Setting up a new company can be an exciting but daunting endeavour. It is, therefore, absolutely crucial that you obtain expert legal representation, with an in-depth understanding of your business needs, to help you navigate the complex procedures associated with forming a company.
At Smooth Commercial Law our specialist team of company formation solicitors can provide you with assistance throughout the entire incorporation process and the life of your company.
We work with specialist advisors, tax experts and business consultants to ensure that you set up the right type of entity for your business in the right jurisdiction. We can also provide tailored support and advice depending upon your needs and the purpose of the company.
How our company formation solicitors can help you
Our expert company formation solicitors have experience across all aspects of forming a new company, including:
- Advice on which company structure is right for you
- Checking your desired company name is available and checking any existing trade marks
- Preparing Articles of Association and Memorandums of Association
- Preparing shareholder agreements
- Identifying and registering people with significant control over the company
- Identifying and registering your Standard Industrial Classification code (SIC)
- Registering your company at Companies House with a registered address
- Assistance in opening bank accounts and tax registration
- Advice regarding financial and accounting records
- Advice on Directors’ duties and responsibilities
- General advice on running your new company, including obtaining licenses or permits, selling products online, importing goods, hiring staff, or storing and using personal information
Our support isn’t limited to submitting a few documents to Companies House on your behalf. We provide a comprehensive company formation service specifically tailored to your individual business needs, so you can get your company off the ground and running smoothly with minimal fuss or stress.
How do you form a company?
Company formation, or incorporation, refers broadly to all aspects of validly registering a new business. Unless you are a sole trader, you will be required to register your business at Companies House.
The procedure for forming your company is as follows:
- Decide on your company structure, such as limited company or limited partnership
- Choose your company name – it must be original
- Prepare essential information, including:
- A UK registered office address
- SIC code
- Details of share capital (if the company is limited by shares)
- Details of the directors and secretaries
- Shareholder details – there must be at least one shareholder, who may also be a director
- Prepare the Memorandum and Articles of Association
- File all this information at Companies House and pay the incorporation fee
- Wait for the company’s registration to be approved. When Companies House registers your company, it will also be registered for Corporation Tax
What are the different types of company?
Our expert company formation solicitors can talk you through your company structure options so you can make an informed decision about which type of company is right for you. Possible company structures you could adopt include:
- Private company limited by shares (ltd) – one of the most popular types of company, it is split into shares which are owned by shareholders and the finances of the company are completely separate from your personal finances. Only one member is required to set up a private limited company.
- Company limited by guarantee – there are no shares (and no shareholders) and the members of the company are bound by a guarantee to pay the company’s debts up to a certain amount. Usually this is a small amount, around £1.
- Public limited company (plc) – the company is limited by shares, but unlike a private limited company, the shares are traded on the stock exchange and can be purchased by anyone.
- Limited partnership (LP) – at least two members are required to form an LP. One must be a ‘general partner’ who controls the day-to-day running of the business but can be held personally liable for its debts. The other members may be ‘limited partners’ who have limited control over the business but cannot be held responsible for its debts.
- Limited liability partnership (LLP) – like an LP, two or more members are needed for an LLP, however, all the partners are ‘limited partners’ and all have a degree of control over the business.
How long does it take to form a company?
Once your application is submitted to Companies House, your company will usually be registered within 24 hours for online applications and 8-10 working days for postal applications.
How much does it cost to form a company?
We understand that setting up a new business can be a financially uncertain time. Our company formation solicitors will always be upfront and transparent about the fees for forming your company. We offer clients flexible fee arrangements and, wherever possible, we will quote you a fixed fee when we take you on as a client, so you can be certain about how much forming your company will cost.
As well as our fees, there will also be various disbursements to pay, including the registration fee at Companies House. This fee will depend on the method you use. For registering online, the fee is £12. If you register by post, the fee is £40, although if you pay £100 and get the application to Companies House by 3pm, your company will be registered same day.
What are Articles of Memorandum?
Articles of Memorandum are a legal document signed by all shareholders or guarantors agreeing to form, and become members of, the company.
It will also include important information about the company such as its name, structure, and date of formation.
What are Articles of Association?
Under company law, all companies must have Articles of Association which set out information on how the company should be run, including:
- Shareholders voting rights
- Details of general meetings
- Shares, dividends, and the issuing and distribution of shares
- Directors’ responsibilities, decision-making powers, procedures for appointment and removal, indemnity, and insurance
Under the Companies Act 2006, there are Model Articles which many companies choose to adopt. We can provide tailored advice on whether the Model Articles are right for you and, if necessary, draft up new Articles in accordance with company law to suit your business needs.
What is a shareholder agreement?
A shareholder agreement defines the shareholders’ relationships with each other and sets out rules about how the company is run, including:
- How decisions about the company are made
- How shares are sold and distributed
- Any protections for minority shareholders who have little control over the company
Why choose Smooth Commercial Law for your company formation lawyers?
At Smooth Commercial Law, we specialise in providing bespoke commercial law services to people and businesses across the North West.
As well as experienced solicitors and legal professionals, our team includes qualified accountants, tax experts, and business consultants with a range of experience across all aspects of forming and running a new company. Therefore, our firm can offer you a truly unique service which can extend beyond the formation of your company and guide and support you as get your business venture off the ground.