We aim to make becoming a limited company as smooth and easy as possible for you. That being said, a few things may seem a little confusing for someone who’s new to this kind of thing. That’s why we’ve set up this page to take you through each of the 6 steps of the process and answer the most commonly asked questions.
Remember: if in doubt, click on the button in the bottom right corner to chat to one of our advisors- they’ll be more than happy to put you on the straight and true!
Obviously if it’s already taken or too similar to an existing company name then it won’t be accepted and you’ll have to come up with a new one. There are also certain restrictions that you must abide by in naming such as obscenities, belying a connection to the royal family or denoting qualifications. To see a full list of the criteria you must work with, check out this Companies House page.
The rest of page one is self explanatory- just enter the number of directors who will run your company, your details and then click the agree to terms and conditions button (please have a read first- it’s a bit of legalese that explains the use of our service).
The first director is normally you, so simply fill in your details into all fields.
- For the home address you can put your actual home address or your registered office address. This is for our records.
- Further on in this section you’ll be asked for your service address. This will serve as your official contact address for HMRC and Companies House. You can give your home address, or, if you wish to keep your residential addresses confidential, your registered office address/ virtual office address (a purchased office address).
- We will also ask you to supply us with 3 pieces of authentication info. These are pieces of personal information known only to you and us that we can use to identify you when speaking over the phone. You can choose from a selection of what you’d prefer to share and find easy to remember.
- We will lastly ask if you will be a shareholder in the new company. We will explain more on this later- for now just check the box if you plan to be a shareholder.
Once you’ve added the first director, add additional directors (you can add up to four) by pressing the pink ‘+ Add Director’ button and repeating the process for each director.
All shares equal money that must be paid into the company. That money then gets locked into the company as share capital. This is essentially you ‘buying’ the company.
It’s tempting to be flashy and make a million shares at £10 a share, but you will have to pay £10 million into the company by the end of the tax year (pretty ambitious for most start-ups).
Rule of thumb: You can always issue more shares later, so there’s no point being any fancier than you need to when starting out. i.e you create 1 share at £1. You designate that share to you as the sole director. That promised £1 you put into the company bank account. You now own 100% of the company. The same principles apply to any division of shares.
What do shares actually mean?
In return for putting your money into the company- you receive shares, which basically give you:
- Your say in the affairs of the company or voting rights. More shares=more say. Whoever has the most votes has the most say which is known as having controlling interests in the company.
- Your right to vote dividends from the company’s profits (after tax). This is basically the amount of profit money each shareholder personally receives per share they own. Again more shares=more money.
You can also get more elaborate with share classes. This basically gives some shares more rights than others. That being said, they’re not required for new limited companies so we have left it out of the forming process. You can always delve into it later if you wish.
Obviously these are more relevant if the company has multiple shareholders/directors. If you are the sole director then you will own all the shares, meaning you can do whatever you please.
Remember: if in doubt, just click on the button in the bottom right corner to chat to one of our advisors.
Because it’s your decision on how you split the company shares, we can’t tell you what you should do. However, we will help you to understand it to the best of our ability so that you can make well informed decisions.
Everyone must pay the £10 Companies House registration fee, however if you sign up to Crunch for your accounting needs within the first 40 days of forming your company, you’ll be waived the £25 Crunch setup fee AND refunded the £10 Companies House registration fee- you can’t say better than that!
Crunch have been specially created for the needs of small businesses (just like yours), with easy to use 24/7 real time accounting software and unlimited support from our team of expert accountants. You’ll also get a wealth of business resources right at your fingertips. Everything you need, all in one place- ready to help you take your newly formed limited company to dizzying heights!
Whether you decide to go it alone or crack on with Crunch, put in your payment details and click ‘confirm’ to process the payment. Then hey presto- you’re all done!
You’ll receive an email telling you your application has been submitted to Companies House. If everything’s fine with your submission, you should get another email telling you your incorporation is complete. This will normally take about 5 hours (but being an office- if you applied on a weekend or in the evening it will take longer).
Congratulations- Your brand new limited company is all ready to go!
You can also download our guide on starting your own limited company here.