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A Guide To UK Company Formation

Two business people shaking hands in front of a desk during a marketing meeting.

The U.K. is a huge economy, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of over $3 trillion, making it an ideal place to conduct business. But, before you start, it is advisable to register your business because it will make things easier.

This article will detail the steps involved in company formation in the U.K. 

What Does Company Formation Mean?

This refers to the process of incorporating a company to make it legitimate in the eyes of the government. Doing so creates a registered business with a distinct legal identity from its owners. A limited company is the most common type that business people in the U.K. incorporate.

What Is Limited Liability?

This is a perk enjoyed by limited companies. It means that the corporation's owners aren’t personally responsible for debts that it accrues. This perk makes most people choose to register limited companies instead of other types.

How to Register a Limited Company

You can fill out the application to register a limited company online or by post. Alternatively, a professional registration agent like Osome can make things easier. This option includes hands-on advice and guidance throughout the registration process, which makes it desirable especially for people doing it for the first time.

Registering a Private Company Limited by Shares or by Guarantee

You need the following information to incorporate a firm limited by shares or guarantee:

Proposed Name

You must choose a unique name that hasn’t been taken by another registered firm or is similar to an established trademark. 

Directors’ Information

The firm must have at least one appointed director at least 16 years old. You need these details for all directors:

  • Full Name; 
  • Country of residence; 
  • Nationality; 
  • Proof of residence; 
  • Contact informaDirectors'iness occupation;
  • Valid identification;
  • Date of birth.

Subscribers’ Details (Shareholders or Guarantors)

Registered Office Address

Every incorporated enterprise must have a physical office address where they can receive business-related mail. It can be in any of the four countries that make up the U.K.; England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The business must have at least one shareholder or guarantor, with no maximum number. You need to provide these details for every shareholder or guarantor: 

  • Full name;
  • ServSubscribers'
  • Contact information;
  • Valid identification.

Memorandum and Articles of Association

A memorandum of association is a legal statement signed by all shareholders acknowledging their intention to start a corporation.

Articles of association is a documents outlining the rules that will govern the corporation.

Statement of Capital or Guarantee

If it is a business limited by shares, you must provide information on the type of shares you want to issue and the division for each holder. If it is the other type, you must provide information on each guarantor's financial guarantee.

Registering a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

A partnership is when two or more people agree to form an enterprise and share responsibility for managing it; the partners are personally responsiblguarantor'srate debts and losses. But, with a limited liability partnership (LLP), the partners are only liable to the extent of capital they invested in the enterprise.

The information required to register an LLP includes:

Proposed Company Name

A unique name that another registered firm hasn’t taken.

Registered Office Address

A physical office address within the U.K. where the LLP can get mail about business-related matters.

Partners’ Details

You must provide these details for each:

  • Full name; 
  • Residential address; 
  • Contact information; 
  • Country of residence; 
  • Proof of residence;
  • Date of birth.

Submitting Your Company Formation Application

YouPartners'it the application either electronically or by post. The former option can be processed within 24 hours, while the latter takes between 8 and 10 days. If your application is approved, you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation acknowledging its existence.


We have outlined the steps involved in the formation of a company in the U.K. If you need help in any action or all of them, Osome is available to provide it. 

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