FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below is a list of often asked questions about forming a UK limited company. If you have any further questions that you would like answered, please contact us.
- Can I choose any name I want for my company?
- How can I check the availability of a name?
- Who owns the company and who runs it?
- Can anyone be a director?
- What are the directors' powers, duties and responsibilities?
- Will I need to employ an accountant?
- Must all company accounts be audited?
- What are the set-up costs?
Can I choose any name I want for my company?
Unfortunately you will not always be able to have the name you want for your company. There are a number of regulations that apply when a company name is chosen.
The name you choose must be unique and must not include the words limited, unlimited or public limited company (or their Welsh equivalents) or any abbreviations of those words except at the end of the name to indicate the company's status.
You cannot choose a name that would be considered offensive or whose use would constitute a criminal offence.
It is important to avoid choosing a name which is too like existing registered companies or brand names e.g. Harrods, Virgin, Corus.
The for more guidance on choosing a company name refer to the online Guidance Booklets and FAQs on the Companies House website.
How can I check the availability of a name?
You can check the availability of a name by searching the Companies House database (this service normally operates Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 12 Midnight UK time) or alternatively, when you place an order we will verify availability and advise if necessary.
Who owns the company and who runs it?
The directors run the company and the shareholders (members) own it. The directors may also be shareholders. You require only one member, and in addition to the director, you must have a company secretary. If there is only one director, the secretary must be a person other than the sole director. This means there must be at least two people involved in running a company.
Can anyone be a director?
Yes, but it is generally up to the members (usually shareholders) to appoint people they believe will run the company well on their behalf.
You may not be a director:
- if you are an undischarged bankrupt
- if you have been disqualified by a court from acting as a company director
What are the directors' powers, duties and responsibilities?
The directors are responsible for the management of the company. While their powers can be restricted by the company's articles they can in most cases can do anything that the company can do. With these powers come responsibilities. Since the directors can act as and for the company, they must ensure that the company does everything that is is obliged to do by law and that the decisions they make are in the best interests of the company (i.e. the shareholders as a whole).
- carry out duties diligently and honestly
- not carry on the business with intent to defraud creditors or for any fraudulent purpose
- not knowingly allow the company to trade while insolvent. Directors who do so may have to pay for the debts incurred while insolvent
- not knowingly deceive the shareholders
- have a regard for the interests of employees in general
- comply with the requirements of the Companies Acts, such as the preparation and circulation of accounts to the members and submission to Companies House within the time allowed
Will I need to employ an accountant?
There is no legal requirement to use an accountant, although it is usually advisable to employ the services of a suitably qualified accountant e.g. someone who is a member of a recognized body, as they will help with your book keeping, preparation of your tax returns and prevent you from making costly mistakes.
There are four recognised bodies which will be of interest to you as a small business:
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, whose members put ACA or FCA after their name.
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, whose members put CA after name.
- Chartered Association of Certified Accountants who members put ACCA of FCCA after their name.
- The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, whose members put ACMA or FCMA after their name.
Must all company accounts be audited?
No. If they qualify for exemption and wish to take advantage of it, most very small companies and dormant companies are not required to have their accounts audited.
- To qualify for audit exemption as a very small company, the companies turnover must be less than £1 million (£250,000 for companies that are charities) and have assets of less than £1.4 million.
- Dormant company audit exemption may be claimed by a limited company that has not traded during a financial year, unless it is a banking or insurance company or an authorised person under the Financial Services Act 1986. Dormant companies do not need to appoint auditors and can deliver very basic accounts to Companies House.
If you purchase a ready made company, then you will be able to open a bank account and trade as soon as payment is cleared.
We also offer Standard and Deluxe packages. The Deluxe package comes with FREE domain name, E-mail account and VAT registration forms. Standard package price £99 (£118.8 including VAT). The Standard and Deluxe packages also include a hard register. Deluxe package price £199 (£238.8 including VAT). To place an order visit our order form or if you require further information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every care has been taken to ensure that the information given in this document is correct but no responsibility can be accepted for errors and omissions.