Step 1. Check your company name

Registering your company with New Company Formations couldn't be simpler, start by entering your company name in the box to the right and hitting submit.

Frequently asked company formation questions

What is a UK Limited company?

A UK Limited company is a legal entity in its own right created by registration at Companies House. All items purchased by the company belong to it, not directly to the person(s) owning the shares in the company. The company is owned by its shareholders and run by the directors. This gives the directors Limited Liability. Should the company be unable to pay its debts, the shareholders’ personal assets do not form part of the company’s assets unless they have personally provided guarantees for the company’s activities.

What details do I need to form a limited company?

You will need to supply the following details:
registered office (see below); or you can use our address

Directors’ details
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Date of Birth (Must be 16 years or older)
  • Nationality
  • Occupation
  • Country of Residence
  • Residential Address
  • 3 Security Questions (these act as an online signature)
    First three letters of Town of birth
    Last three digits of Telephone number
    First three letters of Eye colour
Shareholder details
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Residential Address
  • Share Currency (GBP, EUR, USD)
  • Number of Shares
  • Value Per Share
  • 3 Security Questions (these act as an online signature)
    First three letters of Town of birth
    Last three digits of Telephone number
    First three letters of Eye colour
Secretary’s details (Not compulsory)
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Address
  • 3 Security Questions (these act as an online signature)
    First three letters of Town of birth
    Last three digits of Telephone number
    First three letters of Eye colour

What is a certificate of incorporation?

This is the official certificate of the registration of your company and states the Name of the Company, the Company Number, Date of Incorporation and the Type of Company. It proves that your company exists and is often a document that is required by the bank when opening a business bank account.

What are the Memorandum & Articles of Association?

The Memorandum and Articles of Association are standard documents which set out the constitution of the company. A Memorandum of Association is issued as part of the company formation process. This document is effectively the company's lists of rules and regulations by which it will be governed and contains the following information:

  • The name of the company
  • The jurisdiction in which it is registered
  • The purpose of the company
  • Names and addresses of all shareholders as at incorporation
  • A statement describing the liability of the shareholders or members and any limits thereon.
  • If the company is a PLC then a clear statement to that effect.

The Articles of Association set out the rules for how the directors of the company may run the company. There are a series of standard articles of association recognised under UK companies law and Table A is commonly used for limited companies.

Table A sets out rules on a broad range of internal activities, including relating to the conduct of general meetings, powers of directors, shares, minutes of meetings, procedures for paying dividends and generally how the company should properly conduct its administrative tasks. Companies may alter these documents to suit their own particular requirements however, in practice, the documents are often left untouched as they contain broad provisions and offer appropriate guidance for companies in how to conduct their affairs.

What are company registers?

The company register consists of the following:
  • Register of company members (shareholders)
  • Register of company directors and company secretary
  • Register of application and allotments and return of allotments
  • Registers of transfer of shares, debenture holders, and charges related to the company
  • Register of material share interests in the company

What is a registered office?

All UK registered companies are legally required to have a UK registered office address. It is the address of a company to which Companies House, HMRC and other official correspondence will be sent. The registered office address can be anywhere in England and Wales (or Scotland if your company is registered there). The registered office address must always be an effective address for delivering documents to the company. The registered office address cannot be a PO Box; it must be an address where legal papers can be served. Your registered office address should be displayed on paperwork and websites. You can choose to use our address as the Registered Office to retain your privacy – this is especially relevant if you work from home.

What is a company year end date?

A company accounting reference date (ARD) is the date in each year to which a company's financial accounts are prepared. The accounting reference date usually ends at the end of a particular month. The month that is initially selected for your company will be the last day of the month in which the anniversary of incorporation falls. For example, if company registration takes place on 25 September, the accounting reference date will be 30 September.

Can the company’s accounting reference date (ARD) be changed?

The ARD can be changed at any time before the filing deadline for the current accounting period. You cannot extend an accounting period to be more than 18 months. You may not extend the accounting period more than once in five years unless certain conditions are met.

What is a director?

A director is defined in law according to what they do, rather than their actual job title. Even a person not formally appointed as a director of the company might be deemed a director if their role could be considered equivalent to that of a director, or if they have acted as a director. This is known as a de facto director.

