Registering a business

If you want to run your new business as a limited liability company the first thing you have to do is register the name of the business with Companies House and form the company, a process that used to take a lot of time and work but not anymore.

Registering a business - Registering a company online

Historically registering a business with Companies House involved completing several forms and then filing them with Companies House to get them approved and rubber stamped for the company to be incorporated. Depending on the speed of the mail at the time the formation was being made as well as how accurately the forms had been completed, the process could take anything from a few days to a few weeks or more. If any of the application forms contained errors Companies House would reject the application and return the application forms for amending and re-submission. Because of the complexity of the forms most people enlisted the services of an accountant or solicitor to form the company.

However, the internet has changed things and it is now possible to register a business and form a company online. Registering a business and forming a company online is now the most efficient way to form a company.

How do we go about registering a business and forming a company online? The process is now very quick and takes a matter of hours as opposed to a matter of days. The first stage in registering a business and forming a company online is to fill out the online application form. All you need to do this is to visit the Companies House Website and follow the link to the appropriate web page. The online application form is simple, self explanatory and easy to follow however if you get stuck you can simply save the form and give Companies House a call for assistance.

Once the form is complete it is submitted to Companies House through their online portal, which is safe, secure and confidential. Companies House will review the application and, providing there are no errors or issues, form the company and email the Certificate of Incorporation, the Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association, share certificates, board minutes and all the other statutory records. From start to finish this process will take around 4 hours.

Registering a business and forming a company online means no more paper forms to fill in manually, no more postage costs and no more waiting for the post to arrive. It is a very fast and very efficient service.

If you want to adopt the standard memorandum of association and articles of association for your small business you should have no problems in registering the business and forming the company yourself. If, however, you want a bespoke memorandum and articles it is advisable to go and seek advice from a professional firm of accountants or solicitors as there is a bit more involved.

Registering a business and forming a company online means no more paper forms to fill in manually, no more postage costs and no more waiting for the post to arrive. It is a very fast and very efficient service.


Registering a business - Using a third party

Even though registering a business with companies House has been made easier and less of an administrative burden, the process must be done correctly and in accordance with the Companies Acts and all legislation. Failure to incorporate the business properly or appointing the wrong personnel for the wrong positions is going to create a load of problems that are going to need to be rectified in the future, and this worries many small business owners.

Rather than going through the online process of registering a business and forming the company online many people prefer to use the expertise of an accountant, a solicitor or a company specifically set up to do the online formations. Using a third party to register the business and form
the company online is going to add some additional costs but you do get the guarantee it will be done correctly and peace of mind you won’t have any problems to sort out further down the line. There are many companies offering online incorporations, and since there is a lot of competition the cost to small business owners is very low.

If you want a bespoke memorandum and articles for your small business it is advisable to use a third party as the process is made more difficult and requires a bit more work. Company law is a complex area and in  order to make sure everything is dealt with properly professional advice is needed.

Registering a business - un-incorporated businesses

If you want to run your new small business as a sole trade, or if you are going to business with someone else as a partnership, it is not the business name you register but yourself. When dealing with un-incorporated businesses it is the proprietor or partner that has to register for self employment with HM Revenue & Customs.

Why is this? I hear you cry. Well, an un-incorporated business is not a separate legal entity that can enter in to contracts. Instead the business customers, suppliers and other third parties enter in to contracts with the proprietor or the partners, i.e. the business owner. Therefore, it makes sense the proprietor and partners should be the ones who register with the relevant authorities.

Registering a business - The final word

Regardless of whether you are going to run your new business as an incorporated company or an un-incorporated sole trade or partnership you will be registering a business with either Companies House, the Taxman or both, you just have to make sure you register the business with the right one.