-days and only £9 per month, thereafter, so you can keep your business and personal numbers separate.

Discounted Apple tech:

We have partnered with wearesync.co.uk to bring our customers affordable tech for their business. With this formation package you will have access to exclusive offers on the very latest Apple technologies at discounted prices which you will not be able to find anywhere else in store or online - up to 13% off Apple products.

Company must haves

Business Bank Account:

It’s a legal requirement to have a business bank account as a limited company. We’ve handpicked a range of different types of business bank accounts to suit all types of business. You can even get up to £100 cashback with some of our business bank accounts!

Bookkeeping software:

Bookkeeping software is essential for a new limited company as it's a legal requirement to keep financial records of the company. It can also save you a lot of time and money, even if you’re not ready to trade yet!

Business phone number:

Every business needs a new phone number and bOnline is here to make it clear and simple. You’ll get a new phone number with unlimited calls free for 90-days and only £9 per month, thereafter, so you can keep your business and personal numbers separate.Every business needs a new phone number and bOnline is here to make it clear and simple. You’ll get a new phone number with unlimited calls free for 90-days and only £9 per month, thereafter, so you can keep your business and personal numbers separate.

Company must haves

Business Bank Account:

It’s a legal requirement to have a business bank account as a limited company. We’ve handpicked a range of different types of business bank accounts to suit all types of business. You can even get up to £100 cashback with some of our business bank accounts!

Bookkeeping software:

Bookkeeping software is essential for a new limited company as it's a legal requirement to keep financial records of the company. It can also save you a lot of time and money, even if you’re not ready to trade yet!

Business phone number:

Every business needs a new phone number and bOnline is here to make it clear and simple. You’ll get a new phone number with unlimited calls free for 90-days and only £9 per month, thereafter, so you can keep your business and personal numbers separate.Every business needs a new phone number and bOnline is here to make it clear and simple. You’ll get a new phone number with unlimited calls free for 90-days and only £9 per month, thereafter, so you can keep your business and personal numbers separate.

Fraud Protection Service

Protect your company from fraud by preventing changes being submitted via paper forms and secure your account with added notifications if anything changes.

Guides and support

Hub business manager:

You can manage your business from your Hub business manager. Access invoices, company details and any additional services you might need, including bank accounts, insurance, websites and much more!You can manage your business from your Hub business manager. Access invoices, company details and any additional services you might need, including bank accounts, insurance, websites and much more!

Lifetime customer support:

When you form your limited company with us, you'll get lifetime support from your very own TFC Support Agent, who will be on hand to help and support your limited company.

Ltd company e-book:


Everything you need to know about owning a limited company and being a director is included in this eBook.

Free expert advice

Book a free, no-commitment consultation with an accountant and a trade mark attorney at a time and date that suits you.

Registered agent

Included with this bundle

A 3 in 1 service that protects your privacy, all other directors privacy and includes our mail forwarding service.

Registered office address:

On the public register, use our address as the business’s registered office address

Service address:

On the public register, use our address as all the directors service address

Mail forwarding:

Quick and efficient mail forwarding and junk mail filtering. No additional handling or postage fees.

Registered agent

Free for 3 months with this bundle

A 3 in 1 service that protects your privacy, all other directors privacy and includes our mail forwarding service.

Registered office address:

On the public register, use our address as the business’s registered office address

Service address:

On the public register, use our address as all the directors service address

Mail forwarding:

Quick and efficient mail forwarding and junk mail filtering. No additional handling or postage fees.

Registered agent

Free for 12 months with this bundle

A 3 in 1 service that protects your privacy, all other directors privacy and includes our mail forwarding service.

Registered office address:

On the public register, use our address as the business’s registered office address

Service address:

On the public register, use our address as all the directors service address

Mail forwarding:

Quick and efficient mail forwarding and junk mail filtering. No additional handling or postage fees.

Registered agent

A 3 in 1 service that protects your privacy, all other directors privacy and includes our mail forwarding service.

Registered office address:

On the public register, use our address as the business’s registered office address

Service address:

On the public register, use our address as all the directors service address

Mail forwarding:

Quick and efficient mail forwarding and junk mail filtering. No additional handling or postage fees.

Digital scan and send

We'll digitally scan all your statutory only mail, then email you a copy, making sure you get it ASAP.

Company admin

Our experts will take care of all the complicated companies house fillings you might need:

Confirmation Statement:

A confirmation statement is a snapshot of all the information about the company directors to make sure that Companies House's records are up to date. It's a legal requirement for limited companies to file a confirmation statement at least once every 12 months.

Company filling edits

At some point in your business's lifetime you'll need to make changes, be it changing a directors details, removing/adding a shareholder, a change of address or even changing the company name.

PSC Online Register

Limited companies in the UK are required to identify and record the people who own or control their company. This means that a you will need to keep a register if the people with significant control (PSCs). This helps to increase transparency over who owns and controls the company and will help inform investors when they are considering investing in a company. It will also support law enforcement agencies in money laundering investigations. This cost effective, online version of your PSC register will safeguard you and your business.

Company admin

Our experts will take care of all the complicated companies house fillings you might need:

Confirmation Statement:

A confirmation statement is a snapshot of all the information about the company directors to make sure that Companies House's records are up to date. It's a legal requirement for limited companies to file a confirmation statement at least once every 12 months.

