We’ve noticed many self-employed individuals asking us how to become a Limited Company so we thought we’d write a step-by-step guide on how to do so! There are many ways in which you can setup a Limited Company and this article is really designed for an individual who is simply looking to setup a Limited Company by themselves. If you struggle with any of the following steps then my advice would be to seek the assistance of a professional business advisor or company formation specialist. However the steps aren’t too bad when setting up your own company, so if you can do it yourself you will save a lot of money!
I have written the following steps in something of a ‘backwards’ order to ensure you have all the relevant documents required to complete your submission in one go. You can always register online and come back to the application at any point, however I would advise having everything ready before-hand to ensure you can register nice and easily in one go. It costs £12 to register a company and can all be done online.
Before we get started please ensure you have the following details:
- Name of the Company Director (Directors if more than one)
- Address where the company will be registered
- Name of the company (this cannot be the name of a company already registered – to check availability please go here – https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company-name-availability )
- Know exactly how shares will work if more than one director
If you have all of those to hand then let’s get started!
Step 1: Memorandum of Association
In order to register your company you will be required by Companies House to submit a number of documents, the first of which is your Memorandum of Association which must be signed by the company director (or directors if more than one) in front of a witness. You can find a template of this document here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/give-notice-of-subscribers-company-with-share-capital – which will need to be edited for your own purposes.
This document will list all of your company details such as the limited company’s name, registered office address and nature of the business. The nature of your business needs to be listed as a ‘Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code’ and a list of the different classification categories can be seen here – http://resources.companieshouse.gov.uk/sic/
Step 2: Articles of Association
The second document you will need to complete is your Articles of Association which simply outlines how the company will be run. This is more targeted towards companies with multiple directors and would include how profits/losses will be shared etc. A template of this document can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/model-articles-of-association-for-limited-companies – which again you can simply amend so that it’s applicable to you and your company.
Step 3: Register at Companies House
Once you have both of your Memorandum and Articles of Association written up you can then go and register your company at Companies House. This is simple and can be done online via this link – https://www.gov.uk/limited-company-formation/register-your-company
Since this is all done online now this used to be known as completing your ‘IN01 form’, however by registering online this form is automatically completed for you. Just in case you had heard of the IN01 and were wondering where it’s gone!
And that is everything, just three simple(ish!) steps to getting your business registered as a Limited Company. As I mentioned above if you are struggling with any of those steps then seek the advice of a professional, but it will be much more cost effective if you can do it yourself – just £12 in fact!