If you are planning to form a limited company, you will need to register your company with Companies House. While this is a crucial step and a required one if you want to legally trade as a limited company, it is not a difficult process. There are a few documents that must be submitted and a few steps that you will need to take prior to filling out the registration application, but these are also relatively simple steps that can be done by you. If you are uncomfortable with the paperwork or feel that you need assistance, there are accountants and solicitors that can help you or you can enlist the services of a company formation agent for assistance.
Before you submit your paperwork and application to Companies House, you will need to choose a company name. Your chosen name must be free to use, meaning that it cannot be the same or very similar to another company name. Companies House has strict rules that must be followed, including certain word and phrases that you are not permitted to use in your company name. These regulations can be seen on the Companies House official website.
Once you have chosen your company name, you will need to draft a memorandum of association. You must submit this memorandum with the Form IN01 to Companies House. Your memorandum must contain the printed and signed name of the company owner as well as the date that you sign it. You will also need an article of association, which is the guideline that you will follow for operating your new company.
Before you can submit any of your paperwork to Companies House, you have to appoint a director and you should name at least one shareholder in your company. It is permitted for the company owner to act as shareholder and as director, but you can also appoint someone else for the director and you are permitted to have as many directors as you want. The articles of association outlines the responsibilities of each of your directors and you should name one director to be in charge of submitting information to Companies House after your company has been formed.
You will need to set up an official office address and this is the address that Companies House will use to correspond with your company. Note that your registered office address does not necessarily have to be the place where you will do business. You can use your home address for the registered office address, although you should also note that this address is published and made available to anyone who wants to see it so it may be best not to use your residential address.
If you want to begin trading quickly, it is best to file your registration with Companies House online. Not only does this save time, the fees for online filing are lower. Companies House typically processes online applications within just 24 hours of receiving them. Applications that are sent via post are a bit more costly to file and they can take up to 10 business days to process.