Company Registration Guide
We take care of the incorporation but before making application on your behalf there are a few things that you need to do:
1. Choose a good company name
It might sound obvious but a good company name can be an asset to your business and it is worth taking time deciding what will work. If you are a currently operating as a Sole Trader then the likelihood is that you may want to use the same name when operating as a Company but this may not always be easy as, although you may have been operating for some time as a sole trader, it is highly likely that the name may already have been incorporated at Companies House.
There are a number of rules governing what can be chosen as a company name when you register a new company, the most important being that it’s different from any company that already exists. A new limited company must get approval from Companies House of any name that’s proposed.
You can check on the availability of a proposed name here
2. Choose a good domain name
Another consideration when deciding on a suitable company name is whether a domain name that matches your selection is available, so, if your proposed company name is ‘My UK Limited Company Limited’ it would be ideal if ‘myuklimitedcompany.co.uk’ is available. The domain name is very important as, not only can you use it for your email address but also it will be your website address (or ‘URL’).
So what should be the priority? Is it best to select a company name based on whether there's an exact-match domain name available or do you find the perfect URL to fit your company name? A lot will depend of course how much business you intend to do online or if you are planning a lot of online marketing.
- (1) Potential customers will automatically default to your company name as your URL, and if that URL directs them to someone else's site, you are losing out on valuable business prospects.
- (2) An exact-match domain name helps you get found by search engines, instead of someone else.
You can check on the availability of a proposed name here
3. Assemble information needed to register the company
To complete the online application you will need to have the following information available to you:
- (1) Proposed company name
- (2) A UK registered office address – this is the address where Companies House will direct official mail and which appears on the public record at Companies House.
- (3) A Service Address for each director and shareholder (which can be the same as the residential address) - this address appears on the public record while the residential address is only available to certain government bodies, including the police, HMRC and credit reference agencies.
- (4) The activity the company plans to undertake – The United Kingdom Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (SIC) is used to classify business establishments and other standard units by the type of economic activity in which they are engaged (check SIC codes here)
- (5) Share capital information (including full names and addresses of shareholder(s)) and how many shares will be taken by each on incorporation (‘Subscriber Shares’) – for a private company limited by shares, at least one share must be issued.
- (6) Initial shareholder details – there must be at least one initial shareholder, who can be the same person as a company director
- (7) Full name and address for each director as well as:
- (a) Nationality
- (b) Date of birth
- (c) Occupation
- (d) Service address (see ‘3’ above)
- There must be at least one human director aged at least 16 for a new private limited company
- (8) From 30 June 2016, details of people with significant control over the company must also be provided. These may include anyone with more than 25% of the shares in the company or other individuals or relevant legal entities.
Documents received on incorporation of the Company
Delivery of incorporation documents can be either as email attachments or by hard copy sent through first class post. In either case you will receive:
- 1. Certificate of Incorporation
- According to the Companies Act 2006, the certificate of incorporation is “conclusive evidence that the requirements of this Act as to registration have been complied with and that the company is duly registered under this Act”.
- If you opt to receive incorporation documents as email attachments you will receive the incorporation certificate as a pdf attachment . You can then save and, if you wish, print the certificate of incorporation.
- You’ll sometimes need to show the certificate of incorporation when:
- You open a bank account for the business
- The company issues shares to new investors in the company
- You apply for a loan for the company
- You seek any other kind of funding for the business
- You look to sell the company to someone else
- 2. First Board Meeting Minutes
- Keeping minutes of board meetings is a legal requirement and they are used as an official account of decisions made. The first board meeting minutes that you will receive following incorporation will contain basic information such as date, time, and place, the people in attendance as well as all of the appropriate resolutions and information to stay compliant.
- 3. Completed Share Certificate
- Although the Register of Members mentioned above is the essential evidence that someone is a shareholder in the company, the vast majority of companies still create and issue share certificates
- 4. Articles of Association (two copies if sent by post)
- This is a document that contains the purpose of the company as well as the duties and responsibilities of its members defined and recorded clearly. It is an important document which needs to be filed with the Registrar of Companies.
- 5. Completed Company Registers
- The law requires each company to set up and then maintain company books, which include:
- Register of Directors
- Register of Directors’ Residential Addresses
- Register of Secretaries
- Register of Members (otherwise known as Register of Shareholders)
- Register of People with Significant Control
- Register of Allotments of Shares
- Register of Share Transfers
- Register of Mortgages and Charges