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Legal Formalities of Company Registration in the UK?


Registering a new company in the UK is a beneficial step that will secure a credible image for your business while ensuring multiple financial and tax advantages from the government. 

The purpose of this guide is to help you better understand how to register a company in the UK. The process is fairly straightforward, and within no time, you can have your legal entity registered and running in the heart of British commerce.

Prerequisites for Registering a Company in the UK

The registration process includes few basic steps to get your company incorporated successfully in United Kingdom

  1. A unique and distinctive name for your company,not very similar to another company name unless you have the letter of authorisation available,always choose non offensive words however,some words need permission from the government bodies, these are called sensitive words like “King”, “Royal”, “British” etc.

  2. As per Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency (ECCT) Act come into force from the 4th of March 2024 one must provide a registered email address for a limited company or LLP .

  3. A primary office address,physical or virtual as your company’s Registered office address in    the UK (must not be a PO Box or DX) as your company’s registered office address.

  4. Confirm that both the registered office address and email address are appropriate addresses.It will be the point of statutory and legal contact for Companies House, HMRC, and other official government agencies. This registered office address is made public as your company’s office address available on the company house website, letterheads, websites, and company official mail communications.

  5. At least one director who is a natural person aged 16 or above. 
  6. At least one shareholder who could be an individual (officer, director, PSC) or a legal entity.

  7. Memorandum of Association (MoA) and Articles of Association (AoA).

  8. Confirmation stating that the company will be used for lawful purposes (although this is not applicable to LLPs)

When registering a company, how do you know which type to choose?

The answer to this question lays the foundation for the type of company you want your business to be.In the United Kingdom we offer the following types of company registrations, and you can choose which structure resonates the most with the nature of your business.

Company Limited by Shares (‘Ltd.’ or ‘Limited’):

This is the most common and basic company type that people choose in the UK. If your business is a normal ‘for-profit’ business operating within the usual standards and practices of an industry and you don’t want the shares to publicly trade on the stock exchange, then you should choose a  company limited by shares.

Here, shares are issued to a few shareholders (owners), and the liability of the owners is limited to the value of the shares held. The minimum share capital allotment for a company limited by shares is £1.

Company Limited by Guarantee (‘Ltd.’ or ‘Limited,’ unless exempted by law): 

If you have a not-for-profit business that serves social, charitable, community-based or other non-commercial purposes like sports clubs, charities, co-operatives, or membership organisations, you can register a company limited by guarantee.

These companies don’t have shares or shareholders but are owned by guarantors whose liabilities are limited to the amount guaranteed.

Public Limited Company (‘PLC’)

You can register a public company if you have a for-profit business and want to sell your shares in the stock market. Ownership will be open to the general public. The allotted share capital for a PLC must be £50,000 or more, and at least 25% of it should be paid up. They should have a minimum of 2 directors and a company secretary.

Limited Liability Partnership (‘LLP’)

If you have a professional partnership firm under an agreement, like accounting firms, solicitors, dentists, or doctors, then you can register it as an LLP to reap the benefits of limited liability. An LLP has a separate legal entity distinct from that of its partners.

The most popular company formed in the UK is a company limited by shares. 

We, therefore, structure the next section to focus on them.

What does the stairway to registering a company in the UK look like?

A registered limited company in the UK will fetch you multiple government incentives and simplify your business operations. The following steps will help you take the greatest strategic leap for your business.

Step 1: Running a search for your company name

You have to conduct a thorough name and trademark search for your company. The name should be unique and available for use. It should not have any ‘sensitive words or expressions’. 

In addition, the Company’s Act 2006 has a list of guidelines which should be followed to ensure compliance. If the name does not meet the requirements, then you have to come up with another option.

Your private company name must end with ‘Limited‘ or ‘Ltd.

Step 2: Appointing the director(s) and a company secretary 

Your company needs at least one director who will be legally responsible for its activities. 

The director must be a natural person, aged 16 or over, who is not disqualified by law from being one and is not an undischarged bankrupt. It is not a requirement for a director to be a resident or a national of the UK. 

The director should have an official service address / correspondence address where government mail directed to him will be delivered. Service addresses can be based anywhere in the world.

Appointing a local company secretary is not a requirement, but it definitely helps your business’ compliance procedures be smoother and hassle-free. The company secretary can be a director but cannot be the auditor of the company or an undischarged bankrupt unless they have attained the court’s permission.

Step 3: Recognising the People with Significant Control (PSC)

You should recognise the people who have a significant influence and control over your company. 

A PSC can be you, the directors, or shareholders who own more than 25% of the shares or voting rights or have the right to appoint or remove the majority of the Board of directors.

The personal details and the service address of the PSCs are required to be recorded in the PSC Register and included in the registration form.

Step 4: List of necessary documents 

There is a list of legal documents that are required during a company registration.

  • Form IN01: Includes name of company, registered office address, and personal details of directors, shareholders, and PSCs.
  • A registered email address for a Limited company or LLP.
  • Memorandum of Association (MoA): The constitution of the company, which includes the objectives and outlines shareholders’ rights and responsibilities. It is signed by all initial guarantors or shareholders.
  • Articles of Association (AoA): This includes operating guidelines for the company, such as details about shareholder meetings, how to appoint directors, etc. You have the option to use the model AoA provided by The Companies House or attach your own bespoke AoA.

Step 5: Selecting the SIC Code

You must select a Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (SIC) code for your business. This code identifies the primary activities of the business. Visit the Companies House website (the executive agency under the Department of Business and Trade) to get the appropriate SIC code from the list provided. 

Register your business today with Formations hunt

With all the steps mentioned above, we are almost at the end of getting your company registered in the UK. All you have to do now is apply for registration with us online through our website. We as an authorised company formation agent, will take care of everything, starting from filing your new incorporation and collecting all the necessary documents from the Companies House (The official registrar of companies). You will be provided with a Certificate of Incorporation to confirm the registration of a company with an 8-digit CRN code confirming that the business is now legally registered with the Companies House.You’ll also get a share certificate,Memorandum and Articles of association and your web filing authentication code.

“Why choose Formations Hunt to register my company ?

We, as a company formation agent,make things much easier when it comes to incorporating your new company online.

a) It costs much less than Company House paper filing .

b) You get access to all your documents online at one place through Our online company manager.We always remind you of your filing dates like Confirmation Statement ,Tax filing etc. so that you never face any fine or penalties.

c) You can always call and get help regarding day to day changes or updates you want to make in your company .We have listed some of the best services you might need after or during the company formation process :

Registered Office Address
Directors Service Address
Business Mail Forwarding Address
Confirmation Statement Service
Directors Appointment Or Resignation
VAT Registration
PAYE Registration
Company Secretary Service
Business Email

The steps towards your entrepreneurship may sound tough as it demands a lot of attention to detail but that’s where we come into picture to make you feel burden free. At Formations Hunt, we guide you step by step with the entire registration process which makes you feel almost like an online shopping experience. 

Simply visit our website Formations Hunt and check all the company formation packages we offer for a Limited by share company and other company types like LLP,PLC,Non residents,Limited by Guarantee etc. 

If you are not sure, we have our friendly customer service representatives who can guide you through the ordering process over the phone at 020 3002 0032. You can choose the best limited company package suited for your business needs after comparing all the options at our Compare Package Page. We also offer all major payment methods ensuring unparalleled security.Please feel free to share all the necessary business details about your business with our skilled consultants and let us make Your business our priority.

What else can Formations Hunt help you with?

Apart from company registration related services, we provide a plethora of additional services listed below :

Please visit Formations Hunt for more service details.Thank you.

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