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STARTING YOUR OWN COMPANY
If you have decided to start up your own company, you are more than likely thinking about where you begin.
This all depends on the answers to the following:
The type of business you are going to have.
Where you are going to work from,
Are you going to have any employees?
The business models most people choose are:
Limited by Shares
The majority of private companies registered in the UK are limited by shares.
This company structure is particularly popular as the company exists as a separate legal entity from the individual owner.
This means the owners have limited financial liability, so their personal finances are protected if the company encounters financial problems.
Incorporated status will greatly improve your professional image and business profile.
Limited companies are often more appealing to prospective clients and investors, giving the impression of a well-organised, established and reputable business.
When you register a company name it is protected and cannot be used by any other limited company or LLP.
What are the advantages of this type of company?
Your personal assets like your property, car, finances etc are secure and cannot be used if the company becomes insolvent.
Professional status and corporate image.
You can take advantage of favourable tax rules.
What is the difference between a sole trader and a Limited company?
A sole trader is an individual who sets up a business on their own and registers with HMRC as self-employed.
Unlike limited companies there is no legal distinction between the business and the individual.
Sole trader accounts are relatively simple and no information about the business or the sole trader is made available to the public.
Limited companies must file detailed financial accounts and company records with Companies House and HMRC each year.
Information about a company, its directors and shareholders and its financial accounts are all made available to the public.
Who can own a company Limited by Shares?
Any person or corporate body can own an LTD company.
The owners are known as shareholders and they will appoint directors to run the day-to-day activities of the company.
You can be a Shareholder and Director of your company.
How many people are needed to set up a limited company?
Only one person is required to register and run the company.
You must have at least one director and one shareholder, but the same person can hold both positions.
Limited Liability Partnership
A limited liability partnership is popular with professionals who normally operate as a partnership, such as solicitors, doctors and architects.
An LLP does not have any directors, shareholders or guarantors.
Instead it has members who are more commonly referred to as ‘partners’.
You must have at least 2 members to register an LLP.
LLP’s are taxed as partnerships, meaning they are not liable for corporation tax but each member is personally responsible for paying income tax and national insurance on their individual profit.
You need to make an LLP agreement with any other members as part of setting up your LLP.
This outlines: how the LLP is run, how profits are shared among the members, who is the decision-maker, what are the responsibilities of each member and how members can join or leave the LLP
Who would form an LLP?
This is a structure used by professionals working in industries that operate as partnerships such as solicitors, doctors, architects etc.
What is an LLP member?
A member is a partner in the company
You must have at least 2 members to incorporate an LLP
Who can be a member?
A member can be any person or a corporate body
An LLP member must not be a disqualified director of a limited company or an undischarged bankrupt
Do I need a partnership agreement?
This is not a legal requirement but we recommend having one in place
A partnership agreement should be drawn up to stipulate the specifics of each members’s rights, duties and proportion of profits
How are LLP members taxed?
LLP’s are not liable for corporation tax
Each member must register with HMRC for Self-assessment and pay income tax on any profits they make.
Limited By Guarantee
Limited by Guarantee are most often formed by non-profit organisations such as sports clubs, workers’ co-operatives and membership organisations.
A company limited by guarantee does not have any shares or shareholders but is owned by guarantors who agree to pay a set amount of money towards company debts.
All profits will be re-invested to help promote the non-profit objectives of the company.
No profits will be distributed to guarantors.
Why would I incorporate a company limited by guarantee?
This is for non-profit organisations such as sport clubs, community centres and worker co-operatives.
If your company has the purpose of raising money to promote a cause rather than taking profits then you would set up this type of company.
Who owns a company limited by guarantee?
This company would be owned by guarantors who do not own shares in the company and do not take any profit.
The guarantors would agree to pay a sum of money known as a ‘guarantee’ if the company has any debts or becomes insolvent.
Who can be a guarantor?
This can be any person or a corporate body.
Their details will be registered with Companies House and displayed on public record.
How many people are required to register a company limited by guarantee?
You will need at least one director and one guarantor.
One person can assume both positions.
Starting up a charity has become a very popular option for people interested in helping others and making a difference in the world.
