Company Registration In The UK: Steps, Eligibility & Benefits

This article will briefly explain the steps for company registration in the UK. Additionally, the business structures, advantages, and costs of registration of a company in the UK will also be covered in the article.


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    company registration in the uk

    Are you considering setting up your business in the United Kingdom which has proved to be one of the most desirable destinations for business?

    Businesses in the United Kingdom can easily conduct trade with the rest of the world. The country boasts robust infrastructure, including its large ports, which aid in its connectivity with the rest of the world. Heathrow Airport found in the country is one of the biggest and most linked transportation centres worldwide.

    The ease with which businesses can be conducted in the United Kingdom is another one of the reasons the nation is preferred by entrepreneurs from all over the world. Based on the most recent World Bank global ranking, the United Kingdom is placed 8th out of 190 nations in terms of how easy it is to do commercial operations there. Additionally, the nation’s population of over 67 million people provides businesses with access to a sizable pool of talented and knowledgeable labor.

    This article will briefly explain the steps for company registration in the UK. Additionally, the business structures, advantages, and costs of registration of a company in the UK will also be covered in the article.

    Why register a company in the United Kingdom?

    • The United Kingdom possesses one of the lowest rates of taxation in Europe.
    • The UK government offers several economic programs that assist business owners and staff with tax advantages.
    • Numerous ports in the nation facilitate communication with the rest of the world.
    • The UK boasts among Europe’s strongest productivity increases.
    • The UK is a desirable place for trade since it has significant ports connecting it to the rest of the world.
    • The majority of dividends given to UK firms are tax-exempt.
    • In the UK, there is access to sophisticated automated systems and technology.

    Steps for the registration of a company in the UK

    The various steps that must be followed for company registration in the United Kingdom are listed below: 

    Choose the appropriate structure for your firm

    Selecting an appropriate corporate structure is the first stage for company registration in the United Kingdom.

    Select a business name

    The second stage for UK company formation involves selecting a name for the business. While choosing a name for the business, certain criteria must be must such as the chosen name must be unique and should not be the same as another business, and the selected name can’t include any unpleasant or offensive words.

    Have a registered business address

    The third stage for company registration in the UK involves acquiring an official business address in the nation. According to UK law, the new business must have a permanent address, which must be displayed on all internet sites, mailings, terms & conditions, databases, and other corporate papers. Official mail, including those from the HMRC Department, Companies House, and other agencies, shall be delivered to the registered address.

    Choose the directors and stockholders

    The selection of the directors and shareholders is the next step for UK company formation. The firm’s directors are obligated by law to oversee the firm’s operations and must make sure that all accounts and statements are meticulously produced and presented each year.

    Gather the necessary paperwork

    The necessary paperwork for company registration in the United Kingdom, such as the article of association and memorandum of association must be prepared. A “memorandum of association” is a formal document that all founding stockholders or guarantors must sign for the business to be formed and the operating guidelines for the firm are outlined in the articles of association.

    Acquire the SIC Code

    Before filing for incorporation, the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, which describes the primary operations of the new business must also be acquired for company registration in the United Kingdom.

    Apply for business registration

    The entrepreneur can apply to register a company in the UK at the Companies House together with all the necessary paperwork.

    Acquire the certificate of incorporation

    Once the firm is established, you will receive the certificate of incorporation. This verifies the business’s legitimacy and displays its organization number and establishment date.

    Documents required for UK company formation

    The numerous documents for UK company formation are discussed below:

    •   Business name and activity
    •   Memorandum and article of association
    •   Business incorporation form
    •   Details of the Directors and Stockholders
    •   Proof of registered business address

    Eligibility criteria for company registration in the UK

    Company Setup3 to 5 working days
    DirectorMinimum 1
    Share Capital Requirement£1
    Local Company SecretaryMinimum 1
    Local Registered AddressMandatory (Virtual/Physical)
    ShareholderMinimum 1

    Below are the prerequisites that must be satisfied for company registration in the United Kingdom:

    • Business Name: The selected name must be original and free of vulgar language.
    • Number of Directors: At least 1 director is essential for the registration of a company in the UK. A minimum age of 16 is required for the director.
    • Number of Shareholders: A minimum of 1 stockholder is necessary for company registration in the United Kingdom.
    • Registered business address: The firm needs to maintain a registered address in the United Kingdom.
    • Required capital: The required capital for a public limited company is £50,000 of which 25% must be paid up.
    • Memorandum and Articles of Association: A “memorandum” and “articles of association” paperwork are required when a business is incorporated in the UK.

    Business entities for company registration in the United Kingdom

    The various types of corporate structures for UK company formation are:

    Private Company Limited By Guarantee

    In the case that the business is shut down, a private corporation limited by guarantee restricts the value that its guarantors are responsible for paying to a predetermined sum. Such a firm has no share capital and no stockholders as a result.  Members of the firm are guarantors and frequently just owe a small amount, like £1 if the business is dissolved. Non-profit organizations like charity organizations and student associations are common examples that employ this form of legal entity to set a modest ceiling to the sum that proprietors are obligated to compensate in the event of a problem.

