All new business owners whether trading as a Sole Trader, Partnership (LLP) or Limited Company are required to take certain steps to satisfy various legal requirements.
You can complete all aspects of registration online using third-party services or directly with Government agencies.
There are three main options available when incorporating a new business:
You need to inform HMRC within three months of trading, and your income declared and managed through your self-assessment tax return. There are fines for noncompliance.
You also need to pay class II National Insurance contributions and register for PAYE if you are employing others in your business. Depending on your sales turnover you may also need to register and charge VAT to your customers.
If you want to form a Limited Company then a specialist service that integrates with the Companies House database that holds all registrations, is required.
The basic cost is less than £30 with the whole process undertaken online. You can have your new company incorporated the same day.
It’s a fast and straightforward process usually taking 10 minutes to enter your details. Just choose one of the many agents that are accredited by Companies House. Submit your details online, and if accepted, you’ll receive your paperwork by email in three to four hours. You’ll need the following information:
Once you enter these details, then the registration process is undertaken. Depending on the service you opted for you’ll receive your documentation either electronically or hard copies in the post. Most agents will try to up-sell you additional services such as bank accounts and virtual office services. Only choose these options if you need them for your business; otherwise you are wasting money.
These vary depending on the service you have chosen but could include some or all of the following:
You’ll need a UK registered address to form a UK company. If you’re in Northern Ireland, you’ll need to contact the Northern Ireland Registry.
Before you start the process, make sure you have the following information to hand as you’ll need to enter it online during the process.
Once registered, you’re legally required to submit a set of abbreviated annual accounts and an annual return. These can be submitted by your accountant online.
If your turnover is likely to exceed a certain threshold, then you will need to register for VAT. You’ll receive a VAT number and have to add 20% VAT onto every sales invoice you raise. Your VAT number must also be shown on invoices so your customers can reclaim the VAT charged. You will be required to submit a quarterly VAT return which most accounting software packages will calculate for you.