Many Charities open in response to an issue or world event that isn’t being addressed properly by the Government or society in general.
An important point to consider before setting up a charity is that you will not be able to conduct a mix of business.
You will not be allowed to do charitable and non-charitable work under the banner of your charity.
If you are intending to generate profit then you cannot register a charity.
What do I need before I start the registration process?
You will need to know who the trustees will be.
Where you wish to operate and the work that the charity plans to do.
How many trustees can I have?
You will need at least two trustees.
What are charitable objects?
One of the requirements of starting a charity is the inclusion of a ‘charitable objects’ clause in your memorandum and articles of association.
They need to state how the charity will be run and how it will be operated.
Property Management (PMC)
A Property Management Company looks after the property portfolio on behalf of their client base. Services offered by these type of companies include finding and vetting tenants, drawing up legal tenancy agreements, checking on how tenants are looking after the property, dealing with maintenance and repair issues as well as managing financing between the tenants and landlords.
Property management services are very much in demand, with landlords choosing to make their own lives easier, with the added benefit of knowing everything is compliant and legal
What information do I need to provide?
You must keep a register of the companies' members and directors.
What type of company can PMC be set up as?
Your property management company may be either a company limited by guarantee (not for profit) or a company limited by shares (allowing profits to be distributed to the shareholders).
Do I need special Articles of association?
Property management companies must list in their Articles of Association the company's objects: specifically the configuration of the building and the land and the company's responsibilities for maintenance, repairs, insurance.
Right to Management (RTM)
Right to Manage is the right of leaseholders to form a company to take responsibility for the management of their block.
If you are a leaseholder, you may be interested in forming a Right to Manage company.
As a manager of the building you will be responsible for all the decision making in regards to the budgets, the upkeep, repairs and overall management of the services relating to the buliding.
An RTM company must be a limited by guarantee and have specific objects in its Articles of Association. One of the objects must be an acquisition and exercise of the RTM premises.
Who can become a member of an RTM company?
There must be at least 2 members.
All qualifying tenants are entitled to become members.
The landlord also has the right to become a member.
RTM companies only require 1 director.
What do I need to be eligible for an RTM company?
At least 50% of your tenants must agree with the decision to become an RTM property.
At least 75% of the property needs to be used for residential purposes.
At least 66% of the owners with leases must have at least 21 years left on their lease.
What are the responsibilities as a director of a Right to Manage company?
The same as a Ltd direct with regards to HMRC and Companies house filling.
Responsible for the maintenance and insurance of the building.
Collect tenant revenues.
Public Limited Company (PLC)
A public limited company (PLC) is a limited liability company whose shares may be freely sold and traded to the public with a minimum share capital of £50,000 and usually with the letters PLC after its name.
Public limited companies will also have a separate legal identity.
A PLC can be either an unlisted or listed company on the stock exchanges.
There are advantages of becoming a public limited company, especially if you are interested in raising capital for your business.
What are the advantages of setting up a Public liability company instead of a Private limited company?
A PLC can have a huge magnitude of capital.
It is legally authorised to trade on stock exchanges.
There is no limit to the maximum number of shareholders in the public limited company.
Shareholders of a PLC are entitled to transfer their shares freely without needing the consent of someone.
What structure does a PLC company need to have?
A minimum of two shareholders.
A minimum of two directors.
What are the liabilities of a public limited company?
As a PLC deals with public money, it has to make heavy compliance checks with regards to income tax and regulated bodies.
Companies House deals with the regulation and incorporation of limited liability partnerships and limited companies in the UK.
As the official registrar of companies in the UK, they function in three separate countries: Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.
The main duties of Companies house include forming, inspecting, maintaining and dissolving companies along with storing and updating information,
including annual accounts and Confirmation Statements.
The information displayed on the register of companies can be accessed online by the general public as well as all businesses.
All electronic data is available for free.
Data made available on the Companies House Beta service website include:
Company registration number
Date of incorporation
Previous company names
Nature of business
Full list of shareholders
Currently resigned secretaries and directors
Registered office address
Images of issues and filed documents
Accounts and yearly return filing deadlines
Full filling details
*Please note: Future Formations can only register companies within England and Wales.