Can anyone be a director?

Generally yes but you cannot be a director of a UK Limited company if:
  • You have been declared bankrupt or banned from being a company director by a court.
  • You are under sixteen.

Can a director be another company?

Yes, although in order to have a company appointed as a director, you will need to also appoint a natural (person) director. A company cannot act alone as director.

What are a director’s duties?

As a Director of a limited company you are responsible for ensuring that your company's accounts and corporation tax returns are filed on time and comply with all legal requirements. Failure to comply can result in fines and penalties for the company and its directors. Our partners Grant & Co, Chartered Accountants, provide annual accounting and tax services from only £60 a month. They work on a fixed fee basis and will ensure the statutory filing deadlines are met. Enter your details to receive a FREE consultation.

What is a Service Address?

The Service Address is for any director wishing to keep their residential address confidential, so that it does not show on the public register. Any filing of a director’s details for incorporations now has to include both the director’s usual residential address and, for each directorship, a service address. The service address will be on the public record; the residential address will be protected information. A director may choose to use his residential address as the service address in which case it will be available on the public register. If a director does not wish their usual residential address to appear on the public register they may use our registered office address as the service address provided it is being used as the company’s registered office.

What are shares?

Shares represent ownership of a company. When an individual buys shares in your company, they become one of its owners. Shareholders choose who runs a company and are involved in making key decisions, such as whether a business should be sold. Most small businesses issue shares in their company in return for a lump sum investment. This investment may either come from friends and family or, for businesses that are looking for capital to fund high growth, through formal equity funding finance. The advantage of raising money in this way is that you don't have to pay the money back or pay interest to the investors. Instead, shareholders are entitled to a share of the distributable profits of the company, known as dividends.

How are shares issued?

When you set up a company with share capital, you can decide on the level of share capital and its division into fixed priced shares. A statement of capital and initial shareholdings must be delivered to Companies House on form IN01 on incorporation of the company. This will set out:
  • The amount of share capital the company will have
  • The division of the share capital

Completion of this form is included in our service. These shares are then issued upon incorporation. You may choose to issue shares to family or friends in return for investment in your business, rather than accepting the offer of a loan from them. That way you're not obliged to make repayments. It is important to formalise any agreement with family members or friends as this can help you avoid or resolve any disputes that may arise in future. You may consider issuing shares to employees to encourage loyalty and help you to retain key staff. Shares also provide an incentive or reward for performance and can help recruitment.

Can a director also be a shareholder?

Yes a director can also be a shareholder.

Can a director also be a Company Secretary?

Yes a director can be appointed as a Company Secretary.

Does a company need a Company Secretary?

Since 6 April 2008, there is no longer a requirement for a private company to have a Company Secretary.

What is a subscriber?

A subscriber is an original shareholder in the company.

What is issued capital?

A company need not issue all its capital at once. Issued capital is the nominal - rather than actual - value of the part of the share capital that has been issued to shareholders. For example, a company that issues 500 shares at £1 each has an issued share capital of £500.

What are dividends?

At the end of the accounting year, a company's directors decide whether the business has done well enough to pay shareholders a dividend. A dividend is a part of the company's profits that is given to shareholders. In larger companies, it is common for an interim dividend to be paid at the half-year point. The dividend is calculated per share. Dividends attract income tax, but not when paying dividends, the company must send a dividend voucher to the shareholder by post. This shows the amount of the dividend and the amount of tax credit. The tax credit indicates the amount of tax paid by the company on the shareholder's behalf. Dividends are paid after tax has been deducted at the basic rate. If you pay a higher rate of tax, you may be liable to pay additional tax on your dividend. Companies can pay dividends electronically if a shareholder agrees to it. Companies no longer need to send a dividend voucher in such cases.

What is corporation tax?

