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How To Set Up A Limited Company For Less Than 30

Oct 30, 2007
So, you've decided that your passion has become more than just a passion, and that you now need to take your big idea to the next level. You want to start up a UK limited company. In this article, we will cover what you need to do, and how to find the information you need.

Go it Alone or Get Support?

The decision is yours. If you have experience in business, you may be comfortable going to Companies House, downloading the forms and completing the process yourself. If not (like most) then you will need some more help and guidance. There are plenty of companies that offer just companies formation and provide guidance through the whole process.

How to Choose Your Company Name

First of all, you will need to choose your name. Be creative and choose a name that both represents your company and will be simple enough for people to remember. For example if you arrange corporate events (and only corporate events) then "Avenue Corporate Events" would be a very suitable name, where as if you are a general events (weddings, parties and corporate events etc) provider then "Avenue Events" might be a more suitable title

How to Check Your Company Name

Ok, so you've chosen "Avenue Events" as your name. You now need to check that no-one else currently trades under it, does not contain any sensitive words or names, (http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/about/gbhtml/gbf2.shtml#appa) and that it is free for you to register. Companies House (http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk and a number of other sites) have a free service that you can use to check this.

OK - it seems that "Avenue Events" is already taken. Good thing we checked! After a few more searches, we find that "Ardent Events" is not taken, so let's register that name.

How to Register Your Company

As you are setting up a limited company, you will need to create some shares. As (we presume) you currently don't have any shares, you will own them all. Set up 1000 worth of shares.

You will also need to set up how many directors (and other types of shareholders) there are (of which you will be one) and how many shares each director/shareholder has. There must be at least one directory and at least one secretary. They cannot be the same person, and at least one must be a shareholder.

Legal Documents

Unfortunately, there are a bunch of legal forms that you have to fill out. They are available at Companies House (http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/forms/formsOnline.shtml ), or as part of a supported application process with help from other company formation providers.

Now everything is in place; you have your name, your directors, secretaries and shareholders and can pass over your credit card details and can register your new company name.

All you need to provide to a registration company is your company registration forms and your registered office address. You can send these to Companies House yourself or get an online company formation agent to do this for you who may be able to set up your company for you in less than 4 hours and guide you along the process.

What now?

After registering your company, you will need to consider more things than just your name. Where are you going to get your business banking from? Who do you buy your stationery from? How are you going to make money? Will you need a hand with administration from a 'virtual' secretary or 'receptionist'? All these things can be vital to the success of your new company, and can be considered in detail now that the fictional "Ardent Events" is in business!
About the Author
Charlie Buquette has been writing on business issues for 10 years and wrote "How to Set Up a Limited Company" on behalf on just companies.
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