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How to Register & Form a Limited Company: A Complete Guide



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How to Register & Form a Limited Company: A Complete Guide
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Thinking of registering a company in the UK? This guide will show you how easy it can be to form a limited company. Whether you decide to work with a company formation agent or do it alone, it’s a piece of cake when the steps are completely laid out. So, keep reading as we'll discuss everything you need to get started.


Having a company formation agent do it for you


Setting up a limited company may seem complicated, especially if you have no experience with it. But, it's a walk in the park with the help of a company formation agent.

Working with a company formation agent can help you navigate the complex legal and regulatory stuff,  and make sure that you're doing everything by the book. Here at Startup A-Z (SUAZ), for example, we offer dedicated help and support to make sure you’re in the right direction. Additional services, like a virtual office, are also available whenever you need it. The best part – through us, you can form a limited company for free!

You can save a lot of time by handing the formation of your company to dependable agents like us.

  • We stay up-to-date with the latest regulations and requirements.

  • We ensure you comply, so it reduces the risk of errors or delays. 

This can be particularly helpful if you don't know much about how a limited company is formed.  Now, let us walk you through the step-by-step guide on how to register a limited company in the UK using our process.


Step 1: Check name availability


Coming up with a name is one of the most exciting parts of forming your limited company. Your company name should be unique, suitable, and memorable, while aligning with your values and branding. 

Before registering, you’ll want to check if someone else has already taken the name you came up with.. Use the name availability checker tool on our website and pop in your preferred name in the search field. Keep in mind that certain words, like "king," are considered as sensitive and may have some restrictions. 


To make things easier, you can go through the rules for picking a company name. You can find all the nitty-gritty details on name restrictions and requirements on the government’s website.

Did you also know that your company can also have a trading name? It's essentially a special name that represents your brand, known as a 'Doing Business As' (DBA) name. It's important to protect your trading name by registering it as a trademark, so nobody else can use it. But still, you can use your registered name and trading name as one, if it's available.


By taking this important step, you'll make sure your chosen name stands out from the crowd and is easily searchable. If your desired name is available, you’re ready to move on to the next step. But if it's not, you don’t have to worry as you can just come up with a different name that meets all the requirements.


Step 2: Select a company formation package


Now that you have a confirmed company name, it's time to choose a company formation package. We offer a range of packages to suit different needs and budgets of your business. We also offer free company formation with no catches! In case you need extra services, we've got a bunch of additional services available too. 


If you're not quite sure which package is the right fit for you, you may ask us for a super quick assessment that'll have you sorted in less than 30 seconds.


Step 3: Enter the required information


Once you've chosen your ideal package, it's time to spill the beans and give us all the necessary details. Here's what we’ll need:


Personal Information:


  •  Full name

  • Email address

  • Date of birth

  • Personal address

  • Country of residence

  • Nationality


Company Information:


  • Company name

  • Registered office address

  • Business category

  • Business type


Additionally, we need some identification documents to follow the Anti-Money laundering regulations. Just some proof of identification and proof of address will do.


Step 4: Checkout


After you've given us all the necessary info, it's time to check out. We'll show you a summary of your details, including any cool extras you've added. You can pay using your Business Support Club account, a free platform for small business owners, where your orders will be managed. And in just four easy steps, your company will be registered. 


Does it cost money to register a company?


Yes, the cost of starting a business like a limited company includes a statutory filing fee which typically costs £12. But, when you choose SUAZ for your company formation, we pay this fee on your behalf.


You can wave goodbye to the filing fee and save some of your hard-earned cash during the registration process. It's a clever way to make the most of your budget and ensure that registering your company is a breeze.


Can you register a limited company yourself?


Absolutely! Registering a limited company yourself gives you full control and puts you in the driver's seat - no middleman involved. It means you'll be responsible for providing all the necessary information.

But if you choose to work with agents like us, we've got some benefits for you to make the process more straightforward. Our experts will guide you every step of the way, making the whole process simple. We'll take care of the paperwork and ensure that you comply with all the rules and regulations. That way, you can focus on other important aspects of your business.


