Understanding The Company Formation Process
When you decide that the time is right to start a company, you may have questions about how companies are formed. The company formation process is a relatively easy one in the UK but even as simple as it can be, it is always a good idea to understand what you are up against when forming a new company. Knowing what you need to do and in what particular order can make this easy process even simpler and less time consuming than it already is.
Companies House is the governing agency for limited companies in the UK. In order to legally trade under a limited company, you will need to register your business with Companies House. When you do this, there are certain pieces of information that will be required of you. The first piece of information that you must submit to Companies House is your business name.
Your company name is crucial and it is something that must be chosen carefully. There are various rules in regulations in place regarding what you can and cannot include in your new company name. You cannot choose a name that is already registered with Companies House and there are various phrases and words that are not permitted to be included in your company name. It is a good idea to spend some time on the Companies House website looking over the regulations regarding new company names and learning what can and cannot be registered.
Your new company will need a registered address and this is not necessarily the address where you will be doing the majority of your trading. You can use your central office address or you can use your home address if you are going to be working from your home. Your registered office address is where you will receive any and all mail and notifications from Companies House and you should keep all of your important legal documents at this address as well.
You need a management structure for your new company. Your company director or directors will be at the very center of this management structure. In order to form a limited company, you are required to have at least one company director. There are loose requirements for who this director can be and it can be the owner of the business if you prefer to set your company up this way.
Once you have all of the details of your company ironed out, you must register with Companies House prior to trading under that company name. If you use a company formation agent and register online, you can often begin trading within 24 hours of applying for registration. Some choose to register with Companies House via post, which is also an option, but you should note that the process takes a bit longer and it could be several weeks before you are permitted to begin trading legally. Once you have registered and received your certificate of registration from Companies House, you are now the owner of a limited company and can begin trading as such.