How do I Form a Private Limited Company?

Private Company limited by shares

   1. Choose a Name

  • You should not pick a name that is the same or too similar to existing trademarks.
  • You should also not pick a name that is on the list of words deemed sensitive, offensive and are linked to the government or local authority.
  • If a name is deemed ‘same as’, you cannot use it as this means names where the only difference between them is certain punctuation, certain special characters etc.
  • If a name is deemed ‘too like’, you may need to change it.

A useful tool to check whether your name is appropriate is to put it through the company name availability checker. There are also rules surrounding how to display the name of your company.

The above list of requirements to consider when choosing a name apply for private companies limited by shares, limited liability partnerships (LLPs) and sole traders.

   2. Choosing you directors and company secretary

You have to appoint a director to form a private company limited by shares. That can be yourself, or another person.

A company secretary helps the director to run the business. They are responsible for keeping records, filling paperwork with Companies House and communication with the shareholders. For a private company limited by shares, it is optional to appoint a company secretary.

   3. Deciding who the shareholders are

The shareholders of a private company limited by shares are the owners.

   4. What are the records you have to keep?

  • For company records, you will have to keep records of details of directors, shareholders and company secretaries. The results of any shareholder votes and resolutions, loans or mortgages drawn against the company’s assets.
  • For accounting records, you will have to keep details of assets owned by the company, debts the company owes or is owed and stock the company owns at the end of the financial year.
  • Annually, you will have to provide confirmation statements to Companies House and check that Companies House has the correct information about your company.
  • You’ll have to, after the end of each financial year, prepare a full set of tri-annual account and a company tax return to Companies House and HMRC respectively.

   5. Registering your company

When you set up a private company limited by shares, you have to make sure that you have an office address registered.

When you are registering your company to Companies House, you must include a SIC code. This is a code that is used as a descriptor of the type of business you have.

Once that is done, you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation, which confirms the legal existence of your company. You can also register for corporation tax simultaneously.

In order to register your company, you will need the following documents: Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association, Companies House Form IN01 and a Shareholders Agreement.

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