7 Steps to Incorporating in the United Kingdom in 2023
The U.K. is one of the world’s biggest economies, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of over $3 trillion, which makes it one of the best places to conduct business. This article will show you the steps for incorporating a company in the country to engage in commercial activities.
- Choose Your Legal Structure
There are different structures under which you can set up a business in the UK. They include:
- Sole trader: A one-person show where the owner is personally liable for any debts accrued by their firm.
- Partnership: When two or more people agree to form a corporation and share the responsibility for managing it. The partners are personally liable for debts accrued by the corporation.
- Limited liability partnership: A type of partnership where the owners are only personally liable for the amount they invested.
- Limited company: The firm has a separate legal identity. The owners aren’t personally responsible for debts or claims against their corporate entity.
- Choose a Place of Incorporation
The United Kingdom constitutes four countries: England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. You can choose to incorporate your firm in any of them, but it is advisable to do that where you are based.
- Choose a Name
Your business name is the primary thing that differentiates it from the competition. You must select one that hasn’t been taken by another firm — you can check the companies’ registry to confirm this — or is similar to an established trademark. It also mustn’t contain vulgar language or something that suggests a connection with government or local authorities without appropriate permission.
- Choose Directors and Secretary
You must appoint at least one director for your corporation. Directors share responsibility for running the company and taking care of required things like filing accurate financial reports and tax reports. The director can be a non-UK resident.
You can also appoint a secretary whose role is to ensure that the firm complies with government laws and advises the directors on how to manage the organization. This isn’t compulsory except for a public company.
- Select Shareholders
There is no business without shareholders, so you must select the owners and determine how to split the ownership between them. There must be at least one shareholder, but there is no maximum number.
- Documentation and Application
With all the information listed in the above section ready, the next step is submitting proper documentation and filing your application. You must fill a Form IN01 which demands information, including:
- Proposed name.
- Type of company (private, public, or unlimited).
- A registered office address where you can receive mail about business-related matters (Osome can provide one if you don’t have this).
- Details of the type of business you want to engage in.
- Details of all shareholders, directors, and the company secretary, including residential addresses.
- Memorandum of association: A legal statement signed by all shareholders acknowledging their intention to form a corporate entity.
- Articles of association: A legal document that clearly states the rules governing the corporate entity.
- Receive Certificate of Incorporation
If your application is approved, Companies House will send you a Certificate of Incorporation, which is conclusive evidence that your corporation is now recognized by the government. Expect it within 10 days after your application is approved.
With your incorporation complete, there are many things to do, which include:
- Open a corporate bank account. This makes your firm look more professional and makes it easier to keep accurate records compared to using a personal account.
- Ensure you file annual financial reports with Companies House and tax reports with HM Revenue and Customs.
- You can apply for licenses for different business activities, e.g., import and export goods, market pharmaceuticals, food operations, etc.
We have provided details on the steps it takes to incorporate a company in the United Kingdom. Following these steps is usually easy, but if you need help with any of them, Osome is available to provide it.