Blog > Business > Registering your company in the UK

Just over a year ago, we launched business accounts, and we're quickly welcoming a base of small UK registered businesses. With fast account opening, free domestic payments, low-cost international transfers, a bundled personal account and a free contactless debit card, the Monese business account is perfect for entrepreneurs looking for a world-class digital experience. But before you open a business account with us, you’ll need to register your business. Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough.

What is a UK registered company?

A UK registered company is one listed on Companies House, which holds information on private companies. The majority of businesses are registered as either sole traders, limited companies or partnerships.

  • If you register as a sole trader, you are personally liable for your business’ debts, along with accounting responsibilities.
  • If you choose to register as a limited company, your organisation’s finances are separate from your personal finances. However, you have more reporting and management responsibilities (learn more below).
  • Finally, partnership is the best way to register if two or more people are running a company together.

In this post, we’ll focus on registering in the UK as a limited company.

How to get set up

Registering as a limited company is simple and only costs £12. There are no separate rules for registering your business as a foreigner. To get set up, you’ll need to register an official UK address for your business, which could be your home address if you don’t have an office. You’ll also need to choose a SIC code. This identifies what your company does. You’ll also need at least three pieces of personal information about yourself and your shareholders or guarantors. These could be:

You’ll need to complete a quick application on the Companies House website. You’ll also need to come up with a company name. There are specific rules around the name you choose for your organisation:

  • It can’t be the same or similar to another company’s name.
  • It can’t be offensive or contain any sensitive words or expressions.
  • The name can’t suggest a connection to the government or local authorities without permission.

You'll also want to make sure that the name you choose is available and check any existing trade marks.

You’ll also have to appoint a director to your company and a company secretary, the latter being optional. Directors are legally responsible for running the company and ensuring that the organisation’s accounts and reports are correctly done.

You’ll require documents outlining how the company will be run. For this, you’ll need to present a memorandum and articles of association. All shareholders and guarantors must sign the memorandum of association. If you're registering online, you won't have to worry about writing this memorandum as it should be created automatically for you when you register. If you’re registering by post, however, use this template. The memorandum of association can’t be updated once your company is registered. For the article of association, you can use model articles or write and send/upload your own when you’re registering your company.

After completing all the steps, your company should be registered after 24 hours. When you register with Companies House, you usually are registered for Corporation Tax at the same time. If for whatever reason, you can’t register for both at once, you can register for HMRC for Corporation Tax separately after completing your registration with Companies House. You must do this within three months of starting to do business. Otherwise, you’ll face a severe penalty if you register late.

What are the benefits of registering?

Registering your limited company legally and financially separates you from your company. This means that you're not responsible for the debt of your company, because your personal finances remain separate from those of the business. As the owner of a limited company, you'll have accounting and reporting responsibilities, such as filing a tax return and paying corporation tax.

It was the first step on our journey to becoming the company we are today.

When we asked Ricardo Tannus, founder of Join and a H, why he registered his company, he had this to share: “We needed a business registration to start officially trading, invoicing clients, collecting payments, paying for services and so on. It was the first step on our journey to becoming the company we are today”.

Of course, the major benefit is that you can then apply to open a business account with Monese!

With Monese, I loved the ease of it. It’s the first financial services company I’ve trusted.

“I worked with all kinds of different banks, and they’re all very expensive”, said Emma Bewick, one of our business customers from CELO-Global. “With Monese, I loved the ease of it. It’s the first financial services company I’ve trusted. I like the idea that he [Norris] set everything up with entrepreneurs in mind, and I’ve now decided that Monese is going to be my main account”.

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Already have a limited company?

That’s great! If you already have a UK registered business, you can apply to open a Monese Business account today! Click the button below to get started.

Sign up now

What if my business isn’t UK registered?

If you run a business, but it’s not registered in the UK, then we’ve got something coming for you. We’ll be launching business accounts for EU businesses as well. Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or regularly check our blog for the latest! Have you had success with registering your UK business? What was your experience like? Feel free to share your story or any tips with us on social or via email at community@monese.com.

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Sophie Cairns