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The following guide is designed to help you understand the minimum requirements you must fulfil in order to form a UK limited company (limited by shares).
UK limited companies are generally very simple to set-up as the UK government have tried to remove the bureaucratic barriers that can exist in some countries that put potential entrepreneurs off of starting a new enterprise.
The very minimum requirements are -
- There must be at least one director appointed.
- All directors must be at least 16 years old.
- There must be at least one natural person appointed as a director (Not solely other companies acting as corporate directors)
- The company must have a registered office address in the UK. For companies registered in Scotland the address must be in Scotland, for Northern Ireland the address must be in Northern Ireland and likewise for companies registered in England or Wales the registered address must be in England or Wales. Companies registered in Wales can have an English registered address as can English companies have a Welsh registered address.
- The chosen company name must not be exactly identical, or too similar, to any other company name currently held on the register at Companies House.
- The company must issue a minimum of one share at the time of incorporation.
Other points worth remembering -
- Company Secretary is an optional position for private limited companies. You can appoint one if you feel it will assist in administering your company.
- The director, secretary and shareholders do not have to be based in the UK. Virtually anyone can own and manage a UK limited company but there must always be one real person who is at least 16 years of age appointed.
- The address for directors must not be a PO Box. Certain countries use PO Boxes as standard, in which case a street name must also be supplied.
- Corporate bodies can act as director, secretary and shareholder but there must still be another director who is a natural person. Using corporate entities as directors and shareholders can make opening a bank account more difficult in some circumstances.
- A company can be set up with one natural person as the director who also holds the shares and can use their home address as the business and registered address. You just need to keep in mind that Companies House make your home address publicly available on their website if you use it as the registered address and directors service address. This can be avoided by purchasing an address service from us on an annual basis.