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A simple guide to setting up a Limited Company (UK)

Looking to keep more of what you earn? Setting up a limited company (UK) can be a good way of managing your tax. And it’s simpler than you might think.

Read on for a quick guide on setting up a limited company (UK).


1. Register your Limited Company

When setting up a limited company (UK), you’ll need to register your company with Companies House. This process is known as ‘incorporation’. They’ll want to know:

You’ll need to pick a company name that hasn’t been used before. One way is to include the location of your business (i.e. ‘North 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 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. Let the Taxman know

To register your limited company for corporation tax, you’ll need your company’s unique taxpayer reference. This should be mailed to you within 14 days of registering your company with Companies House. Once you have the reference, you can register online at the HMRC website.

  • If your business’s annual turnover tops £85,000, you’ll also need to register for VAT – you can do this online at the HMRC website.


3. Set up a Business Bank account

When setting up a limited company (UK), you should open up a business bank account.

Take some time to shop around to see which banks offer perks for small business owners.

• See how long you can get for free – most banks offer an introductory period of free banking, so check how long you can get. 
• Compare how much you’ll pay when the introductory free period ends.
• Look out for what the bank charges for services such as paying in cheques and setting up standing orders.
• Book an appointment with a business adviser to get a better idea of which bank will be the right fit for you.

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 (UK): 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

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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