Company registration, incorporation and company formation are all terms used for the process of setting up a business as a formal legal entity. A business cannot operate as a company until it has been registered at Companies House under the Companies Act 2006.
Before registering a company at Companies House, you should:
Check if your ideal company name is available. If another company has registered the same name, you will have to choose a different one.
Choose a registered office address. A company must have a registered office address where notices, letters and reminders can be delivered to the company.
Decide what type of company you want to form. The most common type of company in the UK is a private company limited by shares; however, you can also form a private company limited by guarantee, private unlimited company or a public limited company.
Choose who you want to run the company. Private companies are required to have at least one director who must be an individual (as opposed to a company acting as a director).
Decide how many shares you want to issue and at what value. A very simple way to form a company is to issue at registration one share at the value of £1, using the sole director as the shareholder. Additional shares can be issued at a later date.
After a company is registered at Companies House you will be sent:
a Certificate of Incorporation
a Memorandum of Association
your Articles of Association
The Certificate of Incorporation is evidence that all the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 for registration of a company have been complied with and the company is registered.
The Memorandum of Association is a statement signed by all initial company shareholders confirming their intention to form a company and become members of that company upon formation.
The Articles of Association are a company’s internal rulebook, which set out how the business will be run and decisions made. Provided that the Articles contain nothing illegal, a company is free to choose which rules are included.
For more information read What happens after you register your company.
Incorporating a company can be a time-consuming and complicated process. Rocket Lawyer has a panel of solicitors available to assist you in incorporating your company.
As part of this service, our lawyers will guide you through this process, liaising with Companies House as appropriate. They will then assist you with registering your company, including the completion and filing of any Companies House forms.
The lawyer’s fee will include the registration fee for Companies House.