Set Up a Limited Company: UK Limited Company Guide

In this article, weโ€™ll share how to set up a limited company in the United Kingdom.

This will include a step-by-step explanation of the registration process, overview of the costs, the benefits you can expect to receive, and even alternative jurisdictions you may want to consider.

This article is part of our free series on corporate banking solutions and features, which you can access by clicking here.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Set up a Limited Company
  2. Benefits of a Registered Limited Company
  3. Where Can Companies Register a Limited Company?
  4. How to Register a Limited Company?
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?

Set Up a Limited Company

To set up a limited company in the United Kingdom, an individual must complete the company registration process with Companies House. You can complete company formation personally or through available company formation services. In both cases, the formation requirements when starting a limited company are the same.

Limited company formation offers a number of advantages, including a separate legal structure and limited liability. However, the costs associated with registering a company depends on your approach and requirements.

This is especially true if you plan to use a registered agent for incorporation. Not surprisingly, business incorporation with an agent can be five to ten times more expensive. That said, the company setup steps are the same.

So, if you are setting up a corporation in the United Kingdom, you should consider all of your options for small business registration. You can do this using the information below, including our company formation checklist.

But, before diving in, lets look at exactly what a limited company is, the benefits they offer, and where else you can consider registering one.

What Is a Limited Company?

A limited company is a legal structure that separates the owner from the activities, assets, and liabilities of the entity. In short, a limited company has a separate legal identity, apart from the individual shareholder(s).

Benefits of a Registered Limited Company

The benefits of registering a limited company include separation of personal and business liability and finances. Likewise, limited companies can offer advantages in terms of tax and benefit payments. Lastly, if you are looking to create a business that will grow over time, registering a company can offer additional benefits. These benefits includeย  a more professional image, stronger brand, and ability to raise capital.

Benefits of Setting Up Your Business as a Limited Company

  • Separation of personal and business liabilities
  • Separation of personal and business finances
  • Tax and benefits advantages
  • Professional corporate image
  • Ability to establish a strong and lasting brand
  • Ability to raise capital in times of growth

Do You Want Our Free Non-Resident Banking Guide?

Sign up here to receive our Free Non-Resident Banking Starter Guide and weekly updates on the best account opening options available:

Where Can Companies Register a Limited Company?

You can register a limited company in a wide range of jurisdictions around the world, including in Asia, Europe, North America, and elsewhere.

However, itโ€™s important to note that not all of these companies operate in the same way or offer the same benefits.

With this in mind, itโ€™s important to review each option carefully before deciding whether it is suitable for your business registration requirements.

Jurisdictions Where a Company Can Register as a Limited Company

  • United Kingdom Limited Company (Ltd)
  • United States Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Canada Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)
  • Singapore Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd)
  • Hong Kong Private Limited Company (Ltd)
  • India Private Limited Company (Pte Ltd)

How to Register a Limited Company?

To register a limited company in the United Kingdom, you will need to complete the formal registration process with the Companies House.

This registration process can either be completed directly by the owner of the company or it can be completed by a corporate service provider.

In either case, the same steps need to be completed in order for the limited company to be registered, which include the following.

Steps to Register a Limited Company

  1. Reserve a company name
  2. Confirm a registered company address
  3. Appoint directors and shareholders
  4. Submit Memorandum and Articles of Association
  5. Complete company formation forms
  6. Submit all of the required documents
  7. Pay the necessary fees to Companies House

Here is a closer look at each of these steps.

Reserve a Company Name

The first step in registering a limited company is choosing the name. In order for a name to be approved, it needs to be unique. Additionally, it can not be offensive, and will need to comply with additional naming rules.

Confirm Your Company Address

Each business that registers with Companies House needs to have an address on file. This is the registered address of the company. While there are address services available in the UK, each company must use a physical address where it can receive correspondence from Companies House and other government agencies.

Appoint Directors and Shareholders

In order to proceed with company registration, each business must have at least one director and shareholder. In order to comply,the director must be at least sixteen years of age. Of course, the shareholders and directors in a company can be the same or different people.

Confirm Your Business Operations via Memorandum and Articles of Association

In most cases, template Memorandum and Articles of Association are used when a new company registers in the UK. However, each template can have customizations in order to better reflect each new company. In short, the Memorandum and Articles of Association explain the company structure, decision making, and operations.

Complete Company Formation Forms

There are additional forms you will need to complete in order to register a company with Companies House, including Form IN01. You will need to complete these forms and submit them to Companies House along with payment for registration.

Submit Company Documents

If your company requires specific permits, licenses, or other permissions in order to operate, you will need to submit additional company documents in order to obtain these permissions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people looking into how to set up a limited company. If you have further questions you would like to ask our team, donโ€™t hesitate to get in touch.

Why Set Up a Limited Company?

You should set up a limited company in the United Kingdom if you want to benefit from the liability protection a limited company can offer. Alternatively, you want to set up a limited company in order to separate business and personal finances, or streamline tax and benefit payments. On the other hand, if you are a non-resident of the UK and do not have any resident operations, you may want to consider registering a UK limited liability partnership instead.

Can I Set Up a Ltd Company Myself?

Yes, you can set up a Ltd company yourself in the United Kingdom. In fact, the process is straightforward as long as you are a UK resident. To do so you will need to complete the standard registration process directly with Companies House. This will include selecting a name, confirming the registered address, appointing the directors and shareholders, submitting Memorandum and Articles of Association, completing the registration forms, and then submitting all of the necessary information and related fees to Companies House.

Is It Free to Start a Limited Company?

No, it is not free to start a limited company in the United Kingdom. That said, if you choose to register a Ltd company yourself, the fee that you will need to pay is only GBP 12.00. So, the cost can be quite low to register a limited company. That said, if you plan to use a registered agent to start a UK company, the costs can be considerably higher. For this reason, we suggest reviewing various options before choosing which service provider to use.

How Much Does It Cost a Business to Set Up a Limited Company in the UK?

The cost to set up a limited company in the UK ranges between GBP12.00 and GBP 150.00. The difference in the price you pay will depend on two factors. These factors include whether you decide to set up the company yourself and if not, which corporate service provider you decide to use to set up your limited company.

Is It a Good Idea to Set Up a Limited Company?

Yes, it can be a good idea to set up a limited company in the UK if you have domestic operations. That said, in other instances, it can make more sense to use a UK limited liability partnership (LLP), this is especially true when the business does not have domestic operations and the members are non-UK residents.

Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?

If so, you can get access to GlobalBanks IQ in just a few clicks.

GlobalBanks IQ is our flagship international account opening solution. It gives you instant access to the…

+ Expert insights on which banks to choose & why

+ Step-by-step reports to open accounts in the best banking hubs

+ GlobalBanks international bank database & detailed bank profiles

+ Tried & tested banks for high-risk, offshore, & non-resident clients

+ Plus, get YOUR most pressing bank account opening questions answered by our team!

And “yes!” GlobalBanks IQ helps foreigners and non-resident individuals open bank accounts.

In fact, GlobalBanks IQ even helps non-resident, foreign & offshore entities open bank accounts.

Use the link in our menu above to learn more about GlobalBanks IQ. Or, contact us directly with any questions!

Share This Article on Your Favorite Platform
GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

Sorry, but you cannot copy the content on this page.