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The rise of the global economy means that, whatever you and your business do, you’re likely to have clients and business interests around the world. This is particularly true in Europe, which provides a host of first and third world consumers and suppliers to help you grow your business. If you’re looking at expanding your business interests into Europe, there is no better place to do so than the UK. Here are five steps for registering your business in the UK.
1. Do you need to register a LTD?
Company registration in the UK, like most countries globally, comes with several advantages – most notably in the fact that your new company obtains the same legal rights as an individual. However, these rights come with responsibilities in the form of maintaining company records and filing tax returns, which can cost money and time. It’s very important to consider whether establishing a limited company is the right move for your business before doing so – and making sure that you’re in a position to meet the requirements.
2. Choose the right company name.
Company names are a great way of generating and storing goodwill in your business/brand, which brings with it common law rights in the UK. However, a bad company name does the opposite and will make your business difficult to distinguish from your competitors. Choosing a company name is governed by certain rules in the UK, chief of which is that it can’t be similar to an existing company name or registered trademark. Thus, before getting attached to your prospective name, run it through one of the many company name checkers to see if its available.
3. What details and documents do I need?
Once you’ve got the preliminary information in place and you’re ready to set up your company, you’ll need to ensure that you have your company name, a UK address to serve as your registered office, an outline of what your business will do, a breakdown of what the share capital will be, details about the company director, the company secretary, and the initial shareholders. As well as the names of the individuals mentioned previously, you’ll also need identifying information in the form of an insurance number/passport number, etc.
At the same time, you’ll need to prepare the Memorandum of Incorporation (briefly setting out the company and shareholding structure of the company) and Articles of Association (in essence, the rules of your company) for your new business.
You’ll need to ensure that you have all of the necessary documentation before you’ll be in a position to register your company. A number of businesses can assist you in generating and filing the necessary documentation.
4. File the necessary documents with the Companies House.
Once you’ve collected all the necessary information, you’ll have to have it filed with the Companies House. You have several options at your disposal here, including filing the documents online through the Companies House’ dedicated online portal, filing the documents through specific company incorporation software, or filing the paperwork in person. Once filed, approval will be granted by the Companies House in as little as six minutes. Once you have approval, you can begin operating.
5. Hold the first board meeting with new directors and set up the company register.
Once your new company has been set up, you’ll need to hold your first board meeting with your new directors. Don’t wait too long before taking this step, because the minutes of that first meeting also need to be filed (along with the company registers, listing the details of the company’s directors, secretaries, members, and shares).