Before you can begin trading as a limited company you need to register (or incorporate) with Companies House, either directly, through a formations agent. This guide will talk you through the process of company formation and outline the decisions and documentation you need to think about first.
How to register
There are several ways to register. You can do it quickly and easily online with Smarta, prices start from £9.99, and in 3 steps you can have your company details uploaded, and we'll file your documents to Companies House; we also provide access to a range of services essential for start-ups (incl. Business Banking). Alternatively, you can register yourself directly with Companies House for £12 and can complete the registration process yourself, or pay an accountant to take care of it for you. Accountants, of course, are the costlier option as you're paying by the hour for professional advice.
The law requires you have at least one company director, whose name and address is stated in the company's Articles of Association, and is a 'natural person' - rather than another company - over 16 years old. When registering online you'll need to create digital signatures for all directors, by detailing three pieces of personal information, e.g. First three letters of mother's maiden name; Town of birth; First three letters of eye colour.
All private companies are owned by shareholders and divided up into shares. The share capital is the number and nominal value of the shares. This can be any figure you wish and you don't have to issue all of the shares. For instance, if you have a share capital of 1,000 valued at £1 each you could divide that among shareholders based on their holding or, alternatively, issue one to yourself and keep 999 for issuing at a later date.
If you're registering directly to Companies House you will need to fill in four forms: A Memorandum of Association, which explains the company's name, location and function; Articles of Association, which describe how it will be run; form 10, or the Statement of the First Directors, Secretary and Registered Office, which say where the company's registered office is and gives details of directors and their addresses, and form 12, or the Declaration of Compliance with the Requirements of the Companies Act , which shows the company meets all the legal requirements. If you register online or with Smarta you'll still be submitting these forms but it'll be done for you.
Register your company with Smarta
As a Formations agent, we're committed to making the process of incorporating your company as simple and quick as possible. The benefits of forming your company with us are:
Smarta Formations is the quickest and easiest way for you to register your limited company. All the hard work is handled for you.