A limited company company must be registered with Companies House. It is possible to open it electronically or by sending all the necessary paperwork to Companies House through the post.
The electronic registration of a private company can be performed either by the registrant through the Companies House online incorporation service or through a company start-up agent such as Coddan. The use of an agent is by far the quickest way of achieving business startup.
Paper-based company start-up: this is the traditional way of opening an enterprise, but due to the ease with which a company can be created electronically, it is only used by a small number of registrants. The paperwork must be sent to the Companies House office in Cardiff or, in the case of a Scottish company, in Edinburgh.
To open a company, Companies House will require the following information:
The information required to start a company electronically is the same as that required to register a company through the post.
The certificate of company incorporation: on receipt of the application, Companies House will determine whether the paperwork is in order. If it is satisfied that the application meets its requirements, it will issue a certificate of incorporation stating the name with which the company is registered, the date of its incorporation and its registered number.
The company will come into existence on the date of its incorporation. On that date, it can validly enter into contracts and/or undertake legal activities. If someone enters into transactions in the name of the company or on the company's behalf before the date of incorporation, the subsequent contracts are known as pre-incorporation contracts.