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A simple step-by-step guide to setting up a Limited Company

Looking to keep more of what you earn? Setting up a limited company can be an effective way to manage your tax outlay. And it’s much simpler than you might think. Read on to find out how to go about it.


1. Register your Limited Company

Before setting up a company, you’ll need to register it with Companies House. This process is called ‘incorporation’. They’ll want to know:

• what your company is called
• the names of the company directors
• the business address (to protect your privacy, you can use our Central London location as your publicly registered 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’ll also need to submit a memorandum and articles of association. These are legal statements signed by the directors and shareholders of the company that spell out how it will be run.

Once you have all the information you need, you can register your limited company online with Companies House. With our company formation packages, you can do this 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!


2. Register for Corporation Tax

After setting up a Ltd company with Companies House, you’ll need to register it for Corporation Tax. You should do this sometime in the first three months.

To register for Corporation Tax, you’ll need your company’s 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). HMRC will send this to you by post within 14 days of registering your company with Companies House.

At the same time, you should register your company as an employer with HMRC. You should do this even if you are a sole trader.


3. Set up a Business Bank Account

When setting up a limited company, 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.

Make sure to shop around before choosing an account. Take a look at price comparison sites to find the best deal. And watch out for fees and charges for services like setting up standing orders and making payments by 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

Find out more and sign up today


Setting up 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.


Can you help me with setting up a Limited Company?

Our company formation packages start from just £3.99 and make it quick and simple to register your company online with Companies House.

Register your own business from £9.99

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Formation bundles



e-formation formation icon
  • £9.99
  • E-Formation

  • Set up a basic Limited Company that’s ready to trade and choose anything else you need as extra.
north east south west location pin icon
  • £19.99
  • Essential

  • An easy way to set up a company that’s ready to trade. Plus, your official printed certificates.
entrepreneur formation icon
  • £59.99
  • Entrepreneur

  • Your official certificates & company register. Plus, a registered business address, FREE for 3 months.
super formation icon
  • £99.99
  • Super

  • Your official documents, and confirmation statement. Plus, a registered business address, FREE for a year.
  • £29.99
  • Starter

  • The hassle and risk-free option for getting started and growing your limited company.
  • £79.99
  • Essentials

  • Starter plus a comprehensive SME legal documents and credit score build & monitor service.
  • £149.99
  • Pro

  • Essentials plus a 24/7 legal advice helpline, and your home address privacy secured.

Knowledge hub

Ready to have your company set up?
Registering a company might seem an intimidating process, but it’s actually much simpler than you think: especially in the hands of seasoned company formation agents like us. We’ll not only help you with registering a company, but offer a range of services to support your business at all stages of its life. We’ll help you sort out your company registrations online, with a process so quick and easy you can go ahead and focus on the fun bits.
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.

Learn more about starting a business