Company Formation

Company formation is a relatively simple process in the UK. The UK Government has invested strongly in making the UK the easiest jurisdiction in the world in which to incorporate and run a limited company. Legislation provides for a strict code of filings that all UK companies must adhere to providing up to date details of company structures and the filing of accounts and returns on a regular basis with Companies House.

However, despite the ease with which a company can be established, the same legislation requires all companies to maintain detailed documents such as statutory registers to record directors and shareholders, minutes of meetings and share certificates to name but a few.

In recent years the company formation industry in the UK has changed immeasurably. The growth of online agents offering formation services and the entry of Companies House itself into the market has led to lower prices and severe competition for business. Many agents and Companies House itself now offer prices under £20, but savings at the point of incorporation can easily lead to higher costs later on.

Included in the cost quoted by any agent or by Companies House itself there is a basic statutory registration fee payable to the Government upon incorporation of £13, so it is clear to see that those selling at the cheapest rates are making very little margin on their sales. The result is that many agents provide a very simple service that gives the customer nothing more than a certificate of incorporation. The drafting of registers, minutes and share certficates is then either left in abeyance or the customer is required to spend further time or cost in bringing these documents up to date. The web incorporation service operated directly by Companies House is no different and all that a customer will receive is the certificate of incorporation. Furthermore, Companies House does not provide any further assistance or advice in completing statutory documentation.

The maintenance of such documentation is a legal requirement, and failure to keep up to date registers and minutes for a company is a criminal offence.

Just as importantly, Companies House and many low cost agents supply only Model Articles when incorporating a company. We believe the Model Articles provided for in the Companies Act do not give proper protection for a company and its officers, and instead we use bespoke Articles approved by The Association of Company Registration Agents. Read more about the Articles of Association on our information page here.

At Company Registrations Online we pride ourselves on a totally professional service aimed at customers who appreciate the importance of having their limited company set up correctly and fully compliant with the Law. We offer clear considered advice on setting up your company and ALL company formations we conduct are fully completed with statutory registers, first minutes and share certificates all written up for the client upon incorporation. In addition we provide a comprehensive range of additional services to assist in the future operation of your company and maintenance of its records.

Choosing a Company Name

You can use virtually any name for a new company as long as it is not exactly the same as or very similar to that of another registered name. Some words are designated as sensitive names and there are rules governing their use in a company name.

There are also new rules under the Companies Act 2006 that prevent a company using a name that is too similar or considered the "same as" another company name without proper consent. For example you cannot now add “UK” to the end of a company name to differentiate it from a similar name.

There are specific and expansive rules on these issues, and you can read more about this in our pages on choosing a company name.

Companies Act 2006

Throughout the period from 2007 to late 2009 the Companies Act 2006 was gradually implemented in place of the Companies Act 1985. The final parts of the new Act were enacted on 1 October 2009 and introduced major changes to company incorporations.

The new Companies Act introduced major changes to the old Memorandum and Articles of Association and introduced the concept of the Model Articles which effectively replaced the old Table A Regulations.

Many agents, particularly those at the cheaper end of the market will recommend that you adopt the Model Articles contained in the Companies Act 2006 as the law now allows. Many professional legal advisers have indicated that these Model Articles are not sufficient for the proper establishment of UK companies and companies formed with the Model Articles may well face problems in the future

Company Registrations Online Ltd is a member of ACRA, The Association of Company Registration Agents, who are the only recognised representative trade association in the company formation industry and whose membership presently accounts for over 50% of all incorporations conducted in the UK. ACRA wholly endorses the use of its own detailed bespoke Articles of Association instead of the adoption of Model Articles prescribed by the Companies Act.

All companies incorporated by Company Registrations Online are established with ACRA Approved Articles of Association.

See our pages relating to The Companies Act 2006 and Articles of Association for more details.


Company Registrations Online Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 3838753, VAT registration number 732 4047 59

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