A company’s authentication code contains six alphanumeric characters and is issued to all newly registered companies by Companies House.
It is often referred to as a Web Filing authentication code or a company PIN.
The authentication code is a company’s electronic signature, which you will need to provide when you file documents electronically or make any amendments to your company’s details online.
It is impossible to make any electronic or online changes without a company authentication code
When will I receive my company authentication code?
As soon as Companies House has registered your company.
If you register your company directly with Companies House, they will send your authentication to you by post.
Companies House advises that it usually takes up to 5 days from the date of incorporation to receive this letter.
How do I request my Auth code from Companies House?
If you do not know your authentication code you can order your code from the Companies House webpage, follow the link below:
Where can I find my authentication code?
If you form your company with Future Formations you will have access to your auth code the moment your company has been formed.
You can view this by logging into your online Portal area and your authentication code with be visible in the ‘Company Overview’ area.
A SIC code is a five-digit Standard Industrial Classification code that describes the main business activity of a company.
Each company selects one or more codes that express the nature of their business from an official list of SIC codes.
It is a system used by Companies House and other bodies to identify what companies do and to sort them into a number of business categories.
The classification of each company is available for anyone to view on the public record.
How to find your Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code:
Click on the link below to find your SIC Code:
Corporation tax is paid by businesses in the UK, and is calculated on their annual profits, in a similar way to income tax for individuals.
Unlike individuals, companies don’t receive any kind of tax-free allowance, and therefore profits are taxable.
However, there are a number of expenses and deductions that can be claimed to reduce your bill.
You must submit a company tax return to HMRC once a year.
Who pays Corporation tax?
Corporation tax is payable by all UK limited companies.
If you are a sole trader or partnership, you won’t pay corporation tax.
Instead, you’ll pay income tax on your profits via a self-assessment tax return.
It is the responsibility of the company director to ensure that the corporation tax return has been submitted on time, and the tax bill has been paid – even if the company hires an accountant to prepare their calculations.
To find out more about Corporation Tax please visit the link below:
Companies House automatically notifies HMRC when a limited company or limited liability partnership is incorporated.
Soon after your business has been set up, you should receive a letter from HMRC at your registered office address advising you of the tax obligations and requirements.
This letter will also contain your business Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).
What is a UTR number?
A company’s UTR is a distinct 10-digit number that HMRC issues to all new limited companies.
These UTR numbers are used to identify companies for all tax-related purposes.
How do I get my UTR number?
Companies House will notify HMRC once your company has been incorporated.
Within 14 days of the company formation, HMRC will send a letter to your registered office address with your UTR number.
If you do not receive this letter you can request for another copy on the HMRC website by clicking the link below:
Ask for a copy of your Corporation Tax UTR – GOV.UK
Registered Office Address
You must provide a registered office address when you set up a limited company.
This is where all communications will be sent, for example, letters from Companies House, HMRC, and other government bodies.
The address must be:
A physical address in the UK and in the same country/jurisdiction where your company is registered (England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland). For example, if a company is registered in Scotland, you must have a registered office address in Scotland.
However, it does not need to be in the same country where the business carries out its main trading activities.
Only full, physical postal addresses can be used as registered offices.
Both residential and non-residential addresses are permitted, but most people prefer to use a commercial address to protect their privacy.
Officer Service Service
An officer’s address service is an address that can be used as an alternative to a residential address.
A service address is needed by every limited company director as an official mailing address.
Their personal mail from HMRC and Companies House is sent to their service address.
Officer addresses have grown in popularity since 2009 to keep a residential address off public records and provide better protection for those who operate a business from home.
The residential address provided to Companies House can now be protected and only offered to individual approved bodies, including HM Revenue & Customs, the Police, and Credit Reference Agencies.
This allows company directors of sensitive companies not to have their address publicized by Companies House.
While initially used as a way for company directors to protect their residential address, service addresses are also used by many for personal use.
An ex-pat can use a service address to continue to receive posts in their home country.
It is beneficial for ex-pats who have sold their property and no longer have a permanent residential address to ensure that post is still viewed by the recipient, which arrives after leaving the home country.
