The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the best countries to start a business. It has a robust economy, business-friendly policies, and residents with significant disposable income. This article will explain the process of registering a company in the UK.
The steps include:
Choose the Type Of Company
The first step is to choose the legal structure of your company. You can choose a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited company.
A sole proprietorship is a one-man show. As the owner, you’re personally responsible for your company’s debts and have accounting responsibilities.
A partnership is when two or more people decide to form a business and share responsibilities for running it. All partners share responsibility for corporate debts.
This corporate structure gives shareholders limited liability protection, meaning they aren’t personally liable for corporate debts and losses. It is the best option to register a business because of the protection it offers. It encourages entrepreneurs to take business risks and help grow the economy.
Choose A Name
The next step is to choose a name for your business. You must pick a name not already reserved by another business (you can use the name availability checker on the Companies House website to confirm this). The name must not be similar to established brands or trademarks, or you risk losing it after a legal complaint.
Appoint Partners or Directors
If you’re registering a partnership, the company must have two or more appointed partners.
If you’re registering a limited company, you must appoint at least one director to run the company. Directors are critical to corporate success because they set goals and handle day-to-day management. They ensure the company files accurate financial and tax reports, comply with corporate laws, and dialogue with shareholders.
You can act as the sole director of your company or appoint other people to help you run it. You can appoint a corporate secretary to handle administrative affairs and advise directors on regulatory compliance, but it isn’t mandatory.
Choose Shareholders and Share Capital
Every registered firm must have at least one shareholder. A limited company can have many shareholders. You’ll pick a total number of shares (share capital) and allocate specific amounts to each shareholder. The greater the number of shares a person owns, the greater their voting rights.
In the case of a partnership, you’ll allocate shares to each partner. The greater the amount of shares a partner has, the greater their influence over corporate matters.
You must prepare two important documents to form a company; a Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA).
An MOA is a legal document signed by all shareholders that declare their intention to form a business. This document defines the relationship between the company and its shareholders. Companies House provides a template for an MOA that you can easily follow.
An AOA is a legal document that outlines the rules governing the business, e.g., how directors can be appointed or removed from the board. Companies House provides an online template for this document.
Other important documents to have include
- Proof of a registered office address to receive mail concerning legal and corporate matters, e.g., court summons or shareholder correspondence.
- Valid identification for all shareholders/partners, directors, and the corporate secretary.
- Share capital details.
With the above requirements ready, it’s time to fill out the Form IN01 incorporation application and submit it to Companies House. You can submit this form online or by post.
Companies House will review your application and decide whether to grant approval. If approved, the agency will send you a Certificate of Incorporation confirming that the government has formally recognized your business.
Online applications can take as little as 24 hours to process and receive your approval, while postal applications can take several days.