Corporation Tax is a tax on the taxable profits of limited companies and other organisations including clubs, societies, associations and other unincorporated bodies. If your company or organisation is based in the UK, you'll have to pay Corporation Tax on all your taxable profits - wherever in the world those profits come from. If your company or organisation is subject to Corporation Tax requirements you must:
  • Tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that it's liable for Corporation Tax
  • Pay the right amount of Corporation Tax on time
  • File a Company Tax Return and supporting documents

There are different deadlines for each of these requirements. If you don't meet those deadlines, your company or organisation may be charged interest and/or penalties. We can ensure these deadlines are met and ensure that your company claims the maximum reliefs allowable for corporation tax through our related Chartered Accountancy practice Grant & Co (Accountants) Ltd. Our partners Grant & Co, Chartered Accountants, specialise in providing annual accounting and tax services from only £65 a month. They work on a fixed fee basis and will take care of your accounts and taxation matters leaving you free to run your business. Enter your details to receive a FREE consultation.

What is vat?

VAT is a tax that's charged on most goods and services that VAT-registered businesses provide in the UK. It's also charged on goods and some services that are imported from countries outside the European Union (EU), and brought into the UK from other EU countries. VAT is charged when a VAT-registered business sells to either another business or to a non-business customer. When a VAT-registered business buys goods or services they can generally reclaim the VAT they have paid. There are three rates of VAT, depending on the goods or services the business provides. The rates are:
  • Standard - 20 per cent
  • Reduced - 5 per cent
  • Zero - 0 per cent
There are also some goods and services that are:
  • Exempt from VAT
  • Outside the UK VAT system altogether
If you're a business and the goods or services you provide count as what's known as 'taxable supplies'you'll have to register for VAT if either:
  • Your turnover for the previous 12 months has gone over a specific limit - called the 'VAT threshold' (currently £83,000)
  • You think your turnover will soon go over this limit

You can choose to register for VAT if you want, even if you don't have to. Our partners Grant & Co, Chartered Accountants, can provide a bookkeeping service which would meet your vat obligations, ensure you are claiming the maximum reliefs available and advise you on a timely basis of your liability or refund due. Enter your details to receive a FREE consultation.

What is PAYE?

PAYE (Pay As You Earn) is the system that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) uses to collect Income Tax and Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs) from employees' pay as they earn it. Employers operate PAYE and take off the correct amount of tax and NICs from their employees' earnings each pay day and pay this to HMRC. They also have to pay Employer's Class 1 NICs based on the amount they pay their employees.

How long does it take to form a company?

The normal processing time is 3 hours from start to finish. Choosing a company name – When you have entered your chosen name, our software will automatically check whether the name is available. Your proposed name must be different from that of any company already incorporated. If it is unavailable, you will receive notification immediately and be able to choose an alternative. Certain words are best avoided as they are classed as sensitive and cannot be used in company names without specific permission. For a comprehensive list of these words click here. (Link to co house website). Similar names – Companies House have strict rules with regard to similar company names. Our software can only advise if a name has been taken. For example, if the name ABC Ltd is taken then ABC Services Ltd will appear to be available. However, this is not the case as Companies House has a list of words/expressions that are not considered to differentiate the name.
  • Company
  • Com
  • International
  • Net
  • Org
  • Services
  • UK
  • United Kingdom

A full list is available at However, if you already owned the name ABC Ltd you would be able to form the company ABC Services Ltd provided you created a supporting document to confirm your ownership or directorship of the original company. Companies House also do not regard punctuation marks as differentiating between names. For example, ABC Ltd is considered the same as ABC! Ltd or AB and C Ltd or AB & C Ltd.

What happens if the name is rejected?

You will receive an email within 3 hours to notify you of the rejection. You will be able to choose a different name with no extra charge.

What are the filing deadlines for accounts at Companies House?

If your company’s first accounts cover a period of more than 12 months, you must deliver them to Companies House within 21 months of the date of incorporation for private companies and within 18 months for public companies, or 3 months from the accounting reference date, whichever is the longer. In subsequent years, a private company has 9 months from the end of the accounting reference period in which to deliver its accounts. A public company has 6 months. Our partners Grant & Co, Chartered Accountants, specialise in providing annual accounting and tax services from only £60 a month. They work on a fixed fee basis and will take care of dealing with all your accounts and taxation matters to ensure that you do not miss the deadline. Enter your details to receive a FREE consultation.

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