Setting up a UK limited company

Last update: 18 August 2020 2-minute read
Setting up a UK limited company

In the process of starting a business?

As a budding entrepreneur there are a number of different business structures available to you:

The structure that is right for you and your business will depend on your circumstances.

Everything you need to know if you’re setting up as a limited company:

Please note - the following information is for a private company limited by shares, the most popular limited company type

How to set up a limited company

You can register your company with Companies House (the UK’s official registrar of companies) or complete the formations process through an accredited company formation agent (such as ourselves).

What’s the difference between Companies House and a formation agent?

Company formation agents are able to offer various extras that Companies House can’t. For example:

  • Assistance with what company type best suits your needs
  • A registered office address service to protect your residential address from the public register
  • An introduction to a business bank account provider
  • A free domain name to get your business online
  • Startup loans referral for financial assistance
  • Support with company admin such as filing of the confirmation statement and corporation tax advice

Regardless of whether you choose Companies House or a Companies House approved formation agent - after the formation process you will have a limited company that’s ready to trade.

Can I set up a limited company on my own?

Yes, a company can be formed with just one person.

The company requires:

  • A director
  • A shareholder
  • A person of significant control (the person who ultimately controls the company)

These roles can be taken up by one person, multiple people or other companies.

What information do I need for the company registration?

The information that’s required can be split into ‘business’ and ‘personal’.

Business information
  • Valid email address
  • Unique company name (Companies House and company formation agents will complete a free company name check for you)
  • Registered office address (the company’s official address - this is on the public register)
  • SIC code (5 digit code that outlines the industry that the company will operate in)
  • Memorandum and articles (company documents that outline how the company will be run - these will be provided for you by Companies House or the company formation agent)
Personal information

For each company director and company secretary (the secretary is an optional appointment) you will need:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth (the minimum age is 16 years)
  • Nationality
  • Occupation
  • Residential address (this is not displayed on the public register)
  • Service address (this is displayed on the public register)

For each person with significant control you will need:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth (the minimum age is 16 years)
  • Nationality
  • Occupation
  • Residential address (this is not displayed on the public register)
  • Service address (this is displayed on the public register)
  • Nature of control

For each shareholder you will need:

  • Full name
  • Residential address
  • Number of shares held
  • Value of shares held
  • Currency of shares held
  • Share class (ordinary, preference, redeemable)
  • First three letters of town of birth
  • Last three digits of telephone number
  • First three letters of mother's maiden name

See separate Proof of ID and Address Requirements section

How much does it cost to set up a limited company UK?

Prices start at £13.99 and go up to £99.99. Our Basic package provides you with a simple formation that includes digital company documents, whereas our Ultimate package includes extras such as the registered office address service, confirmation statement filing, VAT registration, and more. View our packages

Can I set up a UK limited company if I live outside the UK?

Yes, you can form a limited company regardless of where you live - as long as you have a valid UK registered office address (included with a number of our company formation packages).

Proof of ID and address requirements

All formation agents have a legal obligation to check Proof of ID and Proof of Address documents. This is to ensure we comply with 'Anti-Money Laundering' (AML) regulations and 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) requirements. See here for information on what we require and how you can supply it

Ready to start your business adventure?