Set up and register a public or private limited company

Where to register your company and get help.

The registration process for a limited company can be handled directly with Companies House or you can use the services of a solicitor to do it for you. The registration process in Northern Ireland is very similar to that elsewhere in the UK.

How much will registration cost?

Companies House charges a standard registration fee of £20. It also offers a premium same-day registration service for a fee of £50. Memorandum and Articles of Association have to be obtained from law stationers or company formation agents and this costs from £20 to £30. The cost of having form 12 witnessed is around £10.

Where can I get help?

Companies House can advise you on the basics of the registration process, but they cannot give you detailed advice on how to draw up the necessary documentation. You can handle the registration process yourself, but it is a good idea to seek professional advice from a solicitor. A solicitor can carry out the process for you, for a fee, as well as offer advice.

Tax matters of a limited company

Limited companies have to pay corporation tax on their income and profits. They also need to operate a PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system to collect and pay income tax and National Insurance contributions from their employees – including company directors.

The company itself must work out how much corporation tax it needs to pay, using a self assessment system. To avoid paying penalties, it’s important to understand how this system works and when your company needs to make returns. Your accountant or auditor will be able to advise you.

When you register a new company, the Companies Registrar will pass on the details to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). You must also contact your own local HMRC office to let them know that your company exists. If you do not do this, you may have to pay a penalty.

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