To register a company in Northern Ireland, you must submit an incorporation application to Companies House Belfast. It’s an incredibly quick, simple, and affordable process that you can carry out online. Below, we explain what information you need to provide and how to file your completed application form to the Registrar of Companies in Northern Ireland.
Register a company in Northern Ireland
Following the commencement of the Companies Act 2006 on October 1st 2009, a single company law regime governs all UK companies. The Companies Registry Northern Ireland (CRNI) was integrated with Companies House as part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This means that all Northern Irish companies are now incorporated at Companies House Belfast.
There are three ways that you can set up a company limited by shares or guarantee in Northern Ireland:
- using the services of an online company formation specialist like Rapid Formations
- online using Companies House Web Incorporation Service (only available if setting up a limited by shares company with Ordinary shares)
- by post to Companies House using Form IN01 ‘Application to Register a Company’
The quickest and easiest way to form a new company is through an online formation agent. This process takes around 3 hours. The other two options can take between 2-10 days. Your new company will be incorporated at Companies House Belfast and will be ready to begin trading immediately. Using an agent is also the most cost-efficient way to register a company in Northern Ireland or any other part of the UK.
Whichever method you decide to use, you will need:
- at least one director
- at least one shareholder (or guarantor)
- a registered office address
- information about People with Significant Control (PSCs)
- SIC code(s) to explain what your business does
- a service address for each director, company secretary, subscriber (shareholders or guarantors who set up the company) and PSCs. This is where they will receive their statutory mail
- articles of association – you can use the ‘Model’ articles or you can provide your own bespoke articles
All of the information you provide will be displayed on the central public register at Companies House, with the exception of home addresses and days of birth (the month and year elements will be disclosed) of directors and PSCs. However, please be aware that your home address will be displayed if you use it as a registered office or service address.
Choosing a suitable registered office address
The registered office of a limited company must be situated in the same UK where it is incorporated. Therefore, if you register a company in Northern Ireland, your registered office must also be situation there. It must be a full, physical postal address, not a PO Box number. You can use your home address, but you should note that it will appear on the public record. To protect the privacy of your home, we recommend using an alternate address – one that is non-residential/commercial. This will also create a more professional image for your company.
The location of your registered office does not dictate where you run your business from. It is simply an address used by UK governing agencies (such as Companies House and HMRC) for official mailing purposes, and for the storage and inspection of statutory company registers. As a director or shareholder of a limited company, you can choose to live anywhere in the world and you can run your business from any location you want, but the registered office must always remain in the country of registration.
Form a company via Rapid Formations
Rapid Formations offers a wide range of company formation packages that will enable you to register a company in Northern Ireland in just 3 to 6 working hours. Prices start at just £12.99. We are unable to provide a registered office service in Northern Ireland, but you can simply choose a suitable alternate address for this purpose and enter the details during the registration process.
We can, however, provide Professional Service Addresses in London and Glasgow that can be used by company directors, the company secretary, subscribers, or PSCs at the time of registration or at any time thereafter, All statutory mail received at the service address will be scanned and emailed to the named individual within 24 hours of receipt.