In the past, registering a company was a hectic process. You had to fill a lot of paperwork, wait for weeks to have your request processed, and pay a hefty price for the service. It’s different today. In just a few simple steps, you can complete the process within no time.
While some people rely on their accountants to do all the heavy lifting, registering a company in the UK is something you can do independently without any assistance. If you’re wondering where to start or what the process involves, we’ve provided a comprehensive guide. Let’s dive right in.
1. Decide If You Need a Limited Company
If you’ve decided to register your business as a limited company, this step may seem a bit obvious. However, it would help if you considered the decision thoroughly to ensure you’re making the right decision.
A limited company has numerous advantages. Top on the list of benefits is that you get to possess most of an individual’s legal rights and get protection for shareholders. However, a limited company will require you to have updated company records and file accounts with Companies House or HMRC.
Therefore, decide if you’re ready for the commitment and weigh your options before leaping.
2. Check the Availability of the Name You’re Considering
Another crucial step in company registration UK is choosing a name for your company. You have all the freedom here. However, you should know that just because you like a name doesn’t mean you’ll be able to register your company.
There are numerous limited companies in the UK. As a result, there’s a chance someone else is already using the name you’re considering. Therefore, after picking a name, you need to check its availability and get approval from Companies house.
Also, don’t choose the first name that comes to mind. It would help if you were strategic with your choice. After all, this is the name all your potential customers will associate with your company’s brand. Some of the things you can do to ensure you pick an appropriate name for your company include:
- Market research: Find out which names your competitors are using and draw inspiration from that.
- Pick a meaningful name: Your company name is the first thing customers will know about your business. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure it tells your target audience what the business is about.
- Keep it short: Short names are memorable and look better on marketing material.
- Avoid jargon words: The company name should be easy to spell and roll effortlessly off the tongue.
3. Assemble Everything You Need for the Registration Process
Once you’ve checked the availability of your company name and you’ve received approval from Companies House, the next step is gathering everything you need for registration. Some of the things you need to register a company in the UK successfully include:
- A company name
- UK registered office address: This is where Companies House will direct all your main. The address should be the same one that appears on publicly available company records.
- Company’s plan: The activities of the company and plans must be clear and in written format. One SIC code will suffice.
- Information on the share capital to be created: In the case of a private company limited by shares, at least one share must be issued.
- Company director and secretary details: For a new private company, at least one director should be aged 16 years and above.
- Initial shareholder details: There must be at least one shareholder. The initial shareholder can also be the company director.
If you have more shareholders, you’ll need to include details to identify the individuals for security purposes. You can include:
- The person’s national insurance number
- Mother’s maiden name
- Eye color
- Passport number
- Father’s first name
- Any other detail you believe will be enough to identify the individual
Also, as of June 30th, 2016, the law stipulates that anyone who has significant control over its operations must be listed. For instance, anyone who has over 25% of shares in the company must be included. This stipulation also includes relevant legal entities.
4. Prepare the Memorandum and Articles of Association
The memorandum and articles of association make up the constitution of your company. A message of association (MoA) is a short document that includes specific standard clauses. The subscribers to the initial shares confirm their agreement with the form to start the company. The MoA is filed with Companies House during the registration phase.
On the other hand, the association articles (AoA) is the “rule book” of the company. This document stipulates how the directors will run the company on behalf of the shareholders. Most companies adopt a private AoA. However, there are cases where companies choose bespoke articles. In such a case, legal advice is required, and the document must be filed with Companies House.
5. File the Incorporation with Companies House and Wait for Approval
Once you have all the required documents ready, the final step is filling them with Companies House. You have several options, and they all come at a fee. These include:
- Using dedicated software: The standard fee is €10. The software validates and sends the documents. However, some are designed to handle other registration processes as well.
- Web incorporation through the Companies House Website: This costs a standard fee of €12.
- Paper filing the IN01 form: The standard fee is €40. Fill the 1N01 form and the accompanying documents and send them to the right office. Standard applications take about five days to process.
After submitting the documents, wait until you get approved because you can’t start operating as a limited company without approval. Companies House will evaluate the documents you’ve submitted and get back to you.
As you can see, registering a company in the UK is a hassle-free process. As long as you have all the required documents, you can start the process and get approval within no time. Just make sure you choose the fastest filing method to avoid delays.