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Registering a business in the UK is a very straightforward and relatively inexpensive process, despite popular belief. Depending on the type of company structure chosen, the steps towards registering your business are going to be different. For the purposes of this article, we offer information on how to register a Limited company (LTD) in the UK. Continue reading for a step by step guide.
Generally there are 4 ways to register your limited company. These include:
- By post completing a form
- Using an agent
- Using third-party software
Step 1: File Incorporation Documents with the Registrar of Companies at Companies House
In order to set up a private limited company in the UK, you must first appoint people to run the company – known as directors, and then register (or ‘incorporate’) it with Companies House.
Since all limited companies must be registered with the government body, the first step is to gather the documents that need to be filled out. At this point, you will need to complete the IN01 aapplication form that will allow you to register your company by providing the following information:
- A company name
- An address for the company
- At least one director
- At least one shareholder
- The ‘memorandum of association’, which is the agreement of all initial shareholders
- The ‘statement of capital’ that provide details of the company’s shares and associated rights.
- The ‘articles of association’ which provides rules about how the company operates.
The charges, for filing incorporation documents, may vary, though the standard registration is GBP 20 and GBP 50 same day incorporation.
Step 2: Provide a Company Address
You will need a company address in order to receive important letters from Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs. The company address should be:
- A physical address
- In the same country that the company is registered
Here, you can use your home address or the address of the person who will be responsible for managing your Corporation Tax. Once you have submitted the form, the address of the company will become publicly available on the register.
Step 3: Appoint Directors and Company Secretaries
As previously mentioned, the company needs at least one director. Other companies could be regarded as directors provided that there is at least one person who’s also a director. This person should be 16+ years and be able to run the company and make sure everything business related is operating smoothly. The directors’ names and addresses will also be publicly available on the register.
Step 4: Issuing Shares and Shareholders
In order to be able to register your company, you also need at least one shareholder. Shareholders are essentially the owners of the company and the people who have certain rights. Upon registration, you will need to present your ‘statement of capital’ which includes the ‘capital share’ and the names of all shareholders who are known as ‘subscribers’ or ‘members’.
This statement also includes information about shares known as ‘prescribed particulars’. This information gives details on the rights of each shareholder, including:
- Share of dividends
- Redemption of shares
- The right to vote on company matters
- The number of votes they get
Step 5: Getting the Agreement of Shareholders
At this point, you will need to make an agreement to form the company that includes a legal statement that is signed by all initial shareholders. In order to ensure your document is valid, the ‘memorandum of association’ needs to follow this template. Here, you can make your rules for running your company that shareholders have to agree with. You can download standard model articles - rules for a limited company or write your own – provided that you know you won’t be able to register your company online.
Step 6: Set up your Company for Corporation Tax
After registering your business, you need to give HM Revenue and Customers information about your company or else you may receive a penalty. This can be done online once you have received your Unique Taxpayer Reference, which is given within a few days of the company being registered.
Alternatively, there is the option of registering your company using company formation agents. These services can offer professional expert advice on how to register your company as well as guidance on the type of the company that meets your needs.
If you require assistance in registering and administering the necessary paper work for a UK limited company then contact Starting Business for assistance today. Our professional and experienced advisers are on-hand to assist you every step of the way to ensure you meet all of your business goals.