Company filling edits

At some point in your business's lifetime you'll need to make changes, be it changing a directors details, removing/adding a shareholder, a change of address or even changing the company name.

PSC Online Register

Limited companies in the UK are required to identify and record the people who own or control their company. This means that a you will need to keep a register if the people with significant control (PSCs). This helps to increase transparency over who owns and controls the company and will help inform investors when they are considering investing in a company. It will also support law enforcement agencies in money laundering investigations. This cost effective, online version of your PSC register will safeguard you and your business.

VAT Registration

Companies register for VAT due to the following reasons:

  • Turnover is expected to exceed £85,000 in the next 12 months. It is therefore a legal requirement to register for VAT, unless the supplies are exempt.
  • If turnover is expected to be less than £85,000 but the company wants to register voluntarily.

Our accountancy partner will be in contact shortly after your company is incorporated and will handle the entire registration process for you.

PAYE Registration

Even if you are the only person in your business it is still a good idea to register yourself for PAYE.

Many business owners decide to pay themselves a wage below the tax threshold via PAYE as a part of their earnings before they take out money through their share dividends.

You will receive your PAYE reference number from HMRC within 10 working days directly at your trading address.

Fast and Easy Process

No login, password or complicated jargon. Just respond to our 5 min questionnaire about your business.

Company admin

Our experts will take care of all the complicated companies house fillings you might need:

Confirmation Statement:

A confirmation statement is a snapshot of all the information about the company directors to make sure that Companies House's records are up to date. It's a legal requirement for limited companies to file a confirmation statement at least once every 12 months.

Dissolution service:

If you decide to close your limited company, you'll have to let Companies House know. There are several different ways of doing this depending on the circumstances of why you're closing your limited company.

Our experts will take care and take the necessary course of action with Companies House, should you need it.

Dormant returns

If you’re company has no ‘significant’ transactions in the financial year, it’s classed as dormant. In this case, we’ll file a Company Tax Return to show HMRC that your company is dormant so you don’t have to.

Company filling edits

At some point in your business's lifetime you'll need to make changes, be it changing a directors details, removing/adding a shareholder, a change of address or even changing the company name.

Company admin

Our experts will take care of all the complicated companies house fillings you might need:

Confirmation Statement:

A confirmation statement is a snapshot of all the information about the company directors to make sure that Companies House's records are up to date. It's a legal requirement for limited companies to file a confirmation statement at least once every 12 months.

All bundle add-ons

PAYE Registration

Many business owners decide to pay themselves a wage below the tax threshold via PAYE. Make sure you are registered correctly by letting us handle this for you.

VAT, PAYE & MTD Registration

We'll take care of registering your business for VAT, PAYE and MTD. leave the complicated admin work to us and focus on your getting your limited company up and running.

VAT Registration

Crunch combine market-leading online accounting software with a team of expert accountants and client managers to create the UK’s greatest self-employed accounting solution.

Check & Send Service

Before your application is submitted to Companies House, be sure it is 100% complete and correct. One in ten applications are rejected the first time around, resulting in longer wait times.

International ID Check

If your residential address is not in the UK, we will need to run an international ID check to verify your details.

Fraud Protection Service

Protect your company from fraud by preventing changes being submitted via paper forms and secure your account with added notifications if anything changes.

PSC Online Register

By law all UK Ltd companies must have a 'Persons of significant control' register. Our online register is a simple and cost effective way to safeguard you and your business.

PSC Online & Printed Register and Minutes

By law all UK Ltd companies must have a 'Persons of significant control' register. Not only will you get an online register, but you£ll also get a printed version of it and minutes.

All bundle add-ons

Registered Agent Monthly and Yearly

3 in 1 service that protects all directors, shareholders, PSC's and your personal address details. All your mail will be sent our London office address where we will filter out the junk and swiftly forward all important correspondence.

PAYE Registration

Many business owners decide to pay themselves a wage below the tax threshold via PAYE. Make sure you are registered correctly by letting us handle this for you.

VAT, PAYE & MTD Registration

We'll take care of registering your business for VAT, PAYE and MTD. leave the complicated admin work to us and focus on your getting your limited company up and running.

VAT Registration

Crunch combine market-leading online accounting software with a team of expert accountants and client managers to create the UK’s greatest self-employed accounting solution.

Check & Send Service

Before your application is submitted to Companies House, be sure it is 100% complete and correct. One in ten applications are rejected the first time around, resulting in longer wait times.

International ID Check

If your residential address is not in the UK, we will need to run an international ID check to verify your details.

Fraud Protection Service

Protect your company from fraud by preventing changes being submitted via paper forms and secure your account with added notifications if anything changes.

PSC Online Register

By law all UK Ltd companies must have a 'Persons of significant control' register. Our online register is a simple and cost effective way to safeguard you and your business.

PSC Online & Printed Register and Minutes

By law all UK Ltd companies must have a 'Persons of significant control' register. Not only will you get an online register, but you£ll also get a printed version of it and minutes.

Knowledge hub

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The Formations Company and Companies House

Learn more

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What is a Private Limited Company?

Learn more

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How long does it take to register a new company?

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When should I change from sole trader to limited company?

Learn more

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Limited Company Vs Sole Trader: Advantages and Disadvantages

Learn more

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Setting up a limited company for contracting

Learn more