What do I need to set up my limited company?

Do you have a question? Ask Karen

Setting up a private limited company is easy. There are no forms to complete or sign.

You provide the information and we send it electronically to Companies House. Your company will be ready to trade in a matter of hours.*

Use this simple checklist to make sure you have all the details you need before you begin:

Company name

Your chosen company name cannot be identical to another already on the Register and must end with Limited or Ltd. There are also other restrictions you should consider. Our free name-checking facility links directly to Companies House so you can easily check if the name you want is available to use.

Domain Name

Registering your domain name at the same time as your company name is a valuable step so it's worth considering at this stage what you would like this to be. Ideally, your domain name should be short, memorable and reflect your business. Checking your choice of domain is also free.

Principal Business Activity

Use our free SIC code lookup tool to find the Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (SIC) code(s) that best describe the intended business activity of the company.

Registered office

Select the location where official mail from Companies House and HMRC will be sent. It must be an address in England or Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and cannot be a PO Box.


You'll need to provide information about the people who are going to be the directors, company secretary (optional) and shareholders of your company, as well as people who will have significant control over the company (PSCs).

  • Full name, forename(s) and surname
  • Any former name(s) used for business purposes, including maiden names/s
  • Full service address including town, county and postcode (for the public record)
  • Usual residential address (protected information)
  • Country/state of residence
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Occupation
  • How many shares they are to have in the company
  • You will also need to confirm that each person named as a director and/or secretary has consented to act in this capacity.

    For members/shareholders, you will need to provide additional security information (choose 3 from the options listed below). This information allows for electronic filing at Companies House without the need for any paper forms or live signatures. The information you provide won't appear anywhere on the public record.

  • Town of birth (first 3 letters)
  • Passport number (last 3 digits)
  • Telephone number (last 3 digits)
  • Mother's maiden name (first 3 letters)
  • Father's first name (first 3 letters)
  • National insurance number (last 3 digits)

People of Significant Control (PSC)

You will also need to provide information about who has significant control of the company. A PSC is an individual who meets one or more of the following conditions in relation to the company:

  • Directly or indirectly owning more than 25% of the shares
  • Directly or indirectly holding more than 25% of the voting rights
  • Directly or indirectly holding the right to appoint or remove the majority of directors
  • Otherwise having the right to exercise, or actually exercising, significant influence or control
  • Holding the right to exercise, or actually exercising, significant influence or control over the activities of a trust or firm which is not a legal entity, but would itself satisfy any of the first four conditions if it were an individual.

If any of the first three conditions are met, then you do not need to worry about the last two. See our whitepaper for more information on PSCs.

Now you're ready to form your company!

Need any additional help? Contact our team of company formation experts here.

*In most cases. Complex, multi-company formations may take longer. We offer guaranteed same day service with instructions received by 1pm.

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Many thanks for a great service. In particular, Lee Date was very helpful and genial over the phone.


Alex Brereton
Mishcon de Reya, London