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Useful advise, tips and business news.

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Useful advice, tips and business news.

Dec 3, 2016
Feb 15, 2024

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Register & Thrive: UK Company Formation Made Simple

Seeking to register your company in the UK? Get the latest insights for successful UK company formation with Companies House.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • A sole trader is the simplest form of a UK business structure. It suits mostly freelancers and solo entrepreneurs who prefer autonomy and direct control over their business operations and decisions.
  • Individuals in an LLP are not required to file a company tax return. However, untaxed profits are distributed, and the members pay via self assessment returns.
  • To register a company in the United Kingdom requires at least one director and shareholder to become a separate legal entity with distinct rights.
  • A UK-resident company is registered in the UK and is liable to pay UK tax. It does not require a UK resident director but must be registered at Companies House to a UK address.

Whether you live in the UK or are a foreigner seeking to do business in the UK without living here, there are various ways to set up a company and make yourself official. Fortunately, you can form a new company in less than one working day. Determine your goals and the appropriate company structure to get started. 

How to Register a Company in the UK (Company Structure and Formation Guide)

There are three basic formats a UK company registration can take – 

  • Sole trader;
  • UK limited company formation, which includes -
    • Private & Public Limited Companies (LTD & PLC);
    • Limited by Guarantee Company (CLG);
    • Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP);
  • General Partnerships.

All of them are suitable for different business types, so choosing the right one is the first step towards registering a company.

Register as a Sole Trader

Also known as a sole proprietorship, it is a type of business with one owner. You can trade under your name or use a business name as a sole trader. It is the simplest business structure in the UK and may suit freelancers or other solo entrepreneurs. 

You can register as a sole trader if you’ve earned more than £1,000 from self-employment in the last tax year - (6 April of the last year to 5 April of the current year). Register by 5 October of your second tax year of business.  

To register as a sole trader, enroll for self-assessment and class 2 national insurance through their business tax account if your profits exceed the £6,725 threshold. You’ll need a government gateway ID and password to access the account. 

However, registering for self-assessment is different from registering a sole proprietorship. It allows you to report your income, including self-employment income, to HMRC. 

Set Up a Limited Company In the UK 

In most cases, registering a company requires at least one director and shareholder for the business to become a separate legal entity with distinct rights. You can be a sole company director and shareholder of your own business. You can also add more directors and shareholders in the future if you decide to expand your company.

Compared to other company incorporation UK formats, a limited liability company has more compliance requirements, which come with added benefits, including protecting your personal finances in case the business encounters financial difficulties or fails. If you want to take the hard work out of officially forming your business, consider using our company set-up service and save yourself the extra effort. It is a simple two-step method where you order online, and we contact you for the necessary information to swiftly and securely register your company with Companies House.

11 Defining Features of Limited Companies

Features Public Limited Company (PLC) Private Limited Company (LTD) Limited By Guarantee Company (CLG) Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

Limited Liability

Separate Legal Entity

Minimum Number of Shareholders

2

1

1 member

2 members (An LLP does not have shares or shareholders its a constitution of members)

Minimum Number of Directors

2

1

1 member

2 members (An LLP does not have a director, its a constitution of members)

Transfer of Ownership

Can be publicly traded

Private

Private

Procedure for the transfer of interests indicated in the partnership agreement

Annual Confirmation Statement

Conversion

Can convert to an LTD

Can convert to a PLC

N/A

N/A

Minimum Share Capital

£50,000 (with at least 25% paid up)

£1

No specific

minimum

Management Structure

Board of directors

Board of directors

Board of directors

The designated members handle statutory obligations

User

Suitable for large companies

Common for small to medium companies

Common for small to medium companies

Professional service firms (eg. accounts and law firms)

Types of UK LTD companies you can form include — 

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)

A limited liability partnership has at least two members (people or a company known as a corporate member) coming together to own and run the business jointly. Even though all the members have equal rights over the business, the law requires that at least two of them be designated as responsible for ensuring compliance with statutory requirements.

The partners must register for self-assessment since the LLP does not pay corporation tax, but each member is taxed on their share of profits as a self-employed individual. However, the members are not liable for debts if the business fails to pay. 

To register, you’ll need an acceptable business name, a registered address in which your principal place of business will be publicly available, two designated members, and an agreement that outlines how the LLP will be run. Once you have the requirements, you can register your LLP with Company House. Leverage Your Virtual Office London LLP registration service for a swift and affordable process.

Set Up a Private Limited Company (Limited By Shares of Guarantee) 

A company must either be limited by guarantee (CLG) or shares (LTD). An ltd is a profit-making business owned by shareholders with certain rights. The corporation is divided into shares, each assigned a nominal value, which reflects the initial face value of the shares, which may or may not align with the actual market value.  

CLG, on the other hand, is for a non-profit, such as a social enterprise, charity, association, or club, owned by members who act as guarantors of the company's liabilities, and each member undertakes to contribute an amount specified in the articles in the event of insolvency or the winding up of the entity. It does not have shares or shareholders.

To set up an LTD company online, you’ll need to choose a name according to Companies House rules. Next, you will need to appoint the company officers, which typically include directors, with the option of appointing a company secretary. You will also be required to give the names of the shareholders, who may also be company directors. Articles and memorandum of association are essential because they document how you intend to run the entity. Lastly, Companies House requires that you register an official address and choose a SIC code that identifies what your company does. 

Setting up a UK CLG requires that you submit the following company documents —

  • Check that your preferred company name is available;
  • Have at least one guarantor (individual or corporate body) and director;
  • A constitution that contains elements of articles and memorandum of association;
  • A registered office address in the UK that will be publicly available;
  • Names of the persons with significant control;
  • Statement of compliance that -
    • Outlines the nominal amount (often a small sum, such as £1) that each subscriber will pay as their guarantee;
    • The statement of guarantee that details the circumstances under which a guarantor will be required to pay their guarantee and
    • A SIC code.

How to Choose Your Company Name

Once you decide to register a new business, use the checklist below to get the name right — 

  • Confirm that the name is not too similar or identical to an existing company name.
  • Your preferred company name should not suggest any connection to the UK government. Avoid using words such as  “Royal,” “Her Majesty,” or “Crown.”
  • The name should not be offensive or inappropriate in any way.
  • It should not suggest criminal activity or any undertaking contrary to the interest of the public. 
  • Unless you have relevant permission, avoid using words like “Chartered” or “Architects” that are likely to mislead the public as to the nature of your business or credentials. 

Register Your Company Today!

Contact Your Virtual Office London, UK's top rated company formation agent, if you need to register a new company. We offer a comprehensive set of company formation packages, which include everything you need to get your company up and running.

🎁 Exclusive Offer

Embark on your entrepreneurial journey with our exclusive offer: LTD, LLP, and CLG/LBG formation services, complete with 12 months of premium registered office and director address at an unbeatable discounted price of just £39.99

Other extras included in the package above are — 

  • Fast Online Formation
  • UTR Number
  • Digital Certificate of Incorporation
  • Digital Articles of Association
  • Digital Share Certificates
  • £25 Cashback with Wix
  • Bank Referral
  • Free .co.uk Domain
  • Free Accountant Introduction
  • Fully Compliant with AML and KYC Regulations

Form a limited company with us. Call our team at +44 (0) 207 566 3939 or email us at info@capital-office.co.uk, and one of our formation experts will contact you to get the relevant company details and handle the company formation process for you. Depending on the Companies House workload, online company registration can take up to 6 working hours.

FAQs

How much money is required to register a UK company with Companies House?

