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How Long Does It Take to Set Up a Limited Company?

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How Long Does It Take to Set Up a Limited Company?
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Decided you’re ready to make your business dreams a reality? The next step in getting the ball rolling is registering your company. Starting a business is an exciting time, so it’s understandable that you’ll want to get things moving as quickly as possible. While setting up a company may sound complicated, the process shouldn’t take long. 


So, how long does it take to set up a limited company? Here, we’ll explore the usual timeline for getting your business registered and how working with a company formation agent can speed up the process.


What do you need to set up a company?


When setting up your company, there are some details you’ll need to provide about yourself and the nature of your business. Here’s the information you’ll need to include in your application:


  • Your company name

  • Your office address - if you’re looking to avoid the cost of renting an office space, a virtual office address may suit you

  • Details of the company director - their full name, date of birth and address

  • The industry your business will operate in

  • Your contact information


You’ll also be asked for the details of people with significant control (PSC) of your company, and your Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, which is used to describe the nature of your business to Companies House. It’s also important to note that at SUAZ, we ask that you have only one company director, who is also the shareholder. 


Registering a limited company


While you may assume that registering your limited company will be complicated and time-consuming, the registration process is relatively straightforward. Provided you have all your details to hand, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can get your new business ready to go.


In the UK, all companies need to be registered by Companies House - the executive agency of the government. You can choose to register your limited company yourself, or with the help of a company formation agent. 


Register a limited company yourself


You can submit your application online through Company House’s website for a £50 fee. If your application has no issues or delays, your new company should be incorporated within 24 hours. If you choose to submit your application by post, this will cost £71 and will usually take longer to be processed. 


Use a company formation agent


To take some weight off your shoulders, you may prefer to use a company formation agent to register your company. They can form your limited company with Companies House on your behalf (with the registration fee included in your company formation package, and completely free with SUAZ), and offer you professional assistance every step of the way. Once your company is all set up, they’ll be there as and when you need support, whether you have a question about your business, have misplaced a document or simply need a helping hand. 


How quickly can you register a company?


How quickly you can register your company will depend on the route you take. If you choose to register your company by yourself, aim to register your limited company first thing in the morning on a weekday to avoid delays. Most online applications are processed within 24 hours, while postal applications usually take over a week.  


With a company formation package, it will depend on when your submission is sent and if there are any extra checks that need to be made. On average, submissions sent before midday usually come back the same day, though this can’t be guaranteed. Here at SUAZ, we aim to get all applications back within 36 hours. If there are issues with your application, such as your company name being flagged, this can delay the process. 


How can you speed up the process?


Looking to get your limited company set up as quickly as possible? It’s often small mistakes on your application that delay the process. 


Here are some common errors to watch out for, to improve your chances of success:


  • Your company name is already taken or is too similar to an existing company - don’t worry, we’ll let you know straight away if your company name is available when you apply through us

  • Your company name contains a ‘sensitive’ word, such as a swear word or discriminatory language

  • Your company director is under 16 years of age

  • You’ve misspelt something like your name or address

  • You’ve provided your initials rather than your full name


However, sometimes delays are out of your control. Companies House often has a backlog, particularly on Monday mornings due to weekend applications. Looking to skip the queue? Our Quick Formation package includes the Companies House filing fee and pushes your application to the top of our pile.  


What to do after registering your company


Once your company has been registered, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing your business is official. You’ll be sent your Certificate of Incorporation which confirms your company’s existence, your company number and the date your company was formed. 


Soon after your company has been set up, you’ll receive a letter from HMRC which will let you know your tax obligations and requirements. It’s important that you register for Corporation Tax within three months of starting to do business to avoid a penalty. 


Your duties as a director


Becoming a company director is both a big achievement and a big responsibility. But by taking things one step at a time, you should settle into your role. 


As company director, you’re legally responsible for the day-to-day running of your company. You’re also in charge of filing accounts and your confirmation statement with Companies House each year. 


Here are just some of your duties as company director for you to bear in mind: 


  • You need to follow the company’s constitution and its articles of association - both are written rules about running the company, as agreed by its members. The constitution covers what powers you have as director.

  • You must act in the company’s best interests at all times, including acting fairly to all members of the company and considering the consequences of your decisions

  • You must avoid conflicts of interest and avoid any situations where your loyalties as director may be divided. 


For more information on your duties as a director, you can take a look at the Companies Act 2006 for some light reading!


Setting up a limited company with SUAZ


Starting your own business can be life-changing, but getting things sorted out can feel like hard work. There are a lot of boxes to tick, making it easy to miss a step or forget something important. That’s where we can help. 


Setting up your limited company with SUAZ means everything is taken care of. With our company formation process, we’ll submit your application to Companies House on your behalf for free and you’ll have our support every step of the way. 


We’ve streamlined the application process so you can get your company set up in as few clicks as possible. Company formation doesn’t need to feel daunting or be time-consuming. Instead, you can leave the complicated side of things to us, so you can focus on your exciting new venture.


Our formation packages


Our formation packages group together everything you need to start your business, with expert support at every stage of your journey. All our packages form your limited company with Companies House for you, to save you the hassle. 


You can choose a company formation package that best suits your needs. Our Free Formation offers exactly what the name suggests - free company formation, with our experts’ support as and when you need it. For only £5, our Quick Formation package pushes your application to the top of the pile on Companies House’s submission list.


If you’re looking to start your company on the right foot, a Privacy Package may be right for you - you’ll get several benefits such as a virtual office address which can help you avoid renting an office space, and give your professional image a boost. Our Privacy Plus package includes tax registrations and a printed certificate of incorporation to alleviate your admin worries. 


If you’re looking for a package that covers all bases, including a year of Trilogy Banking to keep your business’ finances organised, our Company Pro package may be just what you’re looking for.


Set up your limited company today with us


There’s no feeling quite like starting your own business. Being your own boss can open the door to financial freedom, flexible working hours and job satisfaction.


If you’re looking to start your own business, why not let us take care of the hard work? Our company formation service can deal with the complicated stuff so you can focus on exciting new beginnings. We've given you one less reason to wait - apply to form your company today.

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