8 Phases to shape your own limited company

When you have decided to trade with your UK limited company, you must apply to Companies House. You can apply your application directly, either electronically via the Companies House or by manually filling out Form IN01. Alternatively, you can use a third party to handle the application on your behalf - a professional agent or your accountant can do so.

Here are the details and documentation required to complete the process:

Choose a Business Name

You have to choose a unique name for your business. It can't be too close to an active business that is registered at Companies House. LIMITED or LTD should be used at the end of your registered name.

Registered Office

This is the legal address listed on the public register by Companies House. Legal documents, notes, and notifications are sent to the registered office by Companies House and HMRC. This can't be a box or PO box.

Company Directors

Company directors are responsible for operating the business. You may need to name at least one director of a company who is an individual (not another company) and at least 16 years old. They must be residents in the UK. You will be asked to provide their full name, date of birth, nationality, occupation, home and service address.

Company Secretary

The secretary of the company is in an administrative position which is responsible for filing company records. Now it is no longer required to name a Secretary for your UK company. The duties are automatically passed on to the company directors, in the absence of a company secretary.

Issuing Shares

A corporation may issue shares to shareholders who can also own a company. You are entitled to issue as many shares as you wish.

Register PSC

All companies will need to maintain a database of all 'People with Substantial Influence'. This includes those people who own 25% or more of a limited company's shares, or who have 25% or more of the voting rights. Following the initial establishment, this information is updated by the Declaration Certification annually to Companies House to keep the registrar up to date.

Articles of Association

All corporations must have a collection of documents that serve as a 'rule book' and regulate all aspects of running a company – including the powers of directors, shareholders decision-making, voting rights, and how dividends are distributed. You may opt for using the 'standard posts' (a standardised document), which should be appropriate.

Memorandum of Association

The Memorandum of Association includes the objects and properties of your business, limited membership liability, and share capital. It must contain the following:

  • The Business name
  • The registered company address
  • The Capital Share
  • Shareholders' names, addresses and descriptions with the number of shares owned by each shareholder

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