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Have you ever felt a bit afraid of setting up your own company? All that legislation, jargon, complexity? Well, I have just set up my own limited company – CEM Bookkeeping & Consultancy Ltd – and it really isn’t that complicated.  It will take about 30 minutes of your time and will save you paying a 3rd party to do it for you at a time when money may well be scarce.

I thought I would offer some simple instructions to help you get started, based on my own experience…

Go to Companies House

Click on ‘Starting a Company’

Click on ‘Register a Company – set up a Private Limited Company’

It then takes you through the steps of what you will need in terms of information.

I would advise you choose a company name first, then check to see if there is a similar / same company name on Companies House records.

If there isn’t, then you are good to go… And can start registering your company.

If there is a similar / same name, then you may want to rethink your company name.

When you are ready, click on ‘Register your company’

And ‘Register now’

Remember you will need to pay £12 there and then, using a debit or credit card.

If you haven’t enrolled before you will need to set up an account for your login etc.

Once you are in, follow the instructions.

Things to think about:

  • Your registered address and your home address cannot be the same, so you may need to sign up with companies that offer a service of being your registered office. Most charge a small monthly / annual fee and don’t have to do very much.
  • Where will you find such a service? Most accountants offer a registered office service, but also co working offices offer this facility too.  Locally you could try David at Maple Works – -
  • Who are the Directors of the company?  You.  Anyone else?  How much share of the company will you each have?
  • Company Secretary – you don’t need one to register a Private Limited Company
  • How many shares will you have and to what value?  Most people go for 100 shares at a value of £1 each.  You can make amendments later on in the life of the company if you take on another Director. If there are two of you, you need to decide if it is an equal partnership or not.  Are you using all the shares straight away (issued)? Or will there be some unallocated at this time?
  • Memorandum of Association & Articles of Association
    • These are quite standard and Companies House will prepare these for you if you select certain options in the setup of your company.
    • At this stage, keep it simple and use the Companies House guidelines

Finally, once you have registered your company, Companies House will ask you if you want them to notify HMRC for Corporation Tax purposes.

  • Note that you must be registered for Corporation Tax within 3 months of setting up your company with Companies House.  So why not take the hassle out of informing them yourself and let Companies House do it for you.

Once my Companies House forms were filled out, I paid my £12 and left it to be processed.  This was on a Tuesday afternoon, and by Wednesday morning (before 10am), I was officially the Director of a Limited Company.

In my next blogs I will talk you through how I registered for Corporation Tax, set up a Government Gateway for CEM, registered for VAT and PAYE.

Do let me know ideas for blogs…  I was thinking about ‘ taking on your first member of staff’, Auto Enrolment (Pensions), setting systems and procedures for your company.

You can email me at

Good luck setting up your Limited Company…!

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