Limited company formation packages
Limited by Shares Packages
Ideal for reserving your company name for future use.
Providing a full set of digital company documents.
Perfect to get your bank account and your business trading quickly.
Everything you need to get started in business including VAT and PAYE registration.
Other Company Formation Packages
Setting up a limited company in 5 easy steps
It could not be easier to set up a limited company or LLP with Rapid Formations. Simply enter your company name into our name check tool, select a package, add any address services you may require, check out and take 5 minutes to complete your details. Usually within 3 to 6 working hours your new company will be approved by Companies House, however, it may take longer. Immediately after your company is set up, your documents will be sent to you by email.
We are one of the UK’s leading company formation agents, authorised by Companies House and a member of ACRA, the Association of Company Registration Agents. We provide our clients with online incorporation and address services for registered office, business address and services address. We are able to deliver documents to Companies House electronically, allowing you to set up a limited company online, without the need for paper forms to sign and post.
Start by using our company name search tool (see above) to check if your desired name is available or in current use. If it is available, we will tell you immediately. If it is already taken, you should try again
Select a package that suits your requirements. See our package comparison table for full details. We offer private limited companies, LLP and limited by guarantee company registration packages.
Protect your home address from going on public record by using our registered office and/or service address. You can also buy a business address, providing your company with an excellent corporate identity.
Check out and make a secure card payment. After payment is made you will receive by email: a payment confirmation, order summary, login details to your customer area, and details of what happens next.
Complete your application and provide details of your registered office, director(s) and shareholder(s). This should take no longer than 5 minutes. We will then check your application before sending to Companies House.
Required information checklist
This checklist outlines the exact information you
will need at hand before starting the company
5 steps to setting up a company
Have a look at our concise guide to find out just
how simple it is to form your own company
with Rapid Formations.
Online admin portal
All clients have free access to our online admin portal to help them maintain, develop and oversee their companies online.
Set up a company that suits your needs
Private limited companies
By far the most popular type of company formation in the UK is a private company limited by shares, commonly known as a limited company. Its purpose is to make a profit and distribute it to the shareholders. The main advantage of this type of corporate structure is to protect the personal assets of the owners (shareholders) as their liability is restricted to the value of the shares issued.
Limited liability partnerships (LLPs) are increasing in popularity and are ideal for professionals and consultants who wish to retain the flexibility of a traditional partnership but require the benefits of a limited liability company. Rapid Formations can quickly and easily form your LLP online - with full Companies House approval in 3 to 6 working hours.
A Limited by Guarantee company is very much like a standard limited company; however, it does not have shareholders but instead has guarantors who undertake to contribute an amount of money should the business be wound up. This type of corporate entity is normally used by non-profit organisations such as clubs, associations and charities.
Frequently asked questions
About limited companies
Why would I want to form a limited company?
You would form a limited company to run a business and to protect yourself with limited liability for business debts.
What are the benefits of setting up a limited company?
The main benefits of a limited company are: reduced personal liability for debts, tax efficiency, enhanced professional status, and the protection of your business name.
What types of businesses set limited companies?
Almost any type of business can register as a limited company. Small, medium and large businesses. Profit-making ventures and non-profit organisations. Startups and existing sole traders.
Can I register my sole trader business as a limited company?
Yes, a limited company can be set up for an existing business or a brand new business. You can even keep your current business name if it hasn’t already been registered by an existing company.
Why would I set up a limited company instead of being a sole trader?
A limited company is more tax efficient if your annual business income is around £25,000 or more. Furthermore, company formation will boost your professional image and you will benefit from limited liability for debts.
Do I have to register a company to protect a business name?
Yes, the only way to prevent another company from using your business name is to register a limited company. For additional protection, you should also trademark your company name and register it as a domain.
The registration process
Why should I use Rapid Formations to register a company?
It’s quicker and easier to register a company using our services. The application form is simple, our packages offer excellent value for money, we provide help and guidance throughout the entire process, and you will receive a full set of company documents.
What happens to my company application when I submit it to you?
We review the application and send it to Companies House through a secure electronic filing system. The information on your application will then be checked by Companies House. If everything is in order, your registration will be approved and your company will be ready to trade.
How long does it take to set up a limited company?
If you use our services, it will usually take 3 to 6 working hours for Companies House to process and approve your company registration, however, this is subject to Companies House workload and in some cases it may take longer. As soon as your company has been approved, you can start trading.
How much does it cost to form a limited company?
You can set up a ready-to-trade company for £12.99 plus VAT if you choose our Digital Package. You won’t be charged any more than that, unless you buy additional services, all of which are optional.
Are there any legal or other fees involved when registering a company?
None. You will only have to pay the price of your chosen company formation package, plus VAT. The Companies House filing fee is included in our prices, and there are no legal fees to pay.
How do I find out if my company registration has been approved?
You will receive a confirmation email and copies of your incorporation documents from us when your company registration has been approved. You can then start trading whenever you like.
Who is allowed to set up a limited company?
Anyone over the age of 16 from anywhere in the world can set up a limited company and be appointed as a director, with the exception of disqualified company directors and un-discharged bankrupts. Anyone can be a shareholder, regardless of age, residency, director disqualification and bankruptcy.
