A company formation agent is an independent company that incorporates (registers) companies on behalf of new businesses, making the process quick, simple, and considerably affordable.
Formation agents enable people to easily set up various types of company structures entirely online.
Legitimate formation agents in the UK are authorised to register companies electronically with Companies House – the official registrar, responsible for approving company incorporations in the UK.
What does a company formation agent do?
As well as actually forming your company, formation agents, like 1st Formations, can support you with expert advice and an extensive range of corporate services, such as:
- Advice on the type of company that’s best suited to your needs
- Help with choosing a company formation package that’s right for you
- Guidance on limited company names (including names that require permission)
- Assistance with completing the online application
- Ongoing secretarial and business support services
- Registered office address services
- Assistance setting up a business bank account
- Online resources covering everything you need to know about limited companies
How does a company formation agent work?
Using an approved online company formation agent is the quickest and most user-friendly way to incorporate a limited company.
Application forms can be completed online and submitted electronically to the registrar, with most applications approved by Companies House in as little as 3-6 working hours. This means you can set up a limited company and start trading on the very same day.
4 simple steps to company formation
We provide a quick and hassle-