Setting Up A Limited Company In The UK

Here is a guide to setting up a limited company in Britain, based on our previous blog postings. Foreign residents can set up a UK company quite easily.

While it is simple to do, it's important to get the details right an know what you're getting into. In the 21st century people think that every administrative task can be dealt with at the push of a button or a telephone call. That is not so with maintaining a UK limited company.

You have to get the details right when you start as they could be on the public record for a long time. Some things on the public register can be changed after the company is initially set up, and some can't.

The British government makes it easy to set up a company but that doesn't mean you can be casual about it.

However, get the name, directors and shareholdings right from the start and you can be up and running in 48 hours or less:


The following pages offer an in-depth, detailed guide about setting up a UK limited company, with tips about the choices you may have to make along the way.

First, here are some basic Do's and Don'ts:


- Keep it simple;
- Take your time;
- Be meticulous;
- Ask for advice;
- Get someone else to do it if you're not sure.


- Don't try to register a version of an existing or popular name to 'steal some of their glory';
- Don't try to use words like Bank, Society or Royal in the company name;
- Don't have a large shareholding like £1,000,000;
- Don't have your friends or family members as shareholder or directors, unless it's absolutely essential;
- Don't have any shareholders or directors besides yourself, unless it's absolutely essential (you'll thank us later).

And now here is the detailed guide:

- What does incorporation mean, anyway?

- Picking a name

- Checking out the competition

- Choosing a formation agent

- How to register

- What documents you need 

- What documents you get with a UK Limited Company

With the above you'll be able to navigate setting up a UK company easily.

If things go wrong it's not the end of the world; you just close the company down and start another. The UK government is not going to pursue a failed company with no assets; it's more interested in ones with money(!) or where there has been serious wrongdoing.

Britain makes it as simple as possible for a one-man-band to enjoy the protection of the 'corporate shield'. It's possible for that same person, if they are educated, to do the company's annual returns online themselves and 'keep the show on the road' until the company is so successful he or she has to start hiring help.

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