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). To form a company in Northern Ireland, you must complete an application for Companies House in Belfast and provide details of a registered office address in Northern Ireland.
Registered office address
Companies formed in N. Ireland are required to have a registered office situated in the same part of the UK. This must be a full, physical postal address, not a PO Box number. You can use your home address, but you should note this will appear on the public record. To protect the privacy of your home, we recommend using an alternate address that is non-residential. 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 storage and inspection of the company’s statutory 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.
Forming your Company
If you would like to form a company limited by shares or guarantee in Northern Ireland, you can do so in one of three ways:
- Using the services of an online Company Formation Specialist.
- Online using Companies House WebIncorporation Service (only available if setting up a limited by shares company).
- 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 and ready to begin trading immediately. Using an agent is also the most cost-efficient method of company formation.
Whichever method you decide to use, you will need:
- At least one director
- At least one shareholder (or guarantor)
- A registered office
- Information on the Company’s Persons of Significant Control
- The accurate 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 person with significant control (PSC) of the company. This is where they will receive their statutory mail.
- To adopt ‘Model’ articles of association, or provide a copy of your own bespoke articles.
All information, except home addresses and day of births (month and year still appear) of directors and PSCs, will be displayed on the central public register at Companies House. However, do remember that your home address will be displayed if you use it as a registered office or service address.
Form a company via Rapid Formations
Rapid Formations can provide a range of company formation packages, allowing you to incorporate with Companies House in Belfast in just 3 to 6 working hours from as little as £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 service addresses in London and Glasgow that can be used by company director, secretary, subscriber or PSC at the time of registration. All statutory mail received at the service address will be scanned and emailed to the named individual.