The early stages of starting a business are hugely exciting, but there is also a lot of administration to be done in order to get your business up and running.
Choosing the right business structure from the outset and complying with all the associated legal requirements of doing so is hugely important for your potential growth. For more information on choosing the most suitable structure for your business, you can read our post here.
This post is designed to assist you once you have decided to start a private limited company and forms a checklist of some of the practical legal requirements of doing so.
Who’s Who – To be registered, a company must have at least one director and one shareholder. This can be the same person e.g. you if you are the sole founder. You may also have a company secretary who will be responsible for the filing obligations of the company. Directors in particular need to be aware of their duties as a director as they can be held liable for their actions in managing the company. Directors and shareholders will be responsible for making decisions about the company so think carefully about who, if anyone, should have these roles. For the purposes of organising your own internal structure within the business, we recommend having a look at our Starter Packs.
Companies House documentation – To register a limited company, you must complete an application form, pay a fee and file an application with Companies House (which can sometimes be done electronically). The company will then be listed on the register of companies with details of its shareholders and directors and, if you have one, company secretary.
Governance documents – In order to incorporate a company, you need to have documents that dictate how your business is governed, the nature of which will depend on the type of business you wish to set up. If you are setting up a company and haven’t thought in depth about how it will be governed, you can adopt ‘model’ documents provided by Companies House which include Articles of Association and a Memorandum of Association. Linkilaw can also supply you with agreements which will help you to think about and implement governance for the business, such as a shareholders or co-founders agreement, in our Founder’s Pack.
As a founder of my own startup, it was refreshing to work with people who truly understood my business’ needs. I didn’t go to law school but I’d like to think after the Startup Legal Session and the consultations that I understand my business’ legal needs quite well! It’s only been six months since we launched, but already I know that I’m so happy I got these documents from Linkilaw!
Mauria, CEO, I AM LDN
“Of all the choices you make when starting a business, one of the most important is the type of legal structure you select for your company.”
– Ameen Khwaja
Name – choosing a name for your business may seem an easy task, but it actually requires serious consideration. Not only must the name already not be in use, but some words or symbols are not capable of being registered.
Address – every incorporated company is required to have an official registered address filed at Companies House. It is important to note that even if you are working from home, you still may need to use a different address if your tenancy agreement forbids carrying out business activities on the premises.
Shareholders and Directors’ information – if you are registering a limited company or a limited liability partnership, you will need to provide some personal information to Companies House regarding the address and occupation of all directors and shareholders (and for an LLP, partners).
After formation – Once you have successfully registered your company, you will receive a registration number and then be able to open a company bank account. However, the legal obligations when running a company don’t end once you receive the documentation. You or your company secretary will be responsible for filing information about the company’s accounts with Companies House and HMRC. Keeping to deadlines is really important, as the fines can be significant.
In 2014, there were 5.2 million private sector businesses in the UK
We Help Entrepreneurs Set Up Their Businesses In A Legally Sound Fashion.
Book a free session now with one of our consultants to receive more information as to how to form your company and start operating. We can assist you in registering your business and provide you with all the necessary documents at exclusive prices.