Register a UK company and start your journey right with a bundled package of just £39.99, which includes a UK registered office address, a free .co.uk domain, and an accountant introduction. We provide exceptional value for those keen on commencing their business without additional office space expenses and initial staffing requirements. 

Can anyone register a new company in the UK?

Registering a new company for UK and non-UK residents takes up to 6 hours to form a company. All you need to do is determine the type of company you want to establish, think through an appropriate business name and contact us. We will help you put together all the necessary documents you need to set up an LTD. 

How to register a holding company in the UK?

In the UK, the term ‘holding company’ is used to describe a company that holds the shares of other companies. A common way to register a holding company is to incorporate it as an LTD through the following steps:

  1. Think through a unique name for you and register it with Companies House. Until 2015, using the word “holding” or “holdings” in a company name was considered sensitive by Companies House, but it is now acceptable.
  2. Register an official business address and select an appropriate SIC code. 
  3. Appoint directors and a company secretary. You must appoint a director, but you do not have to appoint a company secretary.
  4. Identify people with significant control (PSC) over your company—for example, anyone with voting rights or more than 25% of the shares.
  5. Prepare a memorandum and articles of association describing the company will run. 
  6. Form your company. 

After you’ve set up the holding company, transfer the ownership of your subsidiaries' shares and assets to it.

Can I own a business in the UK as a foreigner or non-UK resident living outside of the UK?

Yes, foreigners and non-residents can open a company in the United Kingdom without needing a VISA. There are no restrictions based on nationality. However, you’ll need to comply with the following legal and administrative requirements before you are cleared to start. 

  • Choose a proper business structure that best fits your business goals;
  • Register your business with Companies House to a UK address; and
  • Get the necessary permits or licenses.

🎁 Exclusive Offer

Elevate your global business presence with our International company registration service for £480.00, including a full-year virtual address, for unparalleled success on the international stage.

Once your business is registered, please note the following — 

  • The corporation registered to a non-resident is liable for UK tax obligations.
  • A UK resident director is not a mandatory requirement, but it is recommended for operational convenience.
  • While not legally required, having a UK bank account is advisable to enhance business credibility.
  • You can use a family or friend's address as your registered office or opt for a central London virtual address for added privacy.

Do I need a business bank account during the company registration process?

No. You do not need to open a business bank account, but you’ll likely find it impossible to operate without one. We understand that most British high-street banks can make it difficult for the new entrepreneur to open an account with company credit checks and multiple other requirements that new businesses cannot fulfil.

However, we’ve carefully selected partners with products suitable for our clients. As you set up your new business with us, we will recommend a few banks to consider. Whether you choose a Barclays Business Account or a Card One Business Account from our curated list, we ensure a seamless process to meet your financial needs.

What are the pros and cons of working with a simple company formation agent?

A company incorporation agent helps new businesses with online company formation and registration services. But with Your Virtual Office London, we go the extra mile and ensure your process is simple, seamless, and affordable. If you choose to form your company limited by share or guarantee with us, take the time to understand your goals, risk tolerance and incentives. With this understanding, Your Virtual Office London will advise you on the most suitable company structure and expedite your process by working with you to submit a company application without error.

There are no downsides to working with us!

What company documents do I need during simple company registration?

To register your company, you’ll need to submit the following documents — 

  • IN01 form, which should contain the following details –

    • Proposed name

    • Registered office address for your business

    • Details of directors and shareholders

    • Share capital information

    • Information of the persons with significant control

  • Memorandum of association, which outlines the following details —

    • Company name

    • Type of company and its purpose

    • Name and signature of subscribers

    • Liability of the members

  • Articles of association

    • Management details, which may include the rights and responsibilities of the director, voting rights and board meetings

    • Decision-making processes

    • Classes and rights of shares

    • General meetings

    • Miscellaneous factors depending on the dynamics of your company

What documents do I receive after new business registration? 

Once your new limited company is registered, you’ll receive the following documents — 

  • Certificate of incorporation, which includes your company number;
  • Official memorandum and articles association; and
  • Share certificates.
Aug 8, 2022
Dec 28, 2023

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Top 7 Social Media Marketing Hacks for your Business

Get ahead of the curve and beat your competitors with these simply yet effective social media hacks!

Ever since Facebook and Twitter became a fad of the modern generation businesses of all sizes realized their potential and immediately created business pages on the top 10 percent social media sites in the world. Their goal is to attract new customers, build their brand and engage a wider audience. But how do you use the different social media channels to your advantage? Where do you start? And what do the professionals recommend?

In this article, we are going to talk about the 7 best social media marketing tricks to catapult your business into success.

Table of Contents

• Understanding your Audience

• Take Advantage of the Strengths of Each Channel

• Interact with your Audience

• Show There’s a Human Behind the Brand

• Ensure your Senior Executives are Authentic

• Use the Right Tools

• Put the Effort in to Gain Value

1. Understanding your Audience

The first thing you need to do is to understand your audience and why they particularly chose to be in that specific social media channel that you plan to market your business on. The manner in which they use social media should also be looked into. For example, certain users prefer to be on Facebook and Instagram because it allows them to post more texts, photos, videos and create “MyDay” video and picture tidbits of your day and Instagram stories. By comparison, on Twitter they can only post up to 280 characters of texts (which includes links to other sites).

What does this tell you as a marketer? It shows you that one group of users prefer to be more bold and want to build their social media profiles more prominently, while the other group prefers the minimalist style of exposing themselves to the world. Some are just there to become amateur journalists and if we take Elon Musk’s statements about Twitter users being fake bots at face value, then some are there just to become spammers. This tells you to cater your ads to your audience differently in order to capture their interests.

2. Take Advantage of the Strengths of Each Channel

How users engage in ads on different social media channels will determine how your sales output will perform. It would be a very good thing if you did a feasibility studies about this, so you can do effective social media marketing on each social media sites and succeed. Every channel has different strengths. Many businesses use Facebook as a shop window displaying lots of key information such as their location, website and opening hours, so it helps connect with the brand.

Twitter’s strength is based on delivering information straight to the point in 280 characters or less and you make sure your ads are squeezed into these parameters. On the other hand, Linkedin is slightly more formal in tone but has some great tools for engagement like groups and polls, so use this tools to market your business. Now TikTok is the most unique of them all! On TikTok users are allowed to upload videos on a myriad of topics that range from 10 seconds – 3 minutes. But we also know that people nowadays have very short attention span, so you make TikTok video ads that are short but will include all the key points about your business for people to engage.

3. Interact with your Audience

The best thing that social media created is a place where businesses and their customer base can interact on a personal level. It also gives more power to the paying customer and demand more from the businesses that they patronize. A good example of this is PayPal. A good friend of mine told me that his financial issue on PayPal was resolved faster on Facebook or Twitter than by calling them over the phone. Back in the 1990s this would’ve taken someone a week to get resolved and this is not counting the communication between banks and the fintech third party business like PayPal. This is also true on various other businesses and their customer base.

You can also hire professionals on job boards like Upwork, Fiverr and ClousPeeps to handle all the customer service for your business on social media via chat. This means that you’ll also save money on hiring employees and put them on freelance work, instead of hiring people the traditional way and adhere to government mandated salary and benefits and so forth. Some of these contractors go above and beyond to please your customers, which not only makes them happy doing business with you but they keep coming back for more and become repeat customers.

4. Show There’s a Human Behind the Brand

It’s crucial for your business to survive by engaging with your audience in not just a professional way, but also being genuine and human. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that you drive a friendly conversation with your audience on social media, preferably with a relaxed tone and letting that human side shine through; although there may be some exceptions, especially with what type of business brand you’re marketing.

