What is Companies House?

Companies House is the registrar of limited companies (incl. LLPs) in the United Kingdom. All companies must be registered, or 'incorporated', with Companies and House. Any changes to registered company details must be reported to Companies House.

What is a limited company?

It is a legal business entity that has been incorporated with Companies House as limited by shares or limited by guarantee. The financial liability of its members (shareholder or guarantors) is limited to what they invest in shares or guarantee to the company. A limited by shares company is by far the most common type of company in the UK for profit-making businesses; limited by guarantee companies are popular with non-profit organisations.

What is a company limited by guarantee?

It is a type of limited company that does not have shares or shareholders; instead, it has guarantors who guarantee a fixed sum of money to the company. This business structure is primarily designed for non-profit organisations.

What is an LLP?

LLP stands for Limited Liability Partnership, and is similar to a normal business partnership, with the one difference being that the personal liability of the partners is limited.

What is the Certificate of Incorporation?

The Certificate of Incorporation is the main document that proves a company exists and has been registered under the requirements of the Companies Act 2006. It includes the company name and number, the date of its incorporation, whether it is limited or unlimited and where the registered office is situated (England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland).

What company names are acceptable?

Most names are acceptable to Companies House; however, there are a few exceptions:

The name cannot be the same or very similar to a name already being used.
It cannot be considered offensive.
The words ‘limited’ or ‘unlimited’ cannot be used unless at the end of the name.
Words of the nature of ‘group’ require you to prove the existence of related companies, whilst use of the word 'international' must be substantiated to prove companies in at least two different countries.

Limited or LTD?

All registered limited companies require the suffix Limited of LTD after the company name. Both mean exactly the same, and the choice of which one to use is a matter of personal preference.

Do I Need a Registered Address for my Company?

Every company registered in the UK needs to have a registered address. Your registered address is where you have all your official paperwork sent via the post, so it should be a permanent address that organisations such as Companies House and HMRC can send their letters and reminders to.

Can I Use a PO Box?

The short answer is no. Upon incorporation, your registered address is displayed on the Public Registrar at Companies House. Your registered address needs to be a place where documents can be delivered that need to be signed for, as well as for other sensitive mail from relevant governing bodies, so this is why you cannot choose to use a PO Box as your registered office address.

I live overseas. Can I apply for a UK bank account?

To set up a bank account for your business in the UK you can either:
• use the account you already have in your country
• open a new account in the UK
• open a UK sterling account in your country
However, If you charge or pay VAT you will need a UK bank account. HMRC will repay any VAT owed to the business directly into the account.

I'm not from the UK. Can I still form a company?

Yes, you can.
A UK limited company must have a UK registered office address.
If you do not live in the UK or if you're a non-UK national, you can still form a UK company. The director and shareholders can be of any nationality and live anywhere in the world.
The registered office can be a home address and doesn't have to be an actual office. If you access to a UK address, you're able to use it as your company's registered office. Please note, correspondence will go to the address so you must have permission to use the address.
Our International package is the ideal solution for overseas customers looking to form a UK Limited company.

Don't have a UK address?

Our Ultimate and International packages include our registered office service, perfect if you do not have access to a UK address.

Can anyone be a UK company director?

Yes (including International residents), but there are some rules. To qualify as a UK Limited company director you must:

• Be 16 years or older
• Have not been declared bankrupt or banned from being a company director by a court. The courts can reverse their ban for one or more companies.