How many people do I need to set up a company?
A minimum of one person is required, but the individual must be named as both the director and shareholder of the company. There is no upper limit so you can form a new company with as many people as you like.
Can I set up a UK limited company if I live in a different country?
Yes, you can form and operate a UK company from anywhere in the world. There is no need to live here or travel to the UK to set up a company.
Do I need to be a British citizen to register a company in the UK?
No, you do not have to be a UK citizen to set up a limited company in the UK, nor do you have to live or work here or travel to the UK to register your company.
What personal information do I need to supply?
If you are appointing yourself as a director, you must include your full name, home address, date of birth and nationality. If you are adding yourself as a shareholder, you only have to give your name and a service address.
Will any of my details be shared with the public?
Yes, the directors' information will be available to the public on the official companies register, with the exception of the day of birth and home address (unless used as a registered office or service address).
Can I be the director or shareholder of more than one company?
Yes, you can be a director and/or shareholder of as many companies as you like.
Can I set up more than one company?
Yes, you can set up as many companies as you like, and you can be a director and/or shareholder of as many companies as you like.
The online company application
How long does it take to complete a company application?
About 5 minutes. It’s really straightforward.
How do I choose a company name?
Probably the most challenging part of the process – choosing a good name! When you have decided on one, enter it into our name-check tool to see if it’s available or whether it’s being used by another company. If it’s available, you can register it.
Can I use my existing business name as a company name?
Yes, of course. If you have an existing business that you want to register as a company, you can use the current name for your company, as long as it is not being used by an existing company on the register.
Do I need a director and a shareholder?
Yes, you need at least one of each, otherwise you won’t be allowed to set up a company. The good news is, the same person can be named as the director and the shareholder of the company, so you can register a company on your own.
Do I need to issue shares?
Yes. You have to issue at least one share per shareholder to show how much of the company is owned by each person. If you’re going to be the only shareholder, you only need to issue one share.
Do I need to provide my home address on the application?
Yes, you will need to provide your home address if you are appointing yourself as a director. This information will remain on a private register at Companies House, unless you use it as your registered office or service address.
What is the registered office address?
The registered office is the official company address. You can use any address you like, including your home, but it will appear on public record and must be situated in the country where your company is registered. The main purpose of this address is for receiving official mail from Companies House and HMRC.
After company registration
When can I start trading through my company?
Immediately. As soon as you receive confirmation that your registration has been approved, you can start trading. It normally takes about 3 to 6 working hours, so it’s really no time at all.
Do I need to tell anyone that I have set up a company?
No – Companies House will tell HMRC that your company has been registered. HMRC will then send an information leaflet to your registered office explaining your tax and reporting obligations.
What are the annual filing requirements to maintain my limited company?
You will have to file a tax return, accounts and a confirmation statement (previously known as the annual return) - every year.
What are the annual filing costs to maintain my limited company?
Most company filing and reporting is free of charge, with the exception of the annual Confirmation Statement which costs £13.00. If you decide to use an accountant to prepare and file your tax return and annual accounts, this could cost anything from £700 to £1,500 a year.
What happens if I change my mind after setting up a company?
There is no way to recall applications once they have been submitted to Companies House. If we are still reviewing it at our end, it can be cancelled. Otherwise, you will have to initiate a company dissolution procedure through Companies House, which will cost £10.00.
Tax and accounting
What tax would I pay through a limited company?
Your company itself will pay 20% Corporation Tax on all profits. It will also have to pay VAT if annual turnover exceeds £83,000 or you register the company voluntarily for VAT.
Company directors pay: Income Tax on annual earnings above £11,000; Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NIC) of £2.80 per week on earning above £5,965; and Class 4 NIC at 9% of annual income above £8,060.
Company shareholders pay tax on annual dividend income above £5,000. This is charged at 7.5% for basic rate tax payers, 32.5% for higher rate tax payers, and 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers.
Can I save money on tax if I set up a limited company?
Possibly. It is generally more tax efficient to set up a company when annual income reaches around £25,000. As profits increase, you will be able to save more tax if you pay yourself a combination of a salary and dividends.
How do I pay tax when I register a company?
HMRC will send a letter to your registered office explaining your tax and reporting obligations. When your company starts trading, it will be liable for 20% Corporation Tax on any profit it makes. You may also have to pay VAT when your annual turnover reaches £83,000.
If you want to pay yourself a salary, you will have to register the company for PAYE. And if you plan to pay yourself dividends, you will have to register yourself for Self-Assessment to report and pay to on this extra income.
Does my limited company have to be registered for VAT?
Only if annual turnover reaches £83,000. It is also possible, and often beneficial, to voluntary register for VAT, even if your turnover is below the threshold.
What is PAYE registration and do I need it?
PAYE (Pay As You Earn) is the system used by HMRC to collect Income Tax and National Insurance from employee wages on each payday. You will have to register your company for PAYE if you hire staff or want to pay yourself a salary as a director of the company.
Do I need to hire an accountant when I set up a company?
No, you can do your own bookkeeping and accounting. However, it may be more time and cost effective to hire an accountant to take care of these things for you.
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