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Company formation basics

What things to consider when forming a LTD company

Setting up a LTD company can appear pretty scary and full of legal jargon. Company law is very specialised (and confusing for most people) however, the process of setting up a LTD company for most people is actually quite simple as most have similar setups.

Here’s some stuff you should know about before you start the process:

1. Choosing a Company Name

You can’t use any company name you like and you must make sure it’s unique, not too similar to another company and does not contain sensitive words.


2. Registered Office Address

Your company needs an address where mail can be sent. Often people use their own residential address but these details will be freely available at Companies House. If you would like to keep your private address off the public register and you don’t have another suitable address, you can use a registered office address service. A lot of accountants and all formation agencies will provide them for their customers for an additional fee.

Your mail will be forwarded to your residential address from the registered office.


3. Company Officials information

To form a company you will need at least one person to act as your:

  • Director
  • Shareholder
  • Person with Significant Control

All company officials will need to provide their full names, addresses, nationalities and dates of birth. If you don’t want your company officials’ private addresses to be visible at Companies House you can use a service address. If you don’t have a suitable service address, many accountants and all formation agencies will provide them for a low cost fee.

Your shareholders will also need to provide answers to 3 security questions. These include birth town, last 3 digits of telephone number, National Insurance Number or Passport number, mother’s maiden name, eye colour, or father’s first name. If you are using us to incorporate your LTD company we only ask for birth town, mother’s maiden name, father’s first name.


4. Share Structure

The share structure determines who owns the company. Shares set out how the dividends (the money you take out of the business for yourself) and how to control voting rights (the decisions of your company) are set up.

It can be complicated and some people do need to take advice, but the overwhelming majority of LTD companies are simple and have ordinary shares with equal voting and dividend rights. This is the basic structure set up through formation agents but it can be changed later if needed.


5. Articles of Association

All companies have Articles of Association. These set out how your company is run. Again most companies use the standard “model articles” and all formation agents default to a standard version.


6. SIC Codes

Every company has a standard industrial classification (SIC) code. During the order process you will be able to choose the SIC code most relevant to your company. You can view a list of SIC codes here

Other Company formation basics FAQs