This is a quicker method of viewing posts than other redirection services.
*You are able to add an additional officer to your application.
Companies that may rent a business premises to conduct their work such as, a workshop, warehouse or a suite of offices would be their trading address.
Your trading address is used for all your day-to-day business correspondences, such as paperwork from your suppliers, customers, deliveries, banking, and finance.
You can receive mail and parcels to your trading address, meaning it is often used as the business's returns address to protect the businesses' residential address. Unless your company is renting an office, the company trading address (aka business address) will be your home address.
When you open a company bank account it is at this address that your bank will send the account details, chequebook, debit card, and other bank correspondence.
Your trading address should be prominent on any invoices you issue.
It is at this address you want your clients sending purchase orders, payment confirmations, contracts for services etc.
Non-Business Address Service
What is a non-business address service?
A non-business address is an address that you can have your mail and parcels redirected to that is not your residential address.
Many people choose to use a non-business address if they currently have to share mail facilities, live abroad or are travelling around the country and need a secure address for their post, want to separate their work and home life, or want the privacy and exclusivity of their own mailing address.
With this service, you can also choose the option to collect your mail; however, the correspondence must be collected each week on a day that suits you.
When your mail arrives, we can digitally encrypt scan this to you or forward your mail to another address except for another virtual address.
This will be a charge to your account at the usual Royal mail rate + 15%.
If your mail is not collected within the week it will be automatically digitally encrypt scanned.
Un-scannable items will be disposed of if not collected within 30 days.
SAIL Address (Single Alternative Inspection Location)
A SAIL address is where a company or LLP can keep its statutory records and make them available for public inspection.
There is no legal requirement to have a SAIL address, it’s optional, but it must be different then the registered office address.
If you decide to use one, you must provide detail of the address to Companies House and tell them what records are kept there.
This information will be placed on the public record.
If you do not use one, you are legally required to keep all statutory records at your registered office.
What records and registers can be kept at a SAIL address?
All of these registers are available for public inspection.
Register of members (Shareholders or guarantors)
Register of Directors.
Register of company secretaries.
Register of debenture holders.
Register of PSC.
Register of charges and instruments creating charges.
Directors’ service contracts
Copies of company resolutions
Minutes of general meetings
Documents relating to redemption or the purchase of own shares.
What is the difference between shareholders and directors?
Shareholders and directors have two completely different roles in a company.
The shareholders (also called members) own the company by owning its shares, and the directors manage it.
The same person can be both a shareholder and a director.
Shareholders invest in a company by purchasing shares, and each share represents a certain percentage of the business.
In return for owning shares, members are entitled to vote on significant decisions and receive a portion of any profit generated by the business.
Shareholders do not make day-to-day decisions, unless they are also directors. Instead they make decisions such as:
Appoint and remove directors
Altering a directors powers
Issuing or transferring shares
Approving directors loan
Authorising substantial company transactions
Changing the nature of the business
Altering the articles of association.
Company directors, also known as ‘officers’ are appointed by members to run the company on their behalf and try make it a success.
To be a director, you must be at least 16 years old.
However, you cannot be a director if you are an undischarged bankrupt, the auditor of the company or a disqualified director of another company.
The duties and responsibilities of a company director include:
Registering the company for Corporation Tax and VAT.
Preparing annual accounts and tax returns
Filling confirmation statements
Maintaining all business and accounting records
Maintaining company registers
Employing staff & operating payroll
Ensuring health and safety requirements are met
Maintaining permits, licences and certifications
Reporting changes to Companies House and HMRC
Keeping shareholders up to date with the state of the business
Appointing auditors and accountants
Issuing and recording dividends paid to shareholders
A company Secretary is essentially responsible for all the company’s administration.
This means they are accountable for Confirmation Statements and other important documents to the Companies House.
Also, they often take up several other administrative matters, such as arranging board meetings, paperwork etc.
A secretary cannot be the same person as the limited company director.
Company secretary duties:
Filing confirmation statements
Keeping Companies House updated on changes
Updating the Company’s Statutory Books
Communication with shareholders
Maintaining and signing paperwork
Person of Significant Control (PSC)
A PSC is an individual who owns, or is in control of your company.
