How to set up a company in 10 easy steps

How to set up a company in 10 easy steps

Future business owner asks:

How do I set up a limited company?

Acumenica Answers:

Opening a UK limited company involves several steps, and it's essential to follow the correct procedures to ensure your business is legally registered and compliant with UK law. Here's a general overview of the steps you need to take:

          1. Choose a Company Name:

Select a unique company name that complies with the naming regulations set by Companies House, the UK government's registrar of companies. You can check the availability of your chosen name on the Companies House website.

          2. Registered Office Address:

You'll need to provide a registered office address for your company. This address will be publicly available and is where official government correspondence will be sent. We don’t recommend using your home address for this and Acumenica clients can use our address free of charge.

         3. Appoint Directors and a Company Secretary:

You must have at least one director, and there is no maximum limit. Directors are responsible for managing the company. A company secretary is optional for private companies but mandatory for public companies.

        4. Shareholders and Share Capital:

Define the structure of your company's ownership by specifying the number and value of shares. You must have at least one shareholder, and you can be the sole shareholder.

       5. Memorandum and Articles of Association:

Prepare and file the memorandum and articles of association. These documents outline the company's constitution, including its objectives and how it will be run. There are model Memo & Arts available that you can use. You do bot need to write your own, although in some cases this is necessary. 

       6. Register with Companies House:

You can register your company online with Companies House or use a formation agent, accountant or lawyer to do it for you. You'll need to provide information about your company, including its name, registered office address, directors, and shareholders. 

      7. Pay the Registration Fee:

There is a fee associated with registering a limited company in the UK. Currently the charge for an online registration is £12.

      8. Create Statutory Registers:

Maintain statutory registers, including the register of directors, register of shareholders, and register of charges. These records must be kept up to date and made available for inspection when required.

      9. VAT Registration (if applicable):

If your company's taxable turnover exceeds the current VAT threshold (which may change each year), you must register for VAT. This step is typically separate from company registration. 

      10. Set Up a Business Bank Account:

Open a business bank account in the name of your company. This is crucial for keeping business finances separate from personal finances. Read our guide on the best challenger banks before opening an account.

Need further advice?

It's advisable to consult with an accountant or legal advisor when setting up a UK limited company to ensure that you meet all legal requirements and regulations. Acumenica team are on hand to help business owners set up their limited company as well as on other matters. To arrange a no-obligation confidential chat, please complete the form on our Contact Us page or call 03330 166559.