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Setting up your own business can be a frustrating and testing time. You might think that directors have got it down considering that in June 2016 there were 53,949 company incorporations in the UK.

However, it’s not easy to have all bases covered and if you want to make sure you do, you need to check off all the things on this list before you even look at a company formation document!

Choose a name

This is probably the first thing you thought of when deciding to set up your own company. It pioneers how the rest of your brand is perceived, and will be the deciding factor in how you carry out the rest of your branding.

You will need to choose a name that isn’t offensive and one that doesn’t contain sensitive information.

So you think you’ve found the perfect name. But it’s taken. It could seem like the end of the world and if you wait until you’re forming your company to find this out, you might be rushed into choosing another that doesn’t suit the company.

Avoid the heartache by coming up with a list of potential names and then checking them on the Companies House register.

Choose a registered address

If your company has a physical location you can use this address, as long as it is a full UK address and not a PO Box.

You’ll need to be able to access the location easily, so don’t send it to offices at the other end of the country if you’re not able to get important documents sent on.

If your company doesn’t have a physical address and you want to protect your personal address, you can use a third party registered address, or your accountants’ address (many offer this as a service).

If you later decide to change your registered address, you can do this by completing the AD01 form through the Companies House website.

Shareholders and directors

A huge benefit of forming a limited company is that if one shareholder decides to sell their shares or retire, the company can continue to trade.

However, that doesn’t mean you should take choosing your directors and shareholders lightly. They will have commitments to the company, so you need to make sure they’re reliable. You can have as many directors and shareholders as you like, but you must have at least one.

Before you form your company you’ll need the names and addresses of directors and details of shareholders. You will also need to provide information on people with significant control (PSCs).

PSCs are people who have; more than 25% of the shares of the company, more than 25% of the voting rights, the right to appoint or remove the majority of directors, the right to exercise significant influence or control or has significant control over the activities of a trust or firm.

Once you’ve gathered all that information it’s time to move onto the next step…


Crunch the numbers before you start filling out the forms.

If you start to form a company without closely looking into the financial complications and budget, you’ll be in trouble from the very beginning.

Speak to an accountant before you head to Companies House and you’ll be able to make more informed decisions, and have a better idea about your companies’ accounts; a powerful place to be in before you’re even set up.

It will also allow you to make informed decisions about how tax efficient you can be, if you need to be VAT registered and if you need a PAYE scheme.

Learn about your responsibilities

As the director and/or shareholder of a limited company, you will have a number of responsibilities you’ll be expected to fulfil.

Before you sign a contract to become a limited company director or shareholder, you need to understand exactly what will be expected of you, and what consequences you may face if you don’t follow through with your responsibilities. These include;

Before you dive in and start filling out those forms, you should also have a look for your SIC Code, which is used to classify businesses into type of economic activity. You can find the full list of SIC Codes here.

Are you in the process of setting up a limited company? Get in touch with one of our advisors on 020 3355 4047 to learn how an accountant can aid you in your new business venture.

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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