Setting up a Limited Company in the UK

So last week I registered a Limited Company in the UK and it turned out to be really easy. I had always assumed it would be more complex…with no real factual basis for this assumption other than a vague suspicion that it would probably involve an accountant, and would therefore be expensive and time-consuming. I was wrong. Here’s what I did:

Note: I am not an accountant or lawyer! Please do not interpret the following as anything other than my own opinions and experience.

I used one of the readily available online services: Rapid Formations. I chose them because their website looked better than those of their competitors (you may think that’s an absurd way to choose, but the more work I do in the digital space, the more often I’m seeing that companies with great websites and apps also tend to be better in other regards too).

I selected their mid-range ‘Print’ package. This took me through a series of 5 different screens, filling out my information, details about other directors, the address where the company was to be registered, share distribution, plus plenty of chances to include add-ons like a checking service for your application. It was very self-explanatory. A child could have done it.

This particular company will also take the initial step of opening a business bank account for you if you wish, but to be clear, you do not need a business bank account to register a company.

As I mentioned, I got one of the mid-range packages, and this got me electronic and snail-mail copies of:

  • Certificate of Registration with Companies House
  • Share Certificates
  • First Board Meeting Minutes for Submission
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (i.e. the fine print about what the rules are)

Total time spent: About 2 hours – would have been quicker if I didn’t have to phone up my other Director to get a few personal details.

Total Cost: Just under £40.

Obviously things will be more complex if you’re starting a business which will require professional indemnity insurance, but I’m not. Also, be advised that setting up a company incurs the responsibility to file the relevant board minutes/tax returns, which are beyond the scope of this post.