The purpose of this requirement is to make the ownership and control of companies more transparent and to prevent money laundering and tax evasion.
It applies to all UK companies.
You can have one or more PSC’s and must meet one or more conditions below:
Hold more than 25% of shares in the company
More than 25% of voting rights in the company
The right to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors
Add or remove a Director
A company director can be appointed during company formation and at any time after that.
Likewise, directors can resign or be removed at any point after incorporation, providing such actions are approved by the members or existing directors and are in line with provisions in the Companies Act 2006, the articles of association, and any shareholders' agreement and director's service contract.
Limited companies must always have a minimum of one director. If a sole director resigns from the company, the new director must be appointed before or at the same time as the removal.
After incorporation, director appointments need to be carried out using a formal process. For this, the director should sign a letter of consent confirming they wish to act as director for the company.
The majority of members must approve the appointment of a new company director by passing an ordinary resolution. In many companies, the appointment of a director can also be approved by the existing board of directors.
Add or remove a Shareholder
You can appoint (add) new company shareholders at any point after incorporation.
Existing shares must be transferred or sold by a current member to the new person.
Alternatively, you can increase your company's share capital by allotting (issuing) new shares.
Companies House needs to be informed about a shareholder leaving or changing at any point, or when members join or leave the firm, Transfers of shares should also be reported at the same time.
The full names and contact addresses of the first company shareholders, or 'subscribers,' are disclosed on the public record.
Any person who joins after company formation will only need to provide their name and details of their shares unless they are also a person with significant control.
The director's responsibility is to ensure that Companies House is notified of these changes and that the company's statutory register of members is updated accordingly.
*A Confirmation Statement need to be filled for both add or/and remove a Shareholder
Issue new Shares
If you want to create more shares instead of transferring existing ones, you must increase your company's share capital.
You can do this by allotting new shares.
To allot new shares, existing members will need to waive pre-exemption rights on the allotment of shares.
The prospective members should deliver a letter of application to the company.
If required by the articles, the board of directors (or members) must approve the allotment and record it in the members' register.
Return of allotment' must then be completed with the following information:
The dates of the allotments
Class, currency, and number of shares allotted
The nominal value of each unit
Amount paid, or due to be paid, per share
Details of any non-cash considerations (payments), if appropriate
Statement of capital reflecting the new allotment
Details of any shares allotted in a currency other than pound sterling
particulars of rights attached to shares
Signature of the company director or other authorized person
*This needs to be submitted to Companies House within one month after the allotment. Information about the new member(s) should be provided to Companies House when the next confirmation statement is due – or before this date, if preferred.
Change value of shares
Value change refers to the change made to the price of the shares.
Limited by shares companies must assign a nominal value to each of their shares during their incorporation, for example, £0.01, £0.50, £1.00, or higher. The nominal value of shares represents the limited liability of company members, which is the sum of money that shareholders are legally required to pay on each of their shares upon the company. The combined nominal value of all issued shares is the total share capital of a company.
Reduction of capital is a way of reducing a company’s share capital. The result of the capital reduction is that the company’s number of shares will reduce by the reduction amount. However, the company’s market value will not change — there will simply be fewer shares available to trade.
In simple text, if you have 10 shares in your company with a value of £5, you can reduce the shares’ value to £1 or at the lowest £0.01: you still have 10 shares in your company. The value of your shares has been reduced to the chosen amount.
To changes the value of your share amounts, you need to fill the form SH02.
Transfer of Shares
You must tell Companies House about any changes to your company's share structure that you make outside your annual return.
You may need a special resolution to change your company’s share structure. This includes if you:
Change the number of shares, the company has and their total value. This is your ‘share capital’ (the part of your company’s money that comes from shares.)
Number one change how your shares are distributed.
Number two change your shares into other currencies.
You must include a notice about the change you have made and a statement declaring the company’s total number of shares, the total value of those shares and how many shares have been paid for or not paid for.
This statement is sometimes known as a ‘statement of capital. Your shares may be normal (‘ordinary’) or have special rights or restrictions.
