Company formation – what forms do you need to fill in?

If you are considering setting up your own limited company, the prospect of ‘dealing with the authorities’ may seem daunting. In reality, the company formation process is very simple – whether you apply yourself, or use a registration agent to set up the company on your behalf.

To set up a private limited company, you (or an agent) have to submit the following information to Companies House:

1. Form IN01

This is the formal application to form a new company. Before you submit the form, you should ensure that the company name you want is available, and does not contain any ‘sensitive’ expressions.

You also need to provide your registered office address, details of any directors and company secretary (an optional appointment), details of share capital and the classes of share in issue.

You can download a copy of Form IN01 here.

Find out exactly what information you’ll need in order to fill in the form here.

2. Memorandum of Association

This document contains the names and signatures of all subscribers who are setting up the company.

For most readers, setting up a company limited by shares (rather than ‘guarantee’), this Memorandum of Association also records the intention of each subscriber to take at least one share in the company.

You can find out more in our Memorandum of Association guide, including an example template.

3. Articles of Association

This document outlines how the company will be run – it is effectively the ‘constitution’ of the company. New model articles were introduced on 1st October 2009 following the implementation of the Companies Act 2006.

The new standard articles apply by default to all new companies, unless you prefer to submit your own Articles before the company is formed (or subsequently).

Most limited companies are limited by shares, however some organisations (such as charities and non-profit groups) may opt to set up a company limited by guarantee. A different set of model articles will apply in each case.

If you are setting up a company yourself, you can download Model Articles here.

Read our separate guide to the Articles of Association here.

Submitting your documents

Details of how to submit your documents, and how the whole incorporate process works in practice, can be found on the Companies House website.

The standard fee to set up a new company online is a mere £12, and you should expect to have your company incorporated within 24 hours. A paper-based application costs £40, and you should be prepared to wait up to 10 days for your formation to be confirmed.

If you don’t fancy setting up a company on your own, you can opt to use a company formation service to set up a company on upir behalf. This is very much the ‘hassle free’ option, and costs are similar. The formations agent takes care of all of your paperwork, and any questions you might have.

Our company formations partner has set up thousands of companies for ByteStart readers over the past 15 years, and will be happy to help you should you want to go down this route. You can find out more about the service and options they offer here.

If you’re thinking of appointing an accountant to take care of your tax affairs, you might decide to ask them to form the company on your behalf.

More help on setting up a company

If you are thinking of starting a business and setting up a company, these other guides will also help you;

Last updated: 14th February, 2021

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