The process of creating a registered company is known as ‘company formation’ and is an essential step to having your own business, whether it is a small, medium or large enterprise. There are important steps that must be taken to establish a business but the good news is that you don’t need to do these all by yourself as Your Virtual Office offer a variety of company formation services to help simplify the whole process for you.
This guide is to give you a brief overview of what is required for registering your company and how you can use our Company Formations service to help make the process a whole lot easier.
Preparing for company formation
Before you can begin the process of forming a company, there are some decisions to make. If you are establishing a business in a limited form or as an ordinary business partnership, you will need to choose a name for the business. As a sole trader, the business will often be named by the person who owns it, but still the same rules around your official business name apply.
All companies need to be registered with Companies House with a name that complies with the relevant regulations. Their register is the place to check if the name you want to use is currently in use or to ensure that the name isn’t too similar sounding to another company’s name that has already been registered. A private limited company needs to include either the word ‘limited’ or Ltd in their name in the majority of cases. There are also rules about words you cannot use, including words such as ‘royal’ or ‘queen’ as they imply a connection to the royal family.
Forming a limited company
If you think that registering as a limited company may be the best option for your new business, then once you have the name for your business and are certain that you can use it, you can begin the company formation process.
In order to form a limited company, you will need:
- An address for the company
- Minimum of one director and one shareholder
- Memorandum of association for the company
- Details of the company’s shares
- Articles of association
- Details of anyone with more than 25% control in the company, known as significant control
- The classification code for the business type, known as the SIC code
Once you provide all this information to Companies House, you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation that establishes the company as being a legal entity.
Limited company formation service
Forming a limited company can sometimes look like a complicated process, but it can be made much easier by using a Company Formations service which is offered by Your Virtual Office. Our service involves helping you to complete the relevant documents online to give us the information we need for your business and then we can register this with Companies House.
The registration process can take as little as four hours to complete when done during normal working hours. As a result, you will receive your Certificate of Incorporation. This certificate confirms that your business has been incorporated under the Companies Act 2006 as a legal entity with its own identity. Your Certificate will include the following information:
- Company registration number (CRN).
- Company structure, i.e. limited by shares or limited by guarantee etc.
- Date of incorporation
- Issuing Registrar
- Official seal of the Registrar of Companies (Companies House)
- Registered company name
- The Companies Act 2006
- Where the company is registered, i.e. England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Forming a limited liability partnership
Another alternative form of registration for your business is called a limited liability partnership. In this, some or all of the partners of the business will have limited liability. Unlike a normal limited company, where shareholders all have to share in any debts that the company generates, a limited liability company limits the amount of liability the shareholders stipulated can face.
This means that if something does go wrong with the business, shareholders will only be liable for a specified amount of the debt. This kind of business format is recommended for profit running businesses.
LLP businesses need to have at least two members and the responsibilities of these individuals are set out in the Deed of Partnership. One person would be the ‘Designated Member’ who is responsible for the communications with Companies House as well as preparing accounts and acting on behalf of the company if it is dissolved at a later date.
LLP forming service
To form a limited liability company, you can fill in all the necessary paperwork by yourself or you can use our formations service to do the job for you. We can supply blank agreements for the purpose and can take the relevant information required to form the company, including information about the amount of capital each partner will bring to the business, what their roles are and their responsibilities as well as the position if they should ever choose to leave.
Forming a Company Limited by Guarantee
The other form of limited company is called a Company Limited by Guarantee. This is used typically for non-profit organisations that require a legal personality. This type of company is often used for clubs or associations and means that members have a limited liability if the business is wound up, commonly limited to £1.00. This type of business will often also be registered as a charity with the Charity Commission.
In a company limited by guarantee, no shares are issued and the company has members rather than shareholders. Members contribute a membership fee or a subscription payment and have equal voting rights as well as the option to elect a board of directors. Profits are not distributed as dividends but are used to support activities of the club or association.
Our Company Formations service can establish a Company Limited by Guarantee and complete the relevant paperwork to send to Companies House as well as help you prepare the Memorandum and Articles for the registration with the Charity Commission.
Other company formation services
As well as these most common options for company formation, Your Virtual Office also offer other services to help you start your business.
The Off the Shelf Company service involves using a company identity that has already been prepared and then complete it to make it your own company.
The Vintage Companies service involves using the details of a company that has been struck off or dissolved in the last two decades and can be restored via an Order of Court to the Register of Companies at Companies House. At Your Virtual Office, we have a number of these vintage companies on our records that we can help you restore and use as your own company identity. We can provide details of the companies available and the costs to restore them.
As well as company formation, we can also help with a number of other services that help create your business. These include our Registered Office address service and several virtual office solutions that offer a prestigious London address for your business to use.