If you’ve got a brilliant business idea you’ll be eager to set the wheels in motion and make your business official. But how can you do this? Here we’re going to look at how you can register a business (which is the same as register a business name) and how online business registration works.In the UK the most popular business structures are private companies limited by shares and sole traderships. When setting up a sole tradership, you don’t actually register a business name – therefore for the purposes of this blog, we shall be looking at the private company limited by shares company registration process.
All UK limited companies are ultimately formed through Companies House who are the official registrar of companies, tasked with company registration for anyone who wants to set up a company. Whilst they do allow companies to be formed via paper forms, online business registration is actually quicker and cheaper than the paper counterpart.
However, when you do decide to Register a business, you don’t have to go directly through Companies House. There are various company formation agents who provide company registration services that actually simplify the company registration process. As well as adding an element of ease, company formation agents can also offer associated services such as use of a registered office and filing of the confirmation statement – an annual filing obligation for limited companies.
Regardless of whether you go directly with Companies House or use a company formation agent, the online business registration process required the same information:
- A unique company name – once the company has been formed no one else will be able to use that name.
- A registered office address – the official address for the company although business need not be conducted from this address.
- Director – the person or people tasked with running the company, all companies must have at least one person in the director role
- Shareholder – the owner of the company, a company can be formed with one person acting as director and shareholder
- People with Significant Control – the ‘true’ owner or owners of the company, introduced by the government to increase transparency in limited companies
- Memorandum & Articles of Association – the documents that outline the company structure and how it is going to be run; Companies House and company formation agents both provide standard Memorandum & Articles of Association that suit the majority of companies, alternatively you can draw up your own
In all, the register a business process should take no longer than fifteen minutes provided you have all the necessary information to hand. Once submitted company registration should take no longer than 24 hours. You’ve then registered the business and the business name.