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Set Up a UK Private Limited Company

The formation and incorporation of a limited company does not always need the services of an accountant. Even so, there are several key rules to set up a private limited company in the United Kingdom. Other topics in this section explain the process of appointing directors and shareholders (or guarantors). You can also find out how to register for Corporation Tax with HMRC.

SETTING UP: There are various reasons, and advantages, for choosing to set up your own private limited company.

In the majority of cases, it’s a smart way to get paid for doing what you enjoy while you are at work.

Formation and incorporation of a private limited company ‘Ltd’ would mean that the company:

  • Is ‘legally’ separate from the people who are running it.
  • Has separate finances from the owner’s personal funds.
  • Retains any profits that it makes (after paying due taxes).

So, what are some of the important tasks to do when setting up a private limited company in UK? The first part of the process is ‘incorporation’. In short, that means registering the company with Companies House.

To complete the incorporation of a private limited company in the United Kingdom you are going to need at least one (1) director, and:

  • A company name that is legal and suitable and a registered office address.
  • The details of the shares in the company (there must be at least one shareholder).
  • The SIC code or ‘standard industrial classification’ of economic activities. It is a description of a company’s nature of business.

As part of a comprehensive checklist for setting up a UK private limited company you would also need:

Note: Having all these details means you would be able to finish the other processes and register your private limited company set up.


Choosing a Company Name

There are strict rules on how to name a private limited company (e.g. ‘same as’ and ‘too like’). Check out some examples of trading names and how to set up a registered office address.

Directors and Company Secretary

The section explains how to appoint a director and a company secretary for a private limited company. Check out the legal formalities for appointing directors and company secretaries.

Note: There is a way to keep your personal information out of the company records that people can search. Check how to stop Companies House giving out your home address and who can apply.

Company Shares and Shareholders

The guide explains the basic process of private limited company shares and shareholders. Review the workings of a company limited by shares and how to issue a ‘statement of capital’.

Memorandum and Articles of Association

You will need a memorandum of association and articles of association to set up a new private limited company. Find out how the memorandum and articles of association of a company work.

Register Your Limited Company

You can register a limited company online or by post once you have everything you need. Companies House will issue a ‘certificate of incorporation’ after setting up a new limited company.

Registering for Corporation Tax

The section explains how to register a company for Corporation Tax in the UK. Check how to avoid the penalties for late registration and how to find your UTR for future reference.

How to Set Up a Limited Company (Incorporate) in United Kingdom