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When you decide to set up a limited company, either from your existing business or by starting a new one, the company needs to be registered at Companies House with the Registrar of Companies before it can operate. When an existing or new business is created as a limited company, the process is known as incorporation.

There are a number of ways to register your company. You could outsource to a company formation solicitor, agent or accountant, or deal directly with Companies House. You can also use the online web incorporation service. When using paper registrations, a same day service is also available, although this will cost much more.

Before incorporating a company, it is advisable to seek professional advice to ensure that incorporation is the best option for your business. Incorporation of a limited company may be carried out online with Companies House. In order to use the service, you will need an email address and password. The form may be completed online but you will need to know the name and address of the company, the details of the directors and the details of the company secretary if one has been appointed. The details of all shareholders and the value of their shares will also need to be provided. A fee is charged for the service, which is currently £18 and payable to Companies House. The information you provide on the form is saved by the Registrar of Companies. There is no same day service if you register using the online system.

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