    Public Limited Company (PLC)

    A public company is a legal entity that can offer stocks or debt securities to the public, typically via a share market. To register a public limited company in the UK, the firm must have a minimum capital of £50,000, 25% of that amount must be paid up before the company can begin operations. Additionally, public limited firms must have a minimum of 2 directors along with a corporate secretary.

    Private Company Limited by shares

    Private Company Limited by shares is the most common form of corporate organization in the United Kingdom. These businesses must conclude their names with the word “Limited” or the abbreviation “Ltd.” Private companies limited by shares do not have to have a minimum capital investment so they can be incorporated with very little capital.

    Private Unlimited Company

    Private Unlimited Companies are frequently employed for businesses when the danger of insolvency is very minimal since there is no cap on the sum that its shareholders are obligated to contribute if the firm goes out of business. These businesses are also exempt from the law’s requirement that they submit annual financial reports to Companies House.


    A partnership corporation is incorporated when two or more people start a business and share the company’s revenues. A partnership corporation has to be formed by signing a partnership agreement among the members. Assets and liabilities of a partnership are divided among each partner.

    Limited Liability Partnership

    A limited liability partnership may be formed by two or more people working together as business associates. In an LLP, each partner’s responsibility is capped to the amount of their investment in the business.

    Branch Office

    A branch office is a division of a company with overseas headquarters. It lacks a distinct legal identity, and its parent organization controls the commercial operations of a branch office. The overseas corporation is accountable for any debts or commitments that the branch office accrues.

    Community Interest Company (CIC)

    Community Interest Companies are established for ventures that prioritize the interests of the public over that of the stockholders or employees. Housing organizations, and social development organizations, are examples of CICs.

    Taxation structure for company registration in the UK

    Following company registration in the UK, businesses must also enroll with the tax authority, HM Revenue & Customs.

    Firms operating in the UK are obligated to pay the various business taxes at the standard rates given below:

    1. Corporate income tax: In the United Kingdom, the normal corporate tax rate is 25% from 1 April 2023. For businesses with profits under GBP 50,000, a  lower rate of 19% corporation tax was implemented.
    2. Value-added tax: Most products and services are subject to the regular VAT rate of 20%. Most food, most public transportation, almost all books and periodicals, the majority of exports, and some necessities are zero-rated.
    3. Stamp duty: On documents that influence share sales, stamp duty is assessed at a rate of 0.5%.
    4. Insurance premium tax: The majority of general insurance premiums, including those for properties and belongings and auto insurance, are subject to IPT at the regular rate of 12%.
    5. Apprenticeship levy: Employers are obligated to contribute 0.5% of their overall payroll over GBP 3 million to an apprenticeship fund.

    Post-registration compliances for company registration in the United Kingdom

    There are continuous requirements you must meet after registering your business.

    These comprise:

    Business Accounting and Audit

    You might need to prepare and submit annual accounts based on the size and kind of your business. The need for audits may not apply to all small businesses.

    Annual General Meeting (AGM)

    All corporations are not required to hold annual general meetings, although doing so enables shareholders to discuss business issues and make significant choices.

    Filing Requirements

    There are deadlines for filing particular paperwork with Companies House, such as amendments to the articles of organization or the appointment of directors.

    Cost for UK company formation

    Entrepreneurs are needed to pay registration fees for company registration in the United Kingdom.

    • Business incorporation costs with the Companies House can range from 10 to 40 pounds.
    • A £12 business filing fee must be paid to Companies House to start a limited business.
    • A business name change might cost between £8 and £10.
    • Entrepreneurs must also take into account other costs for UK company formation, such as the expense of an accountant, signing up with the tax authorities, paying for a business address, etc.

    Advantages of company registration in the United Kingdom

    Here are the numerous advantages of UK company formation:

    Government incentives

    The UK government offers several business incentives, including tax reductions and venture capital programs. The UK government established a $500 billion initiative in 2021 to promote investments in technologies, energy production, and biotechnology.

    Business operations are simple

    One of the primary factors that makes company registration in the UK so appealing to businesspeople and investors is the simplicity with which business can be conducted in the nation. The United Kingdom has been positioned in the 8th place in the Ease of doing business index by the World Bank. Additionally, the country has a negligible amount of corruption.

    A large number of skilled workers

    Another advantage that businesses prefer the registration of a company in the UK is the nation’s abundant supply of highly qualified labor. With 30 million workers, the UK has the second-largest population of workforce in the EU.

    Effective banking facilities

    One of the most reliable and advanced financial services is found in the UK. One of the top financial centers in the world is London, which has nearly all major international banks. As such, entrepreneurs can have access to a variety of financial instruments and assistance for commercial expansion.


    One of the prime destinations for establishing businesses is the United Kingdom. With its efficient infrastructure facilities, businesses in the nation have the opportunity to reach approximately 500 million consumers within the European Union. Another compelling reason entrepreneurs choose to register their companies in the UK is the presence of skilled and talented employees. Moreover, the UK offers a favorable tax system, an exceptional international reputation, and enticing business incentives that benefit companies establishing their presence there.

    Speak with our experts at OnDemand International if you wish to register a business in the UK. Our team of experts is committed to supporting you through every step of the UK company formation procedure. Contact us at any time for expert guidance and support.