When you decide to start a new business, you must undergo the company formation process to legally register your business and start trading. However, before you reach this stage, you must ensure all your business planning is completed. The most important matters include the following:
- Name your company. You must choose a unique name as Companies House will not approve a name already registered. You should also ensure the name does not include offensive words or make reference to any local or national government involvement.
- A business plan. You should take your time to produce this essential document which will guide you through your business objectives and plans as your business matures. It should be comprehensive and realistic and include financial projections, market appraisal, unique selling points and forward planning. A positive and convincing business plan can help you invite investment in your company.
- Thorough market research to verify that the products or services you offer are attractive and likely to be profitable
- Ensure you have finance in place according to your short term needs (loans, investment)
- Source suppliers and staff if necessary
- Find suitable business premises if you need to. This or your own address can be used as your company’s registered office.
Using a Company Formation Agent
When you have completed all the essential preparation, it is time to do the exciting bit. Most people these days are using online company formation agents formation companies to help them legally register their new businesses. These agents can make the process of registering a company an easy and stress-free experience using their extensive experience in the market. You should spend some time online checking out the various company formation agents to find one which suits you. A list of approved formation companies can be found on the Companies House website. Many will offer a range of packages at modest prices to suit all types of company requirements. They can also provide advice on whether to register as a private limited company (most entrepreneurs’ preference). Other types of company include Ready Made and Aged Companies, Limited by Guarantee, Community Interest Companies, Charities, Limited Liability Partnerships, Flat Management, Right to Manage Companies and Public Limited Companies.
As soon as you have selected a company formation agent to work with, you can start the process. The agent will require you to provide all the mandatory information to legally form the company. You should have all this information to hand. They will check that everything is in order and then handle the whole procedure on your behalf. Most formation companies will complete the registration in a matter of hours, much quicker than you could manage by doing it yourself. You can also be confident that there will be no delays or hiccups. You will then receive your electronic Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Articles of Association and share certificates for your shareholders. Keep the Certificate safe as it is your legal proof of registration and will confirm your company name, number, date and locality of incorporation.
Most experienced and reputable formation companies will provide you with the option to support your business into the future with a range of post incorporation services including assistance with technical matters. Your relationship with your chosen formation agent can be a close and beneficial one, both pre- and post-incorporation. They can usually help with opening a business account with one of the major UK banks. You will then be ready to trade and the hard work and excitement begins.