Allowing the ‘human side’ to flow unrestrained when you’re a B2B brand means that you come as an honest person rather than a business entity in the eyes of your clients. When you’re a B2B company, you are not appealing to the other company/brand, you’re actually talking to the shareholders and employees working in that company. They are a different kind of customers that you’re trying to reach out to and it’s kind of like a B2B2C. That human side that we’re referring to is absolutely critical once your clients/customers calls in to complain about your products or services – it helps reassure them that their concerns are being seriously considered when they know there is a real person behind the account that they’re communicating with.

5. Ensure your Senior Executives are Authentic

Remind your company execs that despite you respect their personal space and private lives, when they post on social media they’re like politicians and any untoward or negative post or comment or even an emoji reaction can deeply affect the company, therefore they should be careful with what they post on social media. Make sure that you tell your executives to make their interactions on social media to be relatable to the customers in general in order to resonate with their audience.

Basically just tell them to be as authentic as possible as most people can detect their insincerity, which can hurt your company’s reputation. You may call for a meeting with your executives and discuss how they should post on social media; however, try not to takeover their accounts as you could be fighting yourself in that case and you may lose that authenticity that you’re trying so hard to implement among your subordinates.

You may also want to read "How to Setup a Limited Company Online"

6. Use the Right Tools

There are more than 133 social media sites operating on the web as of August 2022 and normally experts recommend that you only market your business on the top 20 of these sites. But managing even with just a fraction of these sites can be time-consuming and exhausting, and you will need tools that can help you manage your social media pages efficiently. Perfectly timed social media posts gets the greatest audience share according to experts, therefore you should use a scheduling tool to help you post important updates on the different time zones in the US and make sure that you post mostly in the morning at around 9 – 10am local time. There are quite a few on the market such as Loomly, Hootsuite and Meltwater. These allow you to spend a couple of hours scheduling all your content for the week ahead.

A sentiment analysis tool like Clarabridge or Onalytica may also be helpful in you calibrating your social media interactions and improve your business transactions with your customers based what people are saying about you on social media. Positive responses from your audience means that you’re on the right track and you ought to keep doing what you’ve been doing. However, if you receive negative feedback from customers and the general public, then this indicates that you need to step up your game in appeasing them. Come up with a sound strategy to win back the hearts and minds of the people to your brand and outmaneuver your competitors.

Lastly, keep track of each social media analytics as this can tell you your KPIs (key performance indicators), which areas are doing well and which areas needs your attention and improvement. If you pay attention to the tiniest of details and keep your ears to the ground, then you’ll do just fine with your social media marketing efforts and be on top of your competitors. Having said that, be creative in engaging with your audience and make your competitors stumble in keeping up with you, instead of the other way around.

7. Put the Effort in to Gain Value

Doing social media marketing and managing your social media pages requires a longterm commitment. You can’t expect to make a big splash in the water by just dipping your toes into it, the same way, you cannot expect to see great results with a few days’ worth of effort. It’s ironic isn’t it? Everything now is digital and can be accomplished with a push of a button or a few clicks of the mouse, and yet still, it takes months and sometimes even years to establish a strong business brand on social media while battling it out with your competitors.

Consistency and perseverance will definitely produce amazing results for your social media marketing efforts and you’ll be very happy after a year or two of doing this, because you will have reaped the benefits of your labor.

Dec 15, 2022
Dec 15, 2022

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Connecting the Business Through Effective Live Calls

Although it sounds similar, there are some fundamental differences between phone answering service and call center.

Who do you contact if you have a question regarding a product return policy? Booking a clinic or business appointment? Cleaning services, maybe? You make a call, right? Telephone answering services have significantly increased both locally and internationally over the past few years. Particularly for small businesses, services like call answering are increasingly pretty common.

Many people remain doubtful about the advantages a phone answering service delivers to small and large enterprises despite all the success and growth observed after using such a service.  Humans prefer to speak to humans. Clients, consumers, and patients often become irritated and hang up when they receive a voicemail or an auto-attendant.  

Do you know that missed or unanswered calls result in reduced revenue and even worse overall client satisfaction? In fact, according to surveys, one out of every three business calls is missed. That amounts to a third of your customers' unanswered calls, which can affect your company's reputation, brand, and sales.

With this basis, a phone answering service that accepts incoming calls on your account is an essential tool for improving communications, streamlining processes, and boosting revenue. You're missing out on great opportunities to build relationships with consumers and clients and expand your business if you use an automated system to handle phone calls.

Table of Contents

• What Example Industries Utilize an Answering Service?

• Captures more Business Opportunities

• Boost Productivity

• 24/7 Support

• Make a Positive Impression

• Reduce Business Expenses

• Maintain a Professional Image

What Example Industries Utilize an Answering Service?

Answering services are used by businesses of various shapes and sizes, from little startups with a few staff members to large corporations with thousands of employees. It exists in even one-person offices.

• Product manufacturers

• Realtors

• Event planners

• Physicians

• Dentists

• Veterinarians

• Churches and other religious-based groups

• Legal consultants

• Electricians

• Janitorial/Cleaning services

Think about the following six business perks of live call answering:

Captures more Business Opportunities

You will get a call by working with a phone answering service. Anyone in business is aware that sometimes it takes one phone call to close the deal you've been waiting to make or to delight a loyal client who might become your biggest supporter.

If someone attempts to call your company and no one picks up, it's detrimental to your brand and can suggest that you don't value customer business. On the other hand, it speaks highly of your company if a call is answered by a highly professional, competent receptionist who has years of experience and relevant industry knowledge. You won't ever have to worry about disappointing a customer since you can work in the confidence that a professional receptionist is available to answer your calls.

Boost Productivity

Every call is an opportunity to provide excellent customer service and boost sales, but sometimes picking up the phone can be an unpleasant distraction that you just don't have time for. And interruptions may be a serious challenge for a small business owner or a solopreneur, especially when you're in the middle of a meeting or working on a big project.

A phone answering service takes messages when you're not available, and prevents unpleasant sales calls. This allows you and your team to concentrate on the essential tasks at hand while still meeting the needs of your customers and clients.

24/7 Support

Any business has to provide excellent customer service as it is critical for company growth. Additionally, offering excellent customer service might provide you with a significant competitive advantage.

Keeping a dedicated team of customer service representatives available around the clock can help you provide the customized experience that both new and returning customers so greatly value.

Being accessible outside usual business hours is also very beneficial to your clients. Despite the growing trend of working shifts, many people find it more convenient to get in touch with a company in the evenings or on the weekends.

Make a Positive Impression

Live call answering promotes both word-of-mouth marketing and excellent customer service. Most of the customers say they will tell others about the good customer service they received. The number of potential prospects contacting your company increases for each caller who interacts with a helpful, knowledgeable business person.

Of course, there's a good chance that if someone has a bad experience contacting your business—if they can't get through or get an unhelpful machine—they'll also tell their friends, family, and coworkers about it.

Reduce Business Expenses

You might think that using a live phone answering service will increase your small business's expenses. But in fact, it can enable you to make financial savings. You can save money by not paying for missed calls and lost business by having someone answer your calls. Additionally, you can save money by not paying for additional employees to take care of your phone calls.

Maintain a Professional Image

One of the first things potential clients will take into consideration when choosing you is your business image. You want them to have the best image of your business possible whether they are calling to ask about your services or to place an order. By making sure that every caller is warmly welcomed and instantly assisted, a live phone answering service may assist you in creating a professional image. You can also include details about your company in your greeting, including your operating hours or a brief description of what you do.

