How to Register a Private Limited Company in the UK: Step by Step Guide

how to register a private limited company in the uk

Decided to start a private limited company? Good choice. A limited liability company offers a relatively quick and simple means of getting your business up and moving.

A limited company offers a relatively low level of risk to owners and directors since their finances are protected in the event of debt, bankruptcy, or insolvency.

While all that sounds great, where do you get started? What do you need to do first? To help you through the process, we’ve put together our short step-by-step guide on what to expect when registering and setting up a private limited company.

How to register a private limited company

1. Company name

One of the first and naturally most important decisions you’ll have to make as a new business owner is the name of your new company.

What is your company going to be doing? What products or services will it provide? To remain versatile and flexible for the long term, you should choose a general name for your company.

For example, you don’t want to be known as Mike’s Windows, if you then later decide to branch into something beyond Windows.

To get an idea of what to name your business;

·         The names of your competitors’ companies will give you an idea of a name to give your company.

·         Choose a name that will be short and unique for easier remembrance

·         Choose a name that explains what you do.

Before you register a name in the UK, check if your selected company name is available or not. You can check it through the company name availability checker at Companies House website.

Check the name you have selected is available or not here.

2. Location

Next, you will want to decide where your business is going to be based. If you are just starting or you want a home-based business, you can use a virtual address to register your business.

Why can’t I use my home address? You can use your home address to register your company. However, Companies House displays companies’ information on public records for transparency purposes. This means anyone can access your address and this will infringe on your privacy.

A virtual office address provides a professional image of a more established business and still allows you to continue working from home.

Virtual office packages now offer additional complementary services that help with administrative tasks.

Icon Offices provide mail forwarding and document scan services for free when you sign up for one of their virtual office services packages. To check out our virtual office packages, Click Here.

3. Select directors and shareholders and allocate company shares

You must decide on the directors, shareholders, and Persons with Significant Control (PSC), who will legally make up the company.

The director is responsible for company operations, submitting accurate finance records, and complying with laws whilst shareholders are the owners of the company.

A director can be a corporate body, however, your company must at least have one human director.

To qualify to be a director, one has to be at least 16 years old, not have undischarged bankruptcy, and not have been disqualified as a company director.

A company must have at least one shareholder, but it can be the same person as the director. PSC is someone who controls or owns your company. A company can have just one PSC or several. A PSC must meet one or more conditions known as the ‘nature of control’.

Finally, decide on their associated shares. By choosing how ordinary shares are divided, you are also stating which key people are entitled to which proportion of company dividend payouts.

4. Complete the Memorandum and Articles of Association

Once you have allocated the shares, you will complete the memorandum and article of association. These documents formalise how your company will be run.

In short, the Memorandum of Association outlines the formal process of setting up the company, details how the company will be run, owned, and managed as well as the responsibilities and powers of the company’s named directors.

They need to be agreed on and signed by the company director(s), shareholder(s), and secretary before you register a UK limited company.

Though it can be written in a relatively simplistic manner, it is worth consulting with an expert as the document can have great significance in the event of future disputes on tax and legal compliance.

For a fixed fee of £43.99, which includes the registration fee charged by Companies House, Icon Offices can have your business ready to trade and company documents processed within just one day.

Not only will you be able to receive an email copy of your Memorandum of Association, Share Certificate, Certificate of Incorporation, and other company documents the day after your application, but you can rest assured that they will have been processed and handled by experts.

5. Company registration at Icon Offices

If you have a name, and address and have a clear idea of what the company will be doing and how the company’s shareholding will be divided, you’re ready to start the formal company registration process.

To get started, you will enter your company information on our quick application form and we will help you with the rest.

We will help you to set up and register your new company with Companies House and submit all the required documents.

Icon Offices can complete UK company registration with Companies House within 1 working day, however, Companies House may take 1 to 2 working days to process the application.

Once the application is approved, we will send all company formation documents to you via email.

6. Get an Accountant

Though you may want to do it alone, most likely you will require the services of an accountant at some point throughout the company formation process.

Running a private limited company requires you to be knowledgeable in corporate tax legislation as well as understand the rules about how to complete your company’s annual tax filing.

Hiring the services of an accountant could also benefit you beyond the company formation stages. For example, accountants can support your business with employee payroll as well as general financial and tax planning.

A popular option nowadays is to employ the services of a virtual office provider to handle your company finances. For example, in addition to completing your company formation, Icon Offices can further assist you with your accountancy needs.

We can advise and provide information on taxation, help you file all the regulatory returns to Companies House and HMRC as well as handle annual company accounts and VAT returns.

For your accountancy needs, contact us at to get more information.

7. Opening a business bank account

The next step after registering your private limited company is to get a business bank account. Accountants can also be particularly useful in this regard due to their relationships with banks, especially at a time when getting a business bank account is proving more and more difficult.

Indeed, newly introduced Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering checks and requirements have meant that new businesses are often turned away, especially by High Street banks.

Thanks to their relationships with banking partners across the country, Icon Offices can assist with opening a UK business bank account and do so over the phone without the need for a face-to-face meeting for UK or non-UK residents.

Furthermore, you could also qualify for cash back upto £70 upon getting your account depending on the banking provider you choose to open your account with. It is important to note that you can get this deal when you open a business bank account through Icon Offices.

Our UK limited company formation package comes with a free service of opening a UK business bank account for both UK and non UK residents which has an easy online application with no signatures or paperwork.

8. Ensure you are VAT registered

Finally, with your business bank account set up and formal company registration documents in hand, you will want to register your business for VAT.

Though you are not legally required to register for VAT until your VAT taxable turnover exceeds the VAT registration threshold of £90,000 for 12 months, it may be beneficial to register straight away if your customers are predominantly VAT-registered businesses.

Icon Offices offer VAT registration services for all types of businesses be it eBay sellers, Amazon sellers, Information Technology (IT) companies, marketing companies, and import and export companies.

Click Here to check our packages and what they obtain.

Registering a private limited company is such an easy process if you involve a company formation service provider.

Icon Offices helps you understand what type of application you need to make and what information you need to provide to support you so that your application process is approved by Companies House. Our packages are carefully designed to cater for the needs and requirements of all types of businesses and business owners. For more information, contact us at

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