A Guide to Registering a Limited Company: In 3 Simple Steps
Ready to take your killer business idea to market? The three steps that you should follow when registering a limited company are essentially these:
- Register your limited company with Companies House
- Register for corporation tax
- Set up a business bank account
What follows is a quick guide to that process – you will only need to do it once. In fact, if you get started today, your new limited company could be up-and-running within around 48 hours.
Step 1: Registering your limited company
This is the point where you will need to gather up all the information you have about your new company.
Once you have all these details to hand, there will be some forms to complete and submit to Companies House. That’s the government agency which registers company information and makes it available to the public.
The guys at Companies House will want to know:
- what your company is called
- the names of the company directors and shareholders
- the business address
Make sure to pick a company name that hasn’t been used before:
One way is to include the location of your business (i.e. ‘South Leeds Roofers and Joiners’). You should also make sure to do some research on your competition. How can you make your business stand out from the crowd?
You’ll also need to submit:
- the memorandum and articles of association – these are legal statements signed by the directors and shareholders that spell out how the company will be run.
Once you have all the information you need…
…you can register your limited company online at the Companies House website. This will cost you £12. But you’ll pay £40 if you decide to register by post.
Oh, and did you know?
We pay the £12 Companies House fee for you when you sign up for a company formation package.
- Registering with the Taxman
Right, so you’re done registering a limited company with Companies House.
Now it’s time to let the taxman know.
Within three months of starting to trade, you need to register your company for corporation tax.
How do I go about it?
The first thing to do is to get hold of your company’s 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). HMRC should send this to you by post within 14 days of registering your company with Companies House.
Yes, you should also make sure to register for VAT if your company’s annual turnover will exceed £85,000. And while you’re at it, you should register as an employer with HMRC, even if you are the only person who will be drawing a salary.
- Setting up a Business Bank Account
When registering a limited company, you will also want to set up a business bank account. Keeping your personal and business finances separate will greatly simplify your life, especially when it comes time to prepare your end-of-year accounts.
Make sure to shop around before choosing an account:
The banks are all out there fighting over start-up businesses, so you should be on the lookout for enticing incentives for new joiners.
It’s a good idea to make use of price comparison websites when searching for the best deal.
Most banks will offer an initial period of banking for free, but you should check what they charge for standard business services once that introductory offer ends.
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
Registering a Limited Company: A Quick Recap
What information will I need when registering my company with you?
When setting up a limited company with one of our company formation packages, you’ll need to give us your company name and address, and the names and addresses of the company directors and shareholders.
When should I register the company for Corporation Tax?
Within three months of trading under the company name. HMRC will send you the tax code you’ll need within 14 days of registering the company with Companies House.
Why should I set up a business bank account?
Keeping your business and personal finances separate will make it easier to complete your annual tax returns.
What’s more, there are some great offers out there for new businesses, including the 12 months of free banking you enjoy with a Barclays Business Account for Start-Ups.
Register your own business from £9.99
Check out our helpful links
Our simple process
Find a name for
Choose the bundle that's right for you
Fill in a few details and we'll do the rest
What our customers think
- 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.
In December 2020 the UK government implemented 2 EU directives into UK law, updating employee health and safety legislation after losing a high court battle to a trade union about health and...Read More
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.