The bottom line is that it's important to remember that calls are also an extension of the business. There are millions of people who want to speak with someone in charge, but they're not getting through. You need to demonstrate that you're ready to take care of them and make them feel valued the same way that you build confidence in managing your business well from calls to strategy, operations, and customer service.

Hopefully, this article has helped you decide if a live call answering service is the right choice for your small business if you're still undecided. There are plenty of advantages to using one of these services, and with the market's increasing competitiveness, it's more vital than ever to deliver good customer service if you want to maintain a competitive advantage.

Dec 6, 2022
Dec 6, 2022

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How a Business Address Service Help Boost Businesses in UK

There are a lot of benefits when registering your business address in the UK as a foreign business entity and we can definitely help you in that endeavor.

They say changes are the only constant in the world. We always see a lot of changes happening around us. Be it in medical field, transportation, technology and also in business management. People nowadays seems to be too smart to develop a lot of trends and ways on how to cope up with the fast-changing world.

But after all of these changes, the same old tasks in managing a business are still important, like sending invoices, answering calls for customers' inquiries and many others. Specifically for these reasons, virtual offices are born and created, which is very suitable for those who manage their businesses distantly and do not have a permanent location. This is a practical setup with a good effect for businesses. Having a business address is also a big help for startup businesses that want to endorse their brand and make a mark in the market.

A business address is an actual and private enterprise that provides a local representation for businesses that is not dependent of location. It is commonly found in a prime location so that it can establish a good reputation to the business itself. It is better for a business to have a virtual business address instead of using the owners' home address to gain their clients' trust and integrity without compromising the owner and employees' privacy.

Business address is an important part of identification for any business. It does not work only in promoting the business brand, but it also helps in establishing the tone of the business. Startup businesses should consider getting a virtual address because it will help them in their business address services. It is also a big help in the business search engine optimization (SEO). A good SEO optimize the business visibility online. This makes the business website visible to a lot of people online by increasing the online traffic. This gives a good opportunity for your products or services reach a lot more people which means more potential clients.

It will be helpful for business owners to know the advantages of having a business address. It might help them decide on what and where to get a business address that is perfect for their own brands.

Table of Contents

• Gives the Business a Good Reputation to their Customers

• Accomplish Work Remotely

• No Need to Travel - Helps Save the Environment

• Uplift Employees Contentment and Efficiency

• Be Able to Have the Best Talents

• Cost Efficient

• Ease in Growth

• No Long-Term Office Space Contract

• Professional Business Support

Gives the Business a Good Reputation to their Customers

A business address with a virtual office that is reputable and distinguished can guarantee that the brand's image is acceptable, reliable, and excellent. It will look more professional and legitimate to see a business address and office phone number included on the business cards, email, and website. Using a business address and phone number instead of owner's home address and mobile number will give a good impression to the business in terms of professionalism and credibility and will make the business more accessible to the customers and clients.

Accomplish Work Remotely

Since virtual office can be accessed online, the business owners can check the business status anywhere and anytime they want. This is a big advantage of having a business address with virtual office. Virtual office gives the owners the pleasure of working in a flexible setup. This is ideal for businesses that only need internet access in running it.

No Need to Travel - Helps Save the Environment

Having a virtual office can also be environmentally friendly. Since there is no traditional, physical office to go to, there is no need to travel. Reducing the times of travelling lessens the carbon dioxide emissions which also mean helping in eliminating air pollution. Working remotely saves travel time. There is no need to sit in traffic, wait for public transportation or be in a crowded train. The saved time can be used in other important things instead.

Uplift Employees Contentment and Efficiency

Happy employees mean good output at work. Having a virtual office has a lot of good sides to the business' employees. It gives them the luxury of time because they can work remotely from home. They can save money from not commuting and let them enjoy work-life balance. Employees can turn their workspaces at home to how they want it to be. This personalized space can make them more relaxed and happier, thus, making them more engaged and happier while working which will result to being more productive and efficient.

Be Able to Have the Best Talents

Being accessible anywhere, virtual office can reach a wider range of people, not only customers but also the best people that will perfectly fit on the positions of the company. Business owners can hire talented and smart people anywhere in the world since they can work remotely. They also don't need to move to bigger office when the business grows. The business success can be highly attainable.

Cost Efficient

It is a lot cheaper to have a virtual office than having a traditional physical office. A business owner can get a virtual office in a highly rated business address without paying as much as renting or buying a physical office in popular business areas. This gives the owners opportunity to allocate the budget they save from commuting and transportation, office rent, supplies and utilities, and many others. They can invest the saved money to their own business giving them more opportunities in growing the business and making it successful.

Ease in Growth

Having a virtual office give the business owners an opportunity to expand their businesses without the need of moving to a bigger office space. This is a good thing for the owners because they do not need to spend as much as they need if they are moving to a bigger traditional office space. In growing a business with a virtual office address, space does not restrict owners. They can expand their offices in a new location or have new several offices in different places while trying out the market.

No Long-Term Office Space Contract

Virtual offices are paid monthly. Because there is no physical office space, owners do not need to sign in a long-term contract for office space lease. All they got to do is pay for virtual office address as long as they need it which is a let risky.

Professional Business Support

One of the important extra features of virtual offices is their support for the business on small time-consuming tasks like answering clients' calls and sorting post. Business owners will enjoy 24/7 assistance.

Knowing all these advantages that virtual business address can offer, it will be easier for business owners to decide whether a virtual office can be beneficial with their own businesses. These benefits will allow them to focus on more important things and give satisfaction not only to the clients but also to their employees that is a big factor on growing businesses.

Nov 26, 2022
Nov 26, 2022

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Importance of Accounting and Finance Management in Business

Keeping your books in order can do a lot for your business, so hire the best CPAs to keep you in line with HMRC

Why do people start a business? How do they manage to sustain the business goals they set upon starting their own businesses? Business owners start a business mainly because they want to provide services to people and in return get some profit from those people who pay for the services they offered. Business owners should have a clear understanding how to grow their business, what strategies they need to do to grow it, and foresee where their businesses are heading to.

In order to do that, every business should have a good accounting and finance management. These two have a very important role in growing and planning strategies for the business. It is significant for the owners to know where their money is going and coming from so that it will be unlikely for them to lose control of their businesses. Good accounting and finance give them a chance to strategize to make sure the business continues to grow, and it can get through unanticipated financial mishaps.

Table of Contents

• Maintain and Keep Business Financial Records

• Compliance to Legal Business Laws

• Create a Financial Plan

• Analyze How the Business is Doing

• External Connections

• Internal Connections

• Creating Strategies

There are some of the reasons why good accounting and finances are important in business management. Knowing what a good accounting and financial management can do to businesses can guide the owners to have a successful and less stress journey in growing their businesses. Some of these are:

Maintain and Keep Business Financial Records

Keeping track of business financial activities can be done in accounting. Accountants and small business owners monitor the cashflows of the business' daily operation by using the balance sheet. If done correctly, this will be a great help for them to control the business financial future and will provide better understanding where the company's money is going and coming from. This will help eliminate the risk of spending and losing money in not value adding things.

Compliance to Legal Business Laws

Having an up to date, fact-based and truthful financial records will help a business comply with important business laws. Not paying attention to minor details can result to major consequence on a business tax management.

The managers in charge in finance need to have a good knowledge about the payments to deduct, the amount of taxes to be paid and the right time to pay those taxes. Some businesses even hire seasonal accountants that work for them to check the business financial records because the last thing a business owner wants is to have poor financial records because once they get audited and proven that they are not legally compliant, the business can face serious legal troubles.