For each type of share your company has, you must declare:
the rights that come with
how many of the shares are issued
their total value before any additional costs are added
**You can always add more shares, but you can never remove any shares from the company.
*You must report all other changes to your share structure within 21 days.
Every company needs to send a confirmation statement to Companies House once a year.
It verifies that the information they have about your company is up to date.
If you don’t send the confirmation statement to Companies House on time, you could be prosecuted.
All Limited companies and limited liability partnerships need to send a confirmation statement once every 12 months even if the company or partnership is dormant.
If your company details are all exactly the same and you don’t have any changes to report,
all you need to do is ‘check and confirm’ the information held on the public record and submit it.
You must provide Companies House with changes to your company, including:
Appointments, resignations, or changes to personal details for every Shareholder
Changes to the company name.
Changes to the registered office address.
Changes to the accounting reference date.
Changes to PSC details.
Changes to share structure.
Dormant companies also must prepare and file the confirmation statements.
Even if the business is not active, some company details might change, and you must submit them to the Companies House.
Filling your Account
Before you start, you must get your accounts approved by your company directors before you file them.
After the end of its financial year, your private limited company must prepare:
Full ('statutory') annual accounts
A Company Tax Return
Apply to extend your accounts filing deadline
|File first accounts with Companies House
||21 months after the date you registered with Companies House
|File annual accounts with Companies House
||Nine months after your company's financial year ends
|Pay Corporation Tax or tell HMRC that your limited company does not owe any
||Nine months and one day after your' accounting period' for Corporation Tax ends
|File a Company Tax Return
||12 months after your accounting period for Corporation Tax ends
You can apply to extend your accounts filing deadline with Companies House if you cannot send your accounts because of an event outside your control - for example, if a fire destroyed company records before your filing deadline.
*You must apply for the extension before your filing deadline
What happens if I don't file my account?
You'll automatically receive a penalty notice if your accounts are filed after the deadline. You can be fined, and your company struck off the register if you do not send Companies House your accounts or confirmation statement.
For more information, visit the link below:
Make your company Dormant
A dormant company is a company that has been incorporated at Companies House but is not currently carrying on any kind of business activity or receiving any form of income.
A company can be dormant from the date of its incorporation, or it can become dormant after a period of trading.
Your company is usually dormant for Corporation Tax if it:
- Has stopped trading and has no other income, for example, investments
- Is a new limited company that hasn't started trading
- Is an unincorporated association or club owing less than £100.00 Corporation Tax
- Is a flat management company
You can tell HMRC your company's dormant over the phone or by post.
You will still need to file a Company Tax Return online - this will show HMRC that your company is dormant for this period.
You must still file annual accounts and a confirmation statement every 12 months.
Company name change.
You can change your company name at any time after incorporation, as long as it adheres to all company name rules and regulations.
The change of company name can be authorised in one of two ways:
By special resolution of the members
By resolution of the board of directors
Upon passing a resolution, a change of name application and a copy of the resolution must be filed at Companies House.
Most applications are approved and updated on the public register of companies within 48 hours of submission. Companies House will notify you by email when the name has been approved.
You will be issued with a digital ‘Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name’ as confirmation.
You can start using the new name as soon as you receive this document.
Dissolving a company
Dissolving a company, also known as ‘striking-off’ or ‘company dissolution’, is a way of closing down a limited company.
When a company is dissolved although it is no longer active the details remain on the public record at Companies House indefinitely.
To do this you must meet the following criteria:
The company hasn’t traded in the last three months
The company name hasn’t changed in the last three months
There are no ongoing legal proceedings or any proposed against the company
There has not been a disposal for value of property or rights
In order to start the dissolution process you need to complete a striking off application.
If no one comes forward to raise an objection to dissolution then the company will be struck off the register within three months.
Who must you tell?
- Members (usually the shareholders)
- Managers or trustees of any employee pension fund
- Any directors who did not sign the application form
If you don't follow the rules, you must tell, you can face a fair and possible prosecution.
If your company employs staff, you must:
- Follow the rules if you make staff redundant
- Pay their final wages or salary
- PAYE and National Insurance (NI)
You'll need to tell HMRC that your company has stopped employing people.
