How to Form a UK Company

Published on 26 Jul 2020 / In News & Politics

Brought to you by: Mathew looks at how to start a business online at

Script: Starting a UK limited company is simple. Very often the only hurdle that gets in the way is jargon; ‘company-speak’ that formation agents, accountants and Companies House (the UK’s registrar of companies - we’re busting jargon already!) continually drop onto websites and into conversations. In this, our latest StartUp TV, we look at exactly how simple it is is to form a UK company limited by shares … don’t worry, we explain what that means too!

A private company limited by shares is a very popular company structure. This is for two main reasons:

Tax Benefits
Limited Liability - this means, if it all goes wrong, the owners do not have to pay out of their own pockets, their liability is limited to the amount of shares they own, hence company limited by shares

Unique Company Name

The Company Formation MadeSimple homepage has a ‘company name availability’ search box. Simply enter your proposed company name and we’ll immediately let you know if your name is available.

The company name must be unique, can not be too similar to another company and should also not contain any ‘sensitive words or expressions’. These are a collection of words that Companies House will not allow you to use without permission from a particular body. For example, you can’t use the word ‘Dental’ in a company name without permission from The General Dental Council.

See here for a full list of these sensitive words and expressions.

Please note, your company name must end in Limited or Ltd (you can choose which version you prefer).

Company Formation Packages

The next step is to select your package. We offer five different packages:

Basic (£16.99 plus VAT)
Printed (£29.99 plus VAT)
Privacy (£49.99 plus VAT)
Comprehensive (£89.99 plus VAT)
Ultimate (£159.99 plus VAT)

It’s worth mentioning that the above prices all include the £13 Companies House filing fee - it’s for this reason that when you add VAT to the prices, the figure appears to not quite match up. This is simply because we’re removing the £13 fee before adding the VAT.

The Registered Office

Now the first step in the actual company formation process is to add a registered office address.

This is the official address for the company and where Companies House and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will send all company documentation.

Important information about the registered office:

It is on the public register (and so easy for anyone to find)
It must be in the UK
Directors (more on these in the next step) must be ‘contactable’ from the address - this means if mail is sent to the address, it must be forwarded on
Permission from the property owner should be granted before using an address as the registered office, so whilst it’s fine to use a residential address (we point you back to the public register note), you must have permission from the landlord


Now you need to appoint at least one director. Directors are tasked with the running of the company. To appoint a director you need the following information:

Full name
Date of birth
Service address - similar to the registered office, this is the official address for the director and is on the public register
Residential address - this must be the actual residential address but it is not on the public register (unless you use a residential address as the service address)

MadeSimple offers business products and services to start-up companies and small businesses.

Founded in the United Kingdom in 2002, we now run more than 8 websites. Our services include Company Formation, Virtual Offices, Mail Forwarding, Business Training and Company Credit Reports.

Subscribe to our channel for small business tips and advice.

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