Create a Financial Plan

Financial plan or creating a budget is what gives the business direction. To establish a good budget, it is important to use the financial records and have a good knowledge about the business cash flow. The budget provides the business owners idea about the present financial situation of the business and assist them in steering up the business towards the sustainable success and development.

There are few things to consider in making a budget for the business. Some of these are the profit, expenses, the future plan and foreseeing the unlooked-for adjustments. Keeping a good number on these things is important in managing business. It is necessary to regularly check the original business plan and make some adjustments along the way depending on how the accounting and finance status is doing.

Analyze How the Business is Doing

It is a good habit for a business owner to check how his business is doing. He can do this by assessing and comparing the past and present financial records of assets and liabilities and other aspects that involves cashflows. He can use that information to determine how the company is performing over a period of time.

These financial records give the business owners a chance to know what mistakes they did in the past and learn something from the past mistakes. They can also easily foresee the problem before it becomes a real actual problem. Having a good knowledge of the business financial status can also give the owners ideas on how to do improvements for the business.

External Connections

Financial information of a business is very essential in making deals and communicating with external parties. Correct and transparent accounting and finance management can be of good use when the business needs a loan from a bank or making a good impression to entice prospective investors.

A satisfactory financial management makes it simple for the business owners to show their external stakeholders the financial statements giving them a quick and easy overview of how the business is doing. The stakeholders and investors are given access to these reports for them to decide if they will continue being involved in the business.

Internal Connections

Internal stakeholders are important too in the business. Financial reports can also be communicated with them. This kind of information maybe essential for the employees who shows interest in stock-based remuneration and profit sharing. It is important for employees to know the positives and negatives of the business, and this can be done by being transparent about the financial records within the team.

Creating Strategies

It will be easy for the company to create good business strategies if it has a good accounting and financial management. Good strategies can be made if the business has a good accounting and financial records which are meticulously analyzed.

Knowing and understanding the business financial records gives more confidence to the owners to make reasonable and practical financial decisions about the smallest up to the biggest elements of the business that involves finances. Making a business budget is a serious matter. It should be well thought of because it is the business guide in making strategy and this strategy is the answer to a business' success and profitability.

Accounting, which is commonly named as the "Language of Business", plays a powerful role in a small business. This covers up financial data entry, summarizing, analyzing and investigating. These things are a big help to business owners, managers, and stakeholders to assess and understand the business financial health. Understanding the accounting and financial status of the business also helps them deal with the business problems well and give them the confidence they need in making strategic business decisions.

Nov 16, 2022
Nov 16, 2022

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Company Formation Case Study

For this case study, we featured one of our foreign clients who wants to establish a startup business in the UK.

Objective

For this case study, we will relate the entire experience of one of our foreign start-up clients who asked our firm to help them incorporate their new company dedicating its economic activity to invest in the services market. Particularly in selling software as a service (SAAS) for which they have developed an amazing software that will improve people’s lives.

Case Overview

The company is just coming out of a business accelerator program and wans to establish their brand in the UK and soon the world. They have developed an ingenious software that helps people with their daily lives, particularly in the area of giving the highlights of every city, town or county that a person visits. The software, which can be subscribed for a a certain amount each month, is designed to give the user an overview of the place that he or she is on, or is planning to visit. This is done so that the user doesn’t have to do a Google search or a Google Maps search and waste precious time looking for places he needs or wants to go (the SAAS is designed to work with Google Maps, by the way).

Challenges

The primary challenge of this startup company is to sell to as many people as possible in Google Playstore, Apple App Store, Huawei AppGallery and other app stores. But that’s not really something difficult to do as there have been many similar companies who sell SAAS and went through the same hurdles and succeeded. Basically the real challenge that this startup business will face is convincing people to buy a monthly subscription for their SAAS, as there are already free tools on the web to find hotspots that an individual might be interested to go to in various cities around the world.

Business Solution

We followed a specialized process for creating our client’s limited liability company (as a foreign entity doing business in the UK) and it’s pretty much straightforward. It involves a series of legal strategy that helps the client establish their business in the UK faster, so they can start marketing their product or service to the UK consumers.

Legal Strategy:

• Drafting and signing of a power of attorney

• Obtaining a UK Foreigner ID number (Biometric Residence Permits) for the partners of the LLC

• Obtaining a certificate for the denomination of the company

• Opening a bank account in the name and on behalf of the company, with the subsequent deposit of the minimum share capital

• Drafting of the Articles of Incorporation of the company

• Signing and registration of the Public Deed of the company at Companies House

• Obtaining the company’s Tax Identification number (TIN) at the HMRC

• We emphasize that the client did not at any time need to travel to the United Kingdom, as we could establish the company on his behalf without him leaving his country of residence.

Marketing

Among the company’s notable goals is to provide users with key specific information on certain places of interest (i.e. airports, train stations, bus terminals, hotels, restaurants, and others) that is not available on Google Maps, and/or will take too long to search on any search engine. For example, the company has a feature in its software up-to-date information on, say, flight schedules, available sitting positions, food served on the plane, travel time, the user’s carbon footprint left by boarding a specific flight and many other crucial information. Their SAAS cost $39.95 per month to subscribe and is renewable annually. They aim to cater to Western countries first as people in North America and Europe are the most inquisitive of the people on the planet, but they will soon offer their services worldwide.

Oct 14, 2022
Oct 14, 2022

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Why You Need a Viable Product (and/or Prototype) Before Launching a Startup Business

Building a prototype is very important prior to launching your startup business because it can help you impress your investors and make them want to invest in your business.

New startups pop up almost on a daily basis nowadays and it’s not hard to see why. More and more people have a disruptive, innovative idea of how to solve issues. But an idea is just an idea until you can prove that your idea works and then get funding for the big leagues! But what is it that you need to impress your potential investors to pour money into your idea? Why, a prototype, of course.

Today we will discuss how to make a product prototype for venture funding.

Table of Contents

• Prototype Concept and Benefits

• Why You Should Start Prototyping

• What are the Fundamental Principles to Build a Prototype for Funding?

Prototype Concept and Benefits

What is a prototype? A prototype is a physical example of a planned product for mass production and sale that has the approximation of all the functions and features of the matter in question that would be developed in the future. To put it simply, a prototype can include a powerpoint slide presentation that demonstrate the interaction between the user and the product, and a real life example that can be used to demonstrate how it actually works and how people can benefit from it.

The visual presentation of your prototype is meant for the conference rooms, where you explain the mechanics of your soon-to-be developed product in order to make an impression on them. But you will still need to build the bolts & nuts actualized version of it – depending on its size – you may need a warehouse, hangar or an open field to do the actual tests to demonstrate its capabilities to the investors.

As a result, you get a chance to deliver a viable and proper product that fits your target market.

Why You Should Start Prototyping

Before we dive into the details about the principles of prototyping, let us first learn about the critical benefits that it brings for both startupers and investors.

The first reason is that it enhances your business idea and design validation. You still have time to change and improve your business offering while your prototype is still in the factory being built. Plus you’ll also get an additional benefit of giving your design team enough time to run tests and determine the most workable user flows and design as a whole.

The second reason is that it reduces costs and time to market. Having a working prototype will help you unnecessary costs in changing the specs or features of it while in the design and building process, which also advances the release date of the product. The IBM report about programming development is on point and they determined that it cost them 6 times more when they attempted to fix the bugs during product release than fixing them during the design phase.

Reason number 3 is that your team is on the same page. Prototypes serves as reference points for designers, it gives them a clear knowledge on every detail on the product operability. They can provide you the information you need to make presentations about product concepts and you avoid any miscommunicating them to your investors. Fewer meetings means more money saved and more products sold.

