Company Formation

Register a company in the UK: Everything you need to know

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The UK supports millions of small businesses and freelancers as it’s one of the world's economic centres. Most people start their small business journey off as simple sole traders, but the formation of a new company in the UK is advantageous.

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The editorial staff
May 3, 23 · 8 min read
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Navigating the legal system to register your small business is often not simple. This article will take a detailed look at how to register your company in the UK to support a business through the process. 

A limited company in the UK

If you want to register new companies in the UK, your best option is likely a limited company. A limited company means that your company can have shares and shareholders, but it’s limited in number. The perfect place to get started is SeDomicilier. The company is also legally separated from the owners, allowing for separate finances from your personal finances and limited liability in the company. There are many articles providing details on exactly what limited companies entail, so check to ensure it’s right for you. The service the business offers is irrelevant, as long as it’s legal. 

Steps to registering a limited company in the UK

Once you’ve decided that a limited company is the best option for your small business, you can make use of these steps. 


Step 1: Decide on a name

As part of the formation statement, choose a name. If you’ve been up and running for a while, you don’t need to find a new name for your business. However, there are rules that govern limited company names. Your company name can’t be similar to one already registered, and your trademark should be different. If the name is already registered, you have to choose another. Check the confirmation before finalising the name.


Step 2: Appoint a director and company secretary

Before you begin the new registration process, you have to appoint a director. They will be the accounting officer responsible for keeping records of the company up to date, including accounting, tax, and VAT records.

They’ll also ensure the company tax return is filed and that they report any changes within the company. You can employ people to take care of the daily accounting and recording tasks, while directors will account for the processes taking place. 


Step 3: Choose the shareholders

limited company will have a limited number of shares to issue. The minimum number of shareholders is one, and this person can also be the director. The money you gain selling your limited shares is known as ‘share capital’ and people who own shares will earn dividends.

When you sell shares, you have to address certain aspects like whether a holder will vote on certain company issues if they can trade their shares for cash, and what share of dividends they’ll receive. Part of this will be identifying people who have significant control over the company, which would be the service of anyone who owns more than 25% of the shares or voting rights.  


Step 4: Set up the memorandum of association

The Memorandum of Association is about the management and daily running of the business, which forms part of the formation documents. This package should include the services you offer or the products you intend to sell. In this form, it should state who will manage the business. You’ll need to provide your bank account details for the business. 

Fill these forms in digital format online or submit them through the post. Ensure that all information is correct and accurate, as you can’t change anything on the form once companies are registered. 


Step 5: Ensure you know what records to keep

There are a few important records you need to keep, which will fall under the director’s portfolio. This includes information on directors, shareholders, a company secretary, minutes of meetings, and the results of any votes. You must also address assets you bought with company funds and confirmation of payments or promises of payments on dividends or debentures. 


Step 6: Register the company

To complete the registration process, you’ll need at least three pieces of information about yourself and your shareholders. This can include details like your town of birth, your mother’s maiden name or father’s first name, a passport or national insurance number, and a telephone number. 

Send your documents by post to the Companies House, which delivers the service of registration, or submit them online. It’s not free. Once the registration process is complete, you’ll receive a certificate of incorporation, the statement that proves the company is legally registered, and you can apply to register for Corporation Tax. Tax amounts will depend on the company’s turnover, and you don’t necessarily have to register for VAT. 

Factors to keep in mind

Before the formation of your company, you need an address from where you’ll be running. This is a legal requirement, and you can use a virtual business address, or a digital address, in order to avoid the high costs of rent for an office when offering services.

Before you send or submit any documents, whether a digital copy or through the post, check all the information. You can also ask your director or shareholders for confirmation. Keep in mind that they’ll need to provide some private information for business registration.  

Online submission of a form for the formation of a new business is faster and more affordable, as the submission is free. 
It’s not a simple process and you should find support in the process before contacting the office of the Companies House to get a certificate of incorporation

How to find a name?

Here are some steps you can follow to find a name for your company:
HowTo step image

1. Naming guidelines for businesses:

Ensure the name isn’t similar to an existing business unless there is some legal association. Ensure the name isn’t offensive or contains sensitive words or other sensitive expressions.

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Become an entrepreneur with HelloPrimo.

A team of experts will get you the answers you need to get started with your business.

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