More and more of us are taking the plunge and creating our own businesses. While your entrepreneurial efforts may start small, if you’re successful there will come a point when you need to decide whether or not to register your business with Companies House. The good news is that this is a lot simpler than many people think – gone are the days of waiting weeks to get your business approved, complicated paperwork and the off-putting cost.
1. Is it Time to Go Limited?
The first thing you need to do is decide if this is the right moment to take that next step and become a limited company. While there are a number of advantages, such as limiting liability, it also requires you to maintain statutory records and file accounts to HMRC and Companies House.
2. Getting Together Your Registration Details
If you do decide that this is the right option, you will need to do a number of things to formally register your company, including:
- Settling on a company name
- Deciding where your official registered office address is going to be
- Getting together details of directors and, if relevant, the company secretary
- Deciding on the details of what your business does including at least one SIC code
- Consider information concerning share capital – if you are creating a company that is limited by shares, you must issue at least one
- Providing details of the initial shareholder(s)
3. Memorandum and Articles of Association
These provide the agreement and clauses that make up the new company and the rules which will govern how directors will run it for the benefit of the shareholders or members. In order to register, these need to be filed with Companies House as part of your incorporation application.
4. Submitting Your Documents
Once you have submitted your application and paid the fee, Companies House will check your details and then, hopefully, confirm that your business has been registered. This can come through very quickly, in many cases on the same day, but you should realistically expect to wait 24-48 hours. Once you have your registration confirmed then the next step is to hold your first board meeting.
Formation Agent vs Registering Directly
You can either decide to register your company directly and handle all the details yourself or go through a third-party formation agent. While registering directly can seem like a cost saving measure, it is often better practice to use a service that provides the experience and advice which means you get things right first time and cover all the bases.
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when you are forming a limited company. If you don’t have any experience of drafting the memorandum and articles of association, for example, then it’s sensible to use someone who has the legal know-how you require. Companies House doesn’t do it for you. A formation agent will also be able to look at every aspect of your company registration and give you professional advice for your industry or sector.
The form for registering a company, the IN01, is quite a long document, 18 pages in all and it’s easy to get your submission wrong if you are not entirely clear about what you are doing. Of course, if you have a good amount of knowledge concerning the legal aspects of a company formation, you may be confident enough to complete and submit the form along with all the information required.
Companies House doesn’t provide you with all the information you need about how to properly put together things like registers of directors and their details, share allotments and capital allowances that you need to include in your application. A company formation service can help you do this and ensure you have the information submitted for your company.
Choosing the Right Company Formation Agent
As with many business services coming online over the last few years, there’s a lot of competition out there. Ideally you want a company formation agent that goes that little bit further than all the rest, providing you with all the tools you need to help you comply with the law but also the advice that means you have all the bases covered.
Blue Sky Formations offers low-cost solutions and will advise you more deeply in order to avoid any issues in the future.
There’s no doubt, that using a good company formation agent can give you peace of mind and ensure you get your limited company up and running with the minimum of fuss and without any mistakes.