Reason number 4 is you will get earlier feedback. Usually, in the design phase your team will bring in random people to test the product and give their feedback. This feedback can help designers tweak the product and improve it before building the final product for launch.

The final reason is it gives you a solid way of investor engagement. The prototype is actually your ticket to success and a way to the pockets of investors. Leverage on the features and benefits of your product and show investors your vision for your company and you’ll get their attention real quick.

What are the Fundamental Principles to Build a Prototype for Funding?

You must first learn some of the basic principles and best practices of prototyping before going into the design process. Below are some of the important principles in designing and building a prototype.

1) Define your Target Users and Intent

The first thing to do is to clearly define what the goal of your prototype is, who is it for, and what problems will it solve. Take note of this because these are the things that investors want to know about your prototype. Once you’ve considered all of this, then make the presentation to the investors and get that much needed funding.

2) Start with Paper for the Very First Iteration

Bringing your ideas to life should be done as cheap and as fast as possible, and using paper or cardboards just to rough out the basic principles on how your prototype will work is the best way to do about it. Paper prototyping also allows you to quickly modify your design and features without all the hassles of something made of denser materials, which can be expensive and takes a longer time to assemble.

3) Prioritize Product Features and Ditch the Details

Your design team should focus on the product features more than the aesthetics of it (which can be worked on a later time once all the features are incorporated into teh design). Remember, people will only buy your product if it does a significant deal to ease up or improve their lifestyle, anything less than that will not sell at all. Your prototype itself is your business pitch, so eliminate color, typography, and other design elements. Test your ideas through the process of elimination. Keep what works and do away with the rest.

4) Use the Right Tools

Your prototype is only as good as its designers and your design team are only as good as the tools that they’re working with. So provide them with the best tools available in the market in order for them to build you a kick-ass prototype. You may want to consider the 2019 Design Tools Survey, as they mention some of the best tools for prototyping.

Sep 27, 2022
Sep 27, 2022

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5 Realistic Tips to Build a Successful Startup

Want to know how to build a successful startup business? Read this article now!

Starting your own business is never an easy task and even with all the information and technology available to us now (that would make someone from 20 years ago exclaim with glee had they had access to these things in order to create a business back then), it’s still not enough to keep you competitive without a solid plan. Of course, you’d want your company to be the best place to work in the world but that’s easier said than done. Building a reputation online is not only necessary to have a fan base, but it’s also like a double-edged sword where online users on social media can criticize you for any reason and you have to protect yourself from defamation.

As if that’s not complicated enough, the need to constantly increase the value of your sales will definitely challenge your knowledge and skills, as you seek to ensure that you can accumulate the funds needed to expand your business and go global in the next 5 years or so. This may seem overwhelming to you, but there’s always a silver lining in your grey skies and here are some tips to start a small business successfully.

Table of Contents

• Start with a Solid Plan

• Begin Networking as Soon as Possible

• Surround Yourself with the Right People

• Stay Ahead of Everyone Else

• Maintain a Balance Between Work and Life

• How to Avoid Startup Failure

1. Start with a Solid Plan

Nobody goes into war without a plan and starting a business and war is similar according to the author of The Art of War, Sun Tzu. You have to craft a business strategy and write it down to something called a business plan. It basically details how you’re going to run the business and make a profit in a given amount of time. You need to lay out the short and longterm goals for your business and it involves how you’ll start the business (i.e. who will be in your team, where you’ll borrow capital, what will your product/service be, your target demographics, how you’re going to get sales – the short term goals).

On the other hand, your longterm goals will include how you’re going to grow, expand and scale up your business. For example, if you started out in Liverpool, then make sure that 5 years later you’re ready to do business worldwide! Keep in mind that you can always make adjustments with the business plan in order to keep up with the trend.

2. Begin Networking as Soon as Possible

Today it’s business suicide to not build a professional network. There’s hardly a modern business that doesn’t do networking. Networking enables your business reach new heights unlike companies that have existed prior to the internet and social media (with a few exceptions like the Dutch East India Company). Word-of-mouth marketing has never been stronger.

With former company insiders and very diligent researchers exposing some scandalous work of companies over the years, 88% of people today trust reviews from online consumers more than official statements from companies or the government. It is the same when family and friends recommend to them which brands to buy or news media to watch. You have all the right reasons to start networking now.

Networking will also increase your chances to connect with highly talented individuals, which can be very beneficial to you in the long run. Large corporations tend to have the best inhouse talent and that’s because they jealously guard it like a big secret or something. Often times these talent never see the light of day in the open market, because the big companies only headhunt them, then keep them shelved until they have some use for them.

So where do you actually begin?

Well, LinkedIn would be the best place to start networking with professionals and join groups there. In case there are some local dedicated networking events happening, then that’s also a good chance to do networking.

3. Surround Yourself with the Right People

In battle it is the general who commands his army and the same is true for you and your company. Your role is to lead and you need smart and competent people around you to translate your orders into actionable goals. You’ll also need mentors and strategic partners as you grow in the first 5 years in the business (this is why many companies fail, because their leaders didn’t undergo mentorship training). Gather your lieutenants (supervisors) and make sure each soldier (employee) are competent enough to complete basic tasks.

Hire the right people, fire people who do not contribute, reshuffle your organization to achieve better results and learn the art of shifting your business strategy to meet new challenges.

4. Stay Ahead of Everyone Else

The second best always tries hard to catch up with the winner, so do not be the second best guy in the business. Watch out for and keep up with the latest trends in order to stay in the lead. If necessary, appoint a special team to do this specific task and then have them meet with you and your marketing team to plan your next move to leverage from the new trend. This way you will always outpace your competitors and leave them chasing you and not the other way around.

5. Maintain a Balance Between Work and Life

Never kill yourself for profits, if you still don’t get why it’s very important to have a work-life balance, then you haven’t been paying attention on how some people lost the love of their loved ones because they preferred to make money than spent time with them. It’s good to see your dreams come true when it comes to personal success and financial security, but do not forego your family, friends and co-workers – they are an essential part of your life and you need them. So build meaningful relationships and be a leader with a heart to them.

How to Avoid Startup Failure

It’s a known fact that 90% of startups fail within the first 5 years of their business operation, so it may be a good thing to plan ahead and anticipate hurdles that would lead you to failure in order to avoid them promptly. While you can use these tips we’ve presented here in this article as your guide to success, remember that there are no guarantees to success. In fact, you may wish, pray or hope to get lucky because that’s some form of guarantee; however, the best thing that you can do is to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. With time you will also gain experience plus the mentorship you’re receiving will be a big help in your business’ survival.

Jun 21, 2022
Sep 11, 2022

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How to Register a Dormant Company

When registering a dormant company, you will want to know all the necessary requirements that's attached to it, as well as other related information.

Table of Contents

• How to register a Dormant Company

• What Is a Dormant Company?

• What are Dormant Company Filing requirements?

• Starting a New Dormant Company

• Dormant Company Checklist

• Alternatives to Registering a Dormant Company

• Sole Trader Business

• Limiting Reputational Damage

• Protect your Business by Buying a Company and Keeping it Dormant

• Preserving your Limited Company

• Closing Notes

How to Register a Dormant Company

Making your company dormant is very similar to registering any limited company to Companies House. The same required formalities that you needed when you setup your company when you started trading will be required of you again. Among what’s required in switching your company’s status from ‘active’ to ‘dormant’ involves selecting an "SIC code" for your company. A unique SIC code is given to every dormant company.

