How to set up a private limited company

How to set up a private limited liability company the forms and documents needed.

Before your business can begin operating as a limited company, it has to be registered with the Registrar of Companies at Companies House. Incorporation is the process by which a new or existing business is converted into a corporate body.

You can handle the registration process yourself, but it is a good idea to seek legal advice before you do so to ensure that incorporation is right for you. A solicitor can carry out the process for you, for a fee, as well as offer advice.

The Companies Act 2006, which comes into force in stages from January 2007 to October 2009, introduces a number of changes that affect both directors and shareholders of limited companies.

Registration documents and forms

  • To set up as a limited company in the UK, you or your solicitor will need to send several documents and completed forms to Companies House, or, in Northern Ireland, to the Companies Registry for Northern Ireland:
  • a Memorandum of Association, giving details of the company’s name, location and what it will do.
  • Articles of Association, describing how the company will be run, the rights of the shareholders and the powers of the company’s directors
  • form 10 (Statement of the First Directors, Secretary and Registered Office) giving details of the company’s registered office and the names and addresses of its directors and company secretary
  • form 12 (Declaration of Compliance with the Requirements of the Companies Act), stating that the company meets all the legal requirements of incorporation

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