You should ensure that any business assets are shared among the shareholders before the company is struck off.
Anything that's left will go to the Crown - you'll have to restore the company to get anything back.
Same Name and Sensitive words
You cannot register a limited company name at Companies House if the name is deemed the "same as" another limited company on the register at Companies House.
The following restrictions and requirements must be taken into account when choosing a company name:
It must be unique – it cannot be the same as or too like the name of an existing company
If you are forming a Limited company it must end with ‘Limited’ or ‘LTD’
Certain characters, signs, symbols, and punctuation are not permitted
It cannot suggest a connection with HM Government, a devolved government or administration, or a specified public authority
Permission is required if it includes any sensitive words or expressions
It should not be offensive or include offensive words
It can only contain a maximum of 180 characters
You must not include ‘www’ at the beginning.
For more information, please use the link below:
What is an Apostille document?
An apostille is an official certificate that legalises official and copied documents in states (countries) that accept the apostille stamp. It is often the case that documents will require apostilles when moving into a particular state for employment purposes. Once a document has gained an apostille certificate, these documents are then legal for use and are accepted in these states without requiring any further legalisation.
Who will ask for Apostilled documents?
Since the convention came into place on the 5th October 1961, the Apostilles use in different states has continually grown, and there are now over 100 member states who accept the apostille certificate. Even countries that are not signed up to the Hague Convention will still ask for one.
*When opening a business bank account overseas, you may require the Apostille for the following documents:
Certificate of Incorporation.
Memorandum & Articles of Association.
A document that can be apostilled:
1. Memorandum and Articles of Association
2. Certificate of Incorporation
3. Share Certificates
4. Certificate of Good Standing
Certificate of Good Standing
COGS is a formal certificate created by Companies House.
It looks similar to a certificate of incorporation but contains additional information.
The certificate is prepared and signed by a registrar at Companies House.
The COGS is widely recognized internationally and is regularly requested by foreign organizations and banks.
If your business is looking to open a bank account overseas, start an offshore company, open a new branch in a new territory, or enter into large contracts with foreign companies, you may need to confirm the company details.
A standard solution to this is to provide them with a certificate of good standing.
A Certificate of good standing includes:
The company name and number.
The date the company was incorporated.
If required, the last company name change or details of all changes of the company name.
A statement that the company has been in continuous and unbroken existence since being incorporated.
A statement that no action is being taken by Companies House to strike off the company and dissolve it as defunct.
A statement that, as far as the Registrar is aware, the company is not in liquidation or subject to an administration order and no receiver or manager of the company’s property has been appointed.
Verify your Identity
Proof of ID and address document checklist
Under Customer Due Diligence, we must check proof of ID and Proof of Address for all UK and non-UK customers who use our address services.
This ensures we are compliant with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.
Failure to supply these documents within 14 calendar days will result in your service being terminated.
Activating your service:
To activate and use our service we require you to complete an online verification, we will send you instructions on how to do this; please check your junk folder in case the e-mail is in there.
How does the Online ID Validation software work?
This process will take no more than 5 minutes.
Once we have received the names of all the beneficiaries that need to be verified we will send out invites, log into the online portal and upload the documents; please ensure it is only documents that we accept as failure to do this will delay the process.
Please note: Your account will not be activated until we have received and verified everyone’s identity.
Therefore, you cannot use our service until you receive confirmation that your account has been activated.
If we receive mail before the account has been activated, we will have to return this to the sender.
What documents are required?
You must provide one of each of the following from the proof of ID and proof of residential address document list.
Proof of ID (one of the following):
Photocard Driving Licence
National Identity card
HM Forces identity card
Current student card
Employee identification card
Disables driver’s blue card
Proof of Residential Address (one of the following): dated with the last three months
Utility Bill (Gas, Electric or Water)
Telephone bill (Mobile phone bills are not accepted)
Council Tax Bill
Bank/ Building Society Statement
HM Revenue and Customs Letter/Notice of Coding
Letter from Benefits Agency
Valid insurance certificate
P45 or P60
Financial statement, e.g. endowment, pension
Current benefit book or letter from the benefits agency
Proof of accommodation
The Proof of Residential Address document must:
Be dated within the last three months
Except for document as Council tax bill and TV license, we accept a document from the current year.