This becomes apparent when you enter an SIC code "99999" in the registration form from Companies House that you intend to keep your company dormant until you are ready to trade again. Once your company has been registered as ‘dormant’ in Companies House, your company’s registered the SIC code will be publicly available.

What Is a Dormant Company?

A dormant company is a limited company that has been incorporated and is registered with Companies House, but its owners/board of directors have decided to keep it inactive and not trade. Normally, the reason why companies choose this option is to prevent other businesses to use their legally registered name, or perhaps they only want to get a legal business name quickly, but they intend to trade at a later time.

A Dormant Company will have no "significant accounting transactions" and as such will not pay any taxes or engage in any business activity.

What are Dormant Company Filing requirements?

Companies House requires dormant companies to continue filing annual accounts and a confirmation statement every fiscal year. The dormant companies accounts will show up on the filing history of the company in Companies House, which auditors and other interested parties can access.

Starting a New Dormant Company

If you wish to start a new dormant company (a company which has been incorporated, but has never traded or has no intention to trade), then include your company legal name, as well as your preferred suffix (e.g. “Limited” or “Ltd.”) in the Companies House page dedicated to making companies dormant and hit “enter.” Don’t forget to also include the domain name, which you’ve purchased from a hosting site for your company, because you will need it once you resume trading operations.

Dormant Company Checklist:

1. Carry out a company name search.

2. Register your limited company name.

3. Inform HMRC of your intention to keep the company dormant

4. Submit dormant company accounts and confirmation statements where necessary

5. Then when you're ready – start trading

6. (Don't forget to inform HMRC when you do).

7. Start trading and engage in business activities

Once you’ve registered your company as dormant or inactive in the Companies House database, it will remain that way for only 1 year. If you want to keep your company dormant for a certain period of time until you’re ready to trade again, then you must file company dormant accounts and annual confirmation statements every year. You’ll also need to inform the HMRC that you’re putting your company in dormant mode and you do this by getting a copy of their CT41G form after you’ve informed them of your intent to make your company dormant.

Alternatives to Registering a Dormant Company

You can also go to a third party company that assist other companies in processing their businesses in order to make them dormant like Companies Made Simple, and of course, us Your Virtual Office London. You’ll get the added benefit of gaining a better credit rating and find it easier to acquire investment. People will also have a higher trust rating towards you because you’ve partnered with a trustworthy company like us.

The benefits of owning a dormant limited company are:

1. Your interests are protected – no one can use your legal business name and having the ability to take time to craft a business strategy and financing before resuming trading.

2. Preserving your limited company including all of its related legal rights, while allowing you to prepare years in advance before you resume trading.

Alternatively, you can also make your company dormant with the intent of having it hold assets such as real estate or a freehold property. However this purpose is of limited relevance to small business owners, so it will not be covered in this guide.

Sole Trader Business

Perhaps the most common reason why business owners make their companies dormant is to protect their businesses when they’re operating as a sole trader (sole proprietorship in the US, or also commonly referred to as being self-employed). Operating your business as a sole trader gives you more advantages as a small business owner than registering your business as a limited company. Overall it’s also cheaper and simpler to run your business as a sole trader, it’s the reason why there are so many SMEs (small business enterprise) and start-ups opt for this type of business than the more complicated ones.

But there is one drawback to this option also, and it’s when you failed to trademark your business name, it gives other people freedom to register your business name as their own, as you have no legal grounds to prevent them from doing so.

You may also be interested to read Who Can Be A Company Director?

Limiting Reputational Damage

Through the power of social media, any kind of news (good or bad) can go viral and reach global proportions in minutes and can damage your company’s reputation with little to no warning. It’s even worse if another company has a nearly identical business name as you have, (i.e. Domnio XL Consultancy Services vs. Domnio XL Consultancy Services LLC), then several customers had a bad experience with your competitor, but when they left reviews online it was your company was tagged, or was tagged along with the culprit. In order to protect your company’s reputation, you register it as dormant which will prevent other people from registering with your company name and avoid the problem in the first place.

Protect your Business by Buying a Company and Keeping it Dormant

It’s a common practice in the UK for business owners and a company’s board of directors to unilaterally decide to put their company in dormant mode. This business tactic is important because it helps protect their business from being exploited by potential competitors (e.g. the copycat company registering a new business under the same name, which can cause serious problems for the original company). The formations process of making your company dormant and allowing it to trade once more is the same and it is done through Companies House. Pay £12.95 to have your company registered as dormant in the Companies House database and submit company dormant accounts and annual confirmation statements yearly to keep your company in dormant mode.

Preserving your Limited Company

Another scenario where a dormant company can be beneficial to you is when your limited company has been around for a certain period of time now, but you encounter an unexpected emergency and you need to put it on hold. It could be that you need to go abroad for some important work to do that’s not connected with your business, or from which your business depends a lot on and you’ve considered the costs of keeping it running vs. making it dormant, and the second option seems more reasonable.

The problem with keeping your company running is that you are required by the UK’s Companies House to file full company accounts and pay corporate taxes year after year. You will obviously need to hire an accountant to produce and submit these accounts, which will cost a significant amount. But even more problematic is if you’ll have to hire a temporary manager to help you manage your business too! This person will also charge you an insane amount of money, especially if they know how important your business is to the area where it’s operating and to you personally.

By making your limited company dormant, you can avoid much of the cost of maintaining your company, and you won’t need to go through the administrative process of closing down your limited company.

Closing Notes

Opting to put your company on hold or making it dormant may not always be your first choice when faced with a certain obstacle in your business operations, but it is worth knowing about it when the time will come that this is the best and only option you have in protecting your limited company and its interests. Be sure to talk to your company accountant about registering your limited company as dormant in Companies House before considering doing it. You can also talk to us and get free consultations.

Jul 3, 2022
Sep 11, 2022

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How to Setup a Limited Company Online

Setting up a private limited company in the UK can be challenging, but with the help of right companies like ours, you will succeed!

It’s very likely that you will setup your first business as a sole trader, which indicates that you are basically self-employed. But after trading for several years, it is only logical to create a private limited company, especially since you should probably now have the financial resources to do so. The formation of a limited company (Ltd) is quite straightforward; however, you must also be aware how your legal position, financial arrangements and other responsibilities will change dramatically from when you were a sole trader.

Small business owners, contractors and freelancers can benefit much from creating their own limited company. In this article, you will learn all about limited company formation plus additional information on how to run this type of business. If you’re confused about the potential benefits and implications of starting a limited company, this guide is for you. This article will enlighten you on how a limited company can save you time and money, and will show you how to setup a limited company online.

Table of Contents

• What is a Limited Company?

• Why Set up a Limited Company?

• When Should I Change from Sole Trader to Limited Company?

• Can I Set Up a Limited Company on My Own?

• The 7 Steps to Setting Up a Limited Company

• How to Register a Limited Company

• How Much Does it Cost to Register a Company?

• What Taxes Will My Company Pay?

• How Long Does it Take to Set Up a Limited Company?

• How Will I Get Paid Through My Limited Company?

• Legal Responsibilities of Running a Company

• Year-End Reporting for Your Company

What is a Limited Company?

The term “limited company” refers to a business organization that’s considered as a separate entity (legally and financially) from the individual(s) managing this business organization (e.g. the company’s board of directors). The reason why this kind of business structure was created is to allow business owners to have limited liability. By contrast, when you register your company as a sole trader, when your company is sued for whatever reason, it is you who will take the bulk of the responsibility of that lawsuit and nothing will be protected from the government seizing even your personal assets when you lost the case.

