Forming a UK Limited Company - How the process works

How the process works

We have introduced a new, faster way of completing the formation process. You can now form your company, nominate your Director(s) and Secretary and issue shares online.

The process is simple and straight forward, but we have put together some helpful tips below in case you need any pointers. There is also an email address at the foot of this page if we have missed anything.

You can start contracting using your new company once you have received your Certificate of Incorporation – usually within 3 working hours of submitting your order.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Use the name checker to ensure your preferred name is available at the start of the process.
  • The online process will take you through the steps of purchasing your chosen name and on to a new area of the system at
  • You will enter all the details needed to form your company in a "pre-registration" area before sending off the application to Companies House; this includes nominating a company Director and Secretary and issuing share(s) to the shareholder (also known as the subscriber) and the company's registered address. From 6th April 2008, you need only appoint a Director in order to form a limited company. Please note the identification information you'll need to hand when nominating officers for your company: You may choose 3 of these: town of birth, telephone no, NI no, passport no, mothers maiden name, eye colour, father's forename. When you're happy click "Send Application".
  • After sending off your application you will be sent emailed updates – e.g. that your order has been placed and when your company has been formed.
  • Your Memorandum and Articles of Association will also be sent to you by email.
  • Companies House take 3-4 working hours on average to make final checks on name availability and to issue your Certificate of Incorporation (which shows your company registration number). Timsecale assumes there is no backlog/problem at Companies House.
  • Shortly after forming your company online you will be sent a 'hard copy' in the post of your Certificate of Incorporation and other forms for safe-keeping.

Once you've formed your company

Once you have formed your company you can log back into this admin section to change company details such as changing share capital and registered office.

  • The Inland Revenue now want to know who the shareholders of newly formed Companies are. You can either inform your local tax office in writing, or ask your accountant to do it for you.
  • If your bank requires to see copies of your AP01/AP03 (appointment of officers) to open up a business account, Companies House can organise this for a small charge. Please call their number below.

If you experience any problems forming your company please contact

If you have a general enquiry after you have formed your company we're happy to help where we can, alternatively you can call Companies House on 0303 1234 500.