Registering a company is usually a straightforward process. If you are happy to register it yourself, you can do it online using the Business Link / Companies House web incorporation service for a fee of £18 or fill out and return the paper forms for a fee of £40.
If you choose to register your company online, you will need to have the following to hand before you start:
- name and address of the company
- details of the director(s) and the company secretary if you plan to have one
- a breakdown of shareholder capital (ie how many shares are being allocated to different individuals and the value of those shares) and the details of each shareholder
- method of payment.
Before you choose a name for your company, you should check the Companies House WebCHeck service to make sure that name is not already being used by another company. You should also review the UK Intellectual Property Office's Trade Marks Register to establish that the proposed name does not infringe on an existing trademark.
Your company will need to have a memorandum of association that details the limited company's name, registered office and nature of business. It must also have articles of association that set out the rules for running the company.
If you use the Business/Link Companies House web incorporation service, the memorandum will be sent to you electronically in PDF format - along with your certificate of incorporation. You can download model articles of association from the Companies House website. And, if you propose to use these without amendment, you do not need to send a copy of them to Companies House.
You can also buy the forms for the memorandum and articles of association from a legal stationer or company formation agent, or get them drafted by a solicitor specialising in this area.