Show the account holder/company officer’s name and residential address
Be written in English or accompanied by an English translation (by an Official Sworn Translator)
HIGH STREETS BANKS
(DUE TO COVID-19 HIGH STREET REFERRALS ARE CURRENTLY SUSPENDED)
When you register your company with Future Formations, you become eligible for a free business current account with Barclay's and Lloyds bank. After your company registration process is complete, we will make it easy for you to apply for an existing business account.
Business account: how it works
Once your company is approved and incorporated with Companies House, our team will forward your details via a secure channel to the Bank. The Bank will then call you within two to six working days to meet with your dedicated business manager. During the call, they will brief you about the documents you need to bring to verify your identity.
It is a 'basic' business bank account for UK residents over 18 with the UK registered small Business available to those who may not obtain a high street bank business current account. Their prepaid debit Mastercard comes attached to an existing personal account.
Is it a mobile business bank account that can be managed on the app 24/7.
Designed for all small businesses, Mettle is part of NatWest and free to open and operate.
The online Bank has been featured in Reuters, the Financial Times, and Forbes.
It is a digital-only banking app and offers several accounts, including premium options.
It sets itself apart from traditional banks with a focus on technology, low fees, and flexibility.
Very few businesses-to-consumers (B2C) traders can operate successfully without being able to accept card payments.
Future Formations can refer your Business to one of the world's leading merchant accounts. Worldpay works with all business sizes and is a perfect choice for small businesses looking to take business payments easily, quickly, and securely.
*This offer is only available to UK residents. Non-UK residents cannot take advantage of this bank account offer, which means you must contact the Bank yourself.
FOR NON-UK RESIDENTIAL
TransferWise (Lives without borders)
TransferWise for Business is a free, online multi-currency account.
It lets you make payments, get paid, and spend money worldwide with the real exchange rate.
You can also use it to pay invoices, buy inventory, and handle payroll in over 70 countries.
You can even apply for an international account online.
Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, and NatWest all offer international bank accounts for certain countries.
Trading name, Brand and Trademark
A Trading as name is a name chosen by a business that is different from their registered company name. Unlike the registered company name, the trading name is never officially registered with Companies House.
It is the name a business has chosen to call itself, usually because it is more marketable than the registered company name.
You are free to trade under it, but you cannot solely be known by your trading name, as you must display your registered business name of signs, receipts, and official documentation.
A trademark is something that identifies the products or services of a specific business.
It is a valuable business asset that needs to be protected to prevent others from trying to use it to sell their products and services.
The trademark can just be the name of the company or product.
A trademark can be:
Memorandum & Article
Generic or a bespoke Memorandum & Article
Both a memorandum of association and the articles of association are required for a company formed in the UK under the Companies Act 2006 and previous Companies Acts. The memorandum of association is the document that sets up the company and the articles of association set out how the company is run, governed, and owned. The articles of association include the directors' responsibilities and powers and how the members exert control over the board of directors. There are written rules about running the company agreed by the shareholders or guarantors, directors, and the company secretary.
Generic Memorandum & Article
This is a basic document which you need to have when you register a company by Companies house.
You can choose the Generic Memorandum & Article in your application on our webpage;
You need to ensure that the box is ticked for "Generic Memorandum and Articles of Association" and it doesn't cost you anything.
Bespoke Memorandum & Article
You need to create the Bespoke Memorandum articles by yourself if you want to restrict or enhance directors' powers, issue more than one class of share, or alter the rights attached to Ordinary shares.
The Model articles for companies limited by shares are only suitable if you issue only Ordinary shares that provide equal rights to all shareholders.
If you wish to form the company with your Bespoke custom Articles of Association, you can make this when completing the Future Formations application.
You need to ensure that the box is ticked for "I will provide my own Bespoke Memorandum and Articles of Association".
If you cannot create the document, please contact an accountant who can help you, but this will be an additional cost for you.