Company Formation FAQ

Company Formation Help
Questions and Answers

Company Formation Help

I have a question before I start my application...

  • What are the services and prices options for forming a UK company?
    Service options and prices are shown on the login screen below the login box click here.

  • What information is required and what is the process to form a company?
    You can see the full step-by-step process if you click here.

  • Should my business be a Limited company or a non-incorporated business?
    The owners of a Limited company can pay themselves dividends from the profits, which is more tax efficient than income drawn as a salary. This option is not open to a non-incorporated business. A Limited company can be perceived as having a more official business status. If a Limited company fails, the assets of the owners are more protected through limited liability. A Limited company has the responsibility to file documents and accounts with the official companies registry, Companies House. A non-incorporated business does not have this responsibility. A Limited company may require annual audited accounts to be prepared for Companies House, whereas a non-incorporated business does not, however a non-incorporated business may still require the services of an accountant in order to prepare accounts for personal tax purposes. We cannot provide any further specific advise on these matters and you should consult a qualified accountant and solicitor with any questions relevant to your specific circumstances and objectives.

  • Choosing a name for your company
    You can choose a company name that is not already being used by another live company. The name cannot breach Companies House guidelines and cannot be sensitive or likely to cause offence. There are some words that are not allowed in a company name without approval from Companies House, if you include any of these words your application may be rejected. Please click here for information on these words Companies House. If you choose a company name which is very close to a name already on the register with a live company, then you may find yourself being forced to change the name of your company. An existing company can appeal within the first 12 months of your incorporation, if they feel that your company name is too similar to their company name and could cause confusion or infringe on their business. Please click here if you want to check if a name is already being used by a live company at Companies House name check.

  • How many people are needed to start a Limited company?
    A minimum of 1 person is required to form a Limited company. It is no longer required for a Limited company to have a Company Secretary and this position is optional.

  • Who can be a company director and Company Secretary?
    There is no minimum age limit in the Companies Act for a director to be appointed in England and Wales. However, he or she must be able to consent to their own appointment. In Scotland the director must be over 16. You do not have to be a British national or resident in the United Kingdom. The main restrictions which would prevent someone becoming a director are disqualification by a Court from acting as a company director except where the person has been granted specific permission to act for a particular company by a Court. A person who is currently a Bankrupt cannot be a director, again except with permission of a Court. A Company Secretary is no longer required for a Limited company. Appointing a Company Secretary is now optional. The Company Secretary does not need any special qualifications and can be anyone who is able and willing to accept official correspondence addressed to them at the Registered Office address and deal with it as appropriate.

  • Can directors and shareholders be any nationality or be outside the UK?
    Yes, directors and shareholders do not have to be British or living in the United Kingdom.

  • What is a Registered Office?
    Every company within England & Wales requires a Registered Office in either of these countries. A limited company in Scotland or Northern Ireland must have a Registered office in these respective countries. You can use your home address as a Registered Office but you should check any tax implications with an accountant in case the Inland Revenue may deem your home to have contributed to the business and could therefore apply a capital gains charge.

  • How long will it take to form a company?
    Once you have paid for and submitted your application, it is automatically transmitted to Companies House. The time taken will then depend upon the number of applications Companies House are handling on that day. Typically 4-5 working hours is normal. Please note that working hours are normal office hours and if your application is submitted in the afternoon it may be the next working day before it is completed. The most common reason for delay is when you have failed to use the Companies House name check before choosing the name of your company and the company name is not available.

  • Can you guarantee the day my company will be incorporated?
    Your application to form a Limited company will be processed automatically as soon as you have made your online payment. After that our system instantly transmits the full application electronically to Companies House. Companies House then process the request, and in most cases the company will be incorporated in around 4 working hours. No company formation service can make guarantees on behalf of Companies House, but there is no reason to anticipate any significant delay providing you have completed all the information on your application correctly. The most common reason for a delay is Companies House rejecting an application because the company name chosen is already in use by another company. If you check that the name you want to use is available before you submit your application, you will remove the most common reason for company formations being delayed. Please see the FAQ about choosing a name for your company.

  • How do the documents get sent to me?
    Depending upon the service you ordered, some documents are sent by email (Digital) and some are sent by 1st class post. This will depend on which service you have ordered. Service options and prices are shown on the login screen below the login box click here. Documents are emailed to the email address you give when setting up the account, and posted documents go to the address you provide for your new company.

  • Can I pay with anything other than PayPal?
    No, we only accept PayPal.


  • Can I cancel my application and can fees be refunded?
    Unfortunately not. Once you have paid your application is automatically submitted. The only possibility of cancelling your application to form a company once you have submitted it, is if Companies House finds a problem with your application and rejects it. You can then decide whether you wish to resubmit the application or not. However we cannot refund fees as we have already made the application regardless of whether or not Companies House rejects it. Please see our Terms of Use for more information on this point.

  • I need an original Certificate of Incorporation
    The majority of all new company incorporations are now done online using E-Filing. Unfortunately some bank staff do not yet understand the process properly. With the new E-Filing Companies House do not issue a hard copy Certificate of Incorporation, instead the new method is to issue an encrypted PDF Certificate of Incorporation. This PDF is emailed to you after your company is formed. This PDF document is the original certificate. If you need to have a hard copy Companies House state that the PDF certificate should be printed on to 160gram Ivory card paper. This card can be purchased from most good stationery stores. You can print the Certificate yourself using a normal desk top printer connected to your PC.

  • My bank wants original documents
    We do not provide 288 forms. If you are asked for 228 forms please advise your bank as follows. Form 288A is to appoint a new director/secretary, 288B is for resignation of previous director/secretary, and 288C is to change particulars of a director/secretary. These forms are effectively redundant for an electronic incorporation. These forms would only be used if you were to buy a company off the shelf and then needed to change the company officers. But with our service you are incorporating a totally new company, and you have appointed the directors/secretary at the time of incorporation so no changes using any 288 forms are needed. For information about the Certificate of Incorporation please refer to the question about the Certificate of Incorporation.

  • I'm using your London Registered Office address service - how do I contact it?
    We offer the choice to use a prestigious London address as your Registered Office. If you choose this option, after you form your company they will email you to ask where you would like your mail forwarded to. If you have any questions you can contact the office directly on telephone number +44 (0)207 887 4566. This office does not handle company formations so please do not telephone this number with enquiries about your company formation, they will not be able to help.

  • How do I contact Companies House the UK Registrar of Companies?
    The address for the official registry of companies is as follows:
    Companies House
    Crown Way
    Maindy
    Cardiff
    CF14 3UZ
    The telephone number is: +44 (0)870 333 3636
    The web site is: http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk

  • How can I change the company name after incorporation?
    You should visit the web site of the official UK Registry of Companies Companies House.

  • How can I change the Registered Office address after incorporation?
    You should visit the web site of the official UK Registry of Companies Companies House.

  • How do I change Directors or Company Secretary or change their address or other details after incorporation?
    You should visit the web site of the official UK Registry of Companies Companies House.

  • How do I convert a Limited company to a PLC?
    We cannot assist with this process as we only handle formations. In order to change from a Limited company to a PLC you should consult an accountant who can explain the requirements and discuss the implications for your company.

  • If don't want a Limited company any more, what should I do?
    We cannot advise on this. You should seek the advice of a UK accountant and ask how your company can be Dissolved or otherwise ceased.

  • Taxation and registering for VAT
    We cannot advise on VAT or taxation. Please consult a qualified accountant.

  • I have another question before I start my application
    If you have any other question before starting an application to form a new UK Limited company click here.

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