On the other hand, if your business is a limited company, you are only liable for the face value of your share in the business and the judge cannot order for your personal assets to be siezed as it is not part of the company. A limited company has one or more directors (having more than 2 directors are called board of directors), may have one or more bank accounts, has its own tax designation by the HMRC, can be auctioned or sold as an IPO (initial public offer) company shares, and is required to be registered with Companies House.

Why Set up a Limited Company?

Most of the benefits of setting up a limited company is already mentioned above and the last advantage of having a limited company is that it allows you to pay a lower tax rate compared to a sole trader company. This means you will save more money for other company projects, or pay out dividends to your shareholders.

When Should I Change from Sole Trader to Limited Company?

Creating a sole trader business has its own pros and cons (usually it has lesser pros and more cons) like testing how your business model will work against the real world market and refine it. Among the benefits of being a sole trader includes no registration fees, little to no administration work, and you can make decisions without having to consult with your board of directors or shareholders. Meanwhile, the cons include sole trader tax is categorized as income tax and not corporation tax, which means its a higher tax rate than corporate tax, plus all business debts is your personal responsibility (meaning you have full liability).

Therefore, it makes more sense to form a private limited company instead of keeping your sole trader business, as your revenue grows.

One advantage that forming a limited company is that you can find more ways to finance your business. As a limited company you can get private equity funding (i.e. selling shares in your business), whereas a sole trader business can only get business loans from bank. Also being a limited company you can do either or both.

Can I Set Up a Limited Company on My Own?

Companies House allows individuals to set up their own private limited company even if they’re the only employee and director of their company. This is a safe bet for contractors because it limits the risk of their clients treating them as regular employees and find loopholes in their tax and legal obligations. It also keeps contractors safe from the legal ramifications if and when they are sued by their clients. Contractors can also outsource their company administration to an umbrella company in order to save time, energy and resources.

The 7 Steps to Setting Up a Limited Company

Below are the steps you need to take in forming your private limited company.

1.) Check it’s right for you

Decide which business structure suites you best, limited company or sole trader?

2.) Choose your company name

The company name you’ll chose for your limited company will be your company’s legal business name, therefore it must be unique and must bear no resemblance to other existing company names. Your company name must not make false implications (i.e. imply regulation or approval by a body where none exists) and must not contain any offensive words. You can also operate your business under a different name; however, you cannot include the suffix “Ltd” to this name if your business was not registered under this name.

3.) Appoint at least one director

Your limited company can have at least one company director (which can be you, typically), but it can also have more than one director. The job of the company director or board of directors is to vote on making important decisions for the company, follow their rules set prior to the launching of the business and filling the company accounts, as well as ensure that corporation tax are properly remitted to the HMRC.

Though not required, you may appoint a company secretary. The company secretary would be the enforcer of the board of directors and he or she ensures that their decisions are carried out all over the different departments. He or she also makes certain that the company adheres to regulatory requirements and does all other administrative tasks.

4.) Decide who will be shareholders

Your company shareholders are those individuals who have financially contributed to the formation of your company. As the business owner you can be the founder, CEO and shareholder of your company. Another type of shareholders are the people who have purchased a significant amount of company shares that were offered as IPOs (initial public offer). Those that have huge percentage of the company shares becomes one of the company board of directors. A shareholder with more than 25% of the shares is a “person of significant control” (PSC) and will usually have the strongest voting power in the board. Some companies who have made well for themselves only sells less than 40% of their shares, thereby giving them the controlling interest of the company whenever the board of directors meet to vote on any crucial company decision.

5.) Create your company documents

Your limited company is required by the UK’s Companies House to have legal company formation documents that indicates how it should be operated. These are:

The memorandum of association

This is a legal statement saying that all initial shareholders have agreed in writing their will to form the company together as a group.

The articles of association

These documents lists all the company rules and regulations and how it should be operated, which is signed by shareholders, directors and company secretary. If this is your first time forming a company, you can find examples of articles of association and use that as a guide to create your own.

6.) Confirm what records you need to keep

Records keeping is also one of the requirements in company formation, which may include the company’s PCSs and all of its accounting records. Records must be kept for at least 6 years.

7.) Register with Companies House

The last step involves registering your company at Companies House (be sure to include your physical address when you do). Select the appropriate SIC code, as this specifies the nature of your business. Save time and effort by registering for corporation tax the same day.

How to Register a Limited Company

Go to the website of Companies House and fill up the company formation form, or you can also use the form IN01 and register by post. Should you decide to not use “limited” in your company name, then you must register by post. Typically, your new limited company will be registered within 24 hours after receiving your application (if done online). It can take up to 10 days for postal registrations to complete.

A 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) will be mailed to the physical address of your company within a couple of days after your company has been registered. Your UTR is important, so keep it safe. The Companies House will also send you a ‘certificate of incorporation’, which confirms that your company is now in their records and that it legally exists. This document also includes the company number and date of formation.

How Much Does it Cost to Register a Company?

It’s very cheap to register your company online, just £12. It cost £40 for postal registration; however, Companies House has a a same-day postal registration option for £100, if you want your company formation to be fast-tracked.

What Taxes Will My Company Pay?

The UK government requires all limited company to pay corporation tax based on their fiscal profits. Companies House requires you to also register your company for corporation tax within 3 months after it has been registered and starts trading (you can register for both company formation and corporation tax at the same time). An actively trading company means that your business is providing services or selling its products and is receiving income or making profits. You can consult with your accountant if you’re not sure whether this applies to your company or not. But be informed that missing the deadline for filing corporation tax could get you fined, or worse, be sued for tax evasion.

You also need to file an annual company tax return to the HMRC based on the deadline they’ve set for your company. You’re also required to register for PAYE (pay as you earn) if your company gives employees and other individuals financial compensation (including your own as CEO or company director). Value Added Tax or VAT is also one of the requirements for your company to register with HMRC. Whether you provide services or sell products VAT will be calculated.

How Long Does it Take to Set Up a Limited Company?

Usually it takes about 8 – 10 business days for your limited company to be registered in Companies House, if you do it by post. Or you can work with us and we will fast track your company formation in a matter of hours!

How Will I Get Paid Through My Limited Company?

Compensating yourself from your limited company involves 2 ways.

1.) By taking a fixed monthly salary

2.) By paying yourself dividends out of the company profits (usually paid quarterly)

The best way to go about it is to choose both options, because you benefit through a reduced tax rate.

The greatest benefit of getting dividends is minimal tax due on them and they usually come in huge sums, because they are taken out of the entire company profits. But it takes 3 months at a time before you get paid dividends and there are no added benefits besides that. There are also drawbacks like if the company made negative profits, which will get you zero dividends.

On the other hand, getting compensated with a fixed monthly income will include other benefits such as state pension and maternity or paternity benefits. And on top of that you will get paid whether or not the company makes a profit because unlike dividends, your salary does not depend on the company profits. However, salary is considered as income and is taxed at a higher rate compared to dividends which is considered as capital gains.

Legal Responsibilities of Running a Company

True, while being the CEO and director of your company has its perks, it does not come without responsibilities and some are delicate because they have legal implications. Among them include managing accounts and giving notice to other shareholders whether or not you will personally benefit from certain transactions of the company. Of course, you may also hire a secretary to do these things on your behalf and cut down on the day-to-day grind – just keep in mind that the buck stops with you.

Year-End Reporting for Your Company

You are required to submit annual accounts and a confirmation statement to HMRC and Companies House every fiscal year. The UK government, as well as the company shareholders, investors, creditors and the general public need to know accurate information about your limited company and that it pays its taxes accurately as well. Consult with us if you intend to setup your private limited company.

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