How to form a limited company

By | October 1, 2012

how form limited companyWanting to setup your own limited company? If so, then you need to make sure you have the correct measures in place. Of most importance is registering your company.

This is done by applying through Companies House, the government’s Registrar of Companies who deal with all new and existing UK businesses.

You might be wondering what a limited company actually is. Well, essentially it’s any company that has measures in place to give its owners limited liability. There are different types of limited companies relative to how the company is run. For example, many charitable organisations are a public limited company limited by guarantee. Typically, they don’t have capital or shareholders, but instead they have guarantors who agree to pay a nominal amount (usually small) in the result of the winding up of the organisation.

How do I register my business as a limited company?

This process is called incorporation, but before you go any further, stop, is incorporation right for you? If you’re not sure It might be worth seeking professional advice to help you decide; If it is, then read on.

You can register:

1. Online through the Companies House website
2. Through an accountant, solicitor, or company formation agent
3. Directly with Companies House

You will need the following documents and forms:

• Application form IN01 to register a company – You’ll be asked to provide the company’s registered office, the names and addresses of the directors, and details of the shareholdings.
• Memorandum of association – Don’t panic, this is simply a list of the individuals who have decided to become members of your company, you’ll need proof of their existence too.
• Articles of association – Here you’re being asked to provide details on how your company will be run with regards to shareholder’s rights and the director’s powers.
• Additional information – If there’s any further details you feel need mentioning, now’s the time to do so.

What next?

You need to be aware of the responsibilities of the company’s officers who are the individuals that run the company. You must have a director, and in some cases a company secretary. They are responsible for dealing with all the completion and returning of all relevant documents to Companies House. If any details of the company change, like the company’s registered office, Companies House will need to be informed straight away.

private companiesPrivate companies must have at least one director and, if they wish, a company secretary. A public company needs to have at least two directors, of which one needs to be an individual, rather than another company.

You need to work out what type of limited company your business is, from the following list:

  • Private company limited by shares
  • Private company limited by guarantee.
  • Private unlimited company
  • Public limited company (plc)

You also need to give due consideration to your company name. You need to make sure you avoid choosing a name:

  • That is the same as an existing company
  • That people may find offensive
  • That is ‘too like’ the name of another company
  • That may mislead people