But if you want to know how to register yourself, we will explore the step-by-step process for registering a limited company in the UK in the next section.


How to register a limited company yourself


Ready to take charge and register a limited company yourself? We'll walk you through the 10-step process, so you can handle the registration all on your own on Companies House’s website. From preparing what they need to completing the process, we'll provide you with the essential information you need to register your company independently. 

Step 1: Prepare the requirements

Here's what you need to have:

  • All the necessary details about yourself, shareholders, directors, and if applicable, the secretary. It's just basic info, nothing too complicated.

  • Now, the filing fee. It's £12, and you can pay it using your card or even through PayPal. 

  • Oh, and don't forget your registered office address. That's where the official correspondence will be sent. Make sure you've got a proper address in place.

By having all these things ready, you'll ace the registration process like a pro. 


Step 2: Check your eligibility 

When you register on Companies House’s website, they'll just ask you a few simple questions to make sure their service is right for you. No need to stress about it, it's just a quick check.

If you pass the eligibility criteria, they'll guide you through creating a government gateway user ID. This ID will come in handy for future interactions with them. 

Step 3. Create a government gateway user ID

Now, let's create your government gateway user ID. This will be essential for filing your annual confirmation statement. Even if you were previously a sole trader, you'll need to create a new user ID specifically for your private limited company.

Follow the step-by-step instructions to set up your user ID. It's a straightforward process that ensures you're ready to fulfill your obligations as a company.

Don't worry, we're here to guide you every step of the way. 

Step 4. Choose a unique company name


Now comes the fun part - choosing a unique and eye-catching name for your company.  Make sure it reflects your brand and is available for registration. You can check name availability and existing trademarks on the Companies House’s website.

Get creative and find a name that captures the essence of your business. It's time to make your mark!

Step 5: Provide a registered office address


It’s time to pick an address where you want all your important letters from the government to be delivered. It can be your own address, a rented office space, or virtual office service. Remember, the registered office address must be a real address in the UK, and it should be in the same country where you registered your company. For example, if your company is registered in Scotland, your registered office address should be in Scotland too.

Step 6: Tell them what your business does

When you're registering your company, they'll ask you some questions about your business. One important thing they'll want to know is the type of business activity you're involved in. 

To help categorize your business, they use something called an "SIC code" (Standard Industrial Classification code). This code helps describe and classify different types of businesses based on their activities.

If you're not sure which SIC code applies to your business, no problem! They have a handy search button where you can just type in a term related to your business. They'll then show you a list of different codes that match your business activities.

So, simply provide the information they ask for and choose the SIC code that best fits your business. It's a way to make sure your business is properly categorized.

Step 7: Determine company directors and shareholders

Let's introduce the key individuals in your company. Directors manage the company, shareholders own shares, and a company secretary is optional. You can have multiple directors and shareholders, including yourself, partners, or investors. Simply supply the information about them. 

Step 8: Prepare Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association


It's time to sort out your company's rules and purpose. The Articles of Association will lay down the internal do's and don'ts, while the Memorandum of Association will state your company's purpose and the agreement among shareholders. No need to worry about drafting these from scratch, as Companies House has ready-to-use templates for you to fill in. 


Step 9: Complete the incorporation process


Just follow Companies House's step-by-step process when registering. They'll provide a summary of the information you've provided, so take a moment to double-check everything. And, don't forget to pay the filing fee that's required. 


Step 10: Get the certificate of Incorporation


Once your application gets the green light, you'll receive a Certificate of Incorporation. This fancy document confirms that your limited company is up and running, and you can use it to prove your company's existence when you need to do important stuff like opening a bank account or sealing deals.

Remember, stay in the loop by checking the official government website for the latest updates and tips.

Setting up a limited company is a big achievement for your business. By following these steps, you're well on your way to building a successful company.


To conclude…

Whether you register your company through a company formation agent like us or do it yourself, the choice is yours. Registering a limited company is a wise decision and we’re here to support you with it. You can see more about the benefits of starting a business here.

Keep this company formation guide handy for support, and don't forget to stay updated on the latest rules and regulations by visiting the official government website.

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