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Are you ready to take the plunge and start your own business in the UK? Congratulations! But before you can officially launch, you’ll need to register your company. It may seem daunting at first, but fear not – we’ve got you covered with this definitive guide on how to register a company in the UK. From choosing a name and legal structure to filing paperwork and taxes, we’ll walk you through every step of the process so that you can focus on what really matters: bringing your vision to life. Let’s get started!


If you’re thinking about starting a business in the United Kingdom, you’ll need to register your company with Companies House. This process is relatively simple, but there are a few things you’ll need to do in order to get everything set up correctly.

In this definitive guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process of registering a company in the UK, step-by-step. We’ll also provide some helpful tips and resources along the way.

So, whether you’re just getting started with your business plans or you’re ready to take the next step, read on to find out everything you need to know about how to register a company in the UK.

Overview of the Steps Involved in Registering a Company

1. Choose a company name 

– This is the first and most important step in registering your company. The name you choose will be used on all official documents and correspondence, so make sure you take the time to choose something that is both professional and reflective of the image you want your company to project. 

2. Appoint directors 

– Once you have chosen a name, you will need to appoint at least one director for your company. The director(s) will be responsible for the overall management of the company and will be listed on public documents such as the Companies House register. 

3. Register with Companies House 

– The next step is to register your company with Companies House, which is the government body responsible for overseeing limited companies in the UK. To do this, you will need to submit a number of documents, including a memorandum of association and articles of association. 

4. Open a business bank account 

– Once your company is registered with Companies House, you will need to open a business bank account in order to start trading. This can be done online or in person at your chosen bank branch. 

5. Register for taxes 

– In order to comply with tax regulations, you will need to register your company for corporation tax with HMRC. This can be done online or by post using form CT41G. You will also need to register yourself and any other employees for PAYE (Pay As You Earn).

Pros and Cons of Registering a Company in the UK

There are many things to consider when deciding whether or not to register your company in the UK. The following is a list of pros and cons to help you make your decision:


-The process is relatively simple and straightforward. 

-You will have limited liability, which means that your personal assets will be protected in the event that your company is sued.  -You can take advantage of various tax breaks and benefits that are available to companies registered in the UK.

-You will be able to access a wide range of professional services, such as legal, accounting, and marketing advice.

-The UK is a leading business hub which makes it an ideal place to start or grow your business.


-If you are not based in the UK, there may be additional costs associated with registering your company.

-You may need to apply for visas if any of your staff will be working in the UK. 

-The cost of setting up a company in the UK can sometimes be high compared to other countries. 

-The regulations and compliance requirements can be complex and confusing for those who are unfamiliar with them.

Requirements for Registering a Company in the UK

In order to register a company in the UK, there are several requirements that must be met. First and foremost, you must have a registered address in the UK. This can be your home address, but it must be a physical location where mail can be delivered and where official documents can be served. You will also need to appoint at least one director who is a resident of the UK. The director(s) will be responsible for managing the company and ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

In addition, you will need to have a memorandum and articles of association which set out the rules governing the internal operations of the company. These documents must be filed with Companies House, the government agency responsible for registering companies in the UK. You will need to pay a registration fee, which is currently £40 for most types of companies.

Once all of these requirements have been met, you will be able to officially register your company in the UK and begin doing business!

Choosing an Appropriate Business Structure

When starting a business in the UK, you will need to choose an appropriate business structure. The most common types of business structures in the UK are sole traders, limited companies, and partnerships.

Each type of business structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the one that is right for your business. For example, sole traders have complete control over their businesses but are personally liable for all debts and losses. Limited companies have limited liability but may be subject to more regulation. Partnerships offer flexibility but each partner is jointly liable for debts and losses.

Once you have decided on the best structure for your business, you will need to register it with Companies House. This can be done online or by post. You will need to provide some basic information about your company, such as its name, registered address, and directors. You will also need to pay a filing fee.

After your company has been registered, you will need to obtain a unique tax reference number from HM Revenue & Customs. This will allow you to file your annual tax return and pay any taxes owing.

Applying to Companies House for Incorporation

Applying to Companies House for incorporation is a relatively straightforward process. You will need to submit a completed application form, along with the appropriate fee, and any supporting documentation that may be required.

Once your application has been received, Companies House will review it and decide whether to approve or reject your request for incorporation. If approved, you will be issued a certificate of incorporation, which is the official document confirming the formation of your company.

If you are rejected for incorporation, you will be given the opportunity to appeal the decision. However, it is important to note that there is no guarantee that your appeal will be successful.

Obtaining a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) Number and Opening a Bank Account

If you’re planning on starting a company in the United Kingdom, you’ll need to obtain a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number and open a business bank account. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do both:

  1. Obtaining a UTR number: You can apply for a UTR number online through HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). To do so, you’ll need to create an HMRC Online Services account and have your National Insurance number handy. Once you’ve logged in, click on the “Self Assessment” tab and then select “Register for Self Assessment and get a UTR”. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete your application.
  2. Opening a business bank account: Once you have your UTR number, you can open a business bank account with any UK-based bank or building society. When applying for an account, you’ll need to provide your company name, registered address, and UTR number. Most banks will also require you to deposit a minimum amount of money into your new account before it’s activated.

Filing Annual Returns and Other Documents at Companies House

When you register a company in the UK, you must also file annual returns and other documents at Companies House. This is an important part of maintaining your company’s good standing with the government.

Annual returns are due every twelve months from the date of your company’s incorporation. They must be filed within 28 days of the anniversary of your incorporation. Other documents that may need to be filed at Companies House include:

– Accounts: All companies must file their accounts with Companies House, even if they are not required to do so by law. Accounts must be filed within nine months of the end of your company’s financial year.

– Annual report: The annual report is a summary of your company’s activities over the past year. It must be filed within 21 days of the end of your financial year.

– Change of registered office address: If you change your registered office address, you must notify Companies House within 14 days.

– Changes to directors or secretaries: Any changes to your company’s directors or secretaries must be notified to Companies House within 14 days.


In conclusion, registering a company in the UK is not as complicated or daunting as it may seem. With clear directions and resources provided, you can navigate the process with ease. Additionally, taking advantage of professional advice from experts such as accountants and solicitors will ensure that your business registration process runs smoothly. We hope this guide has been helpful in giving you an overview on how to register a company in the UK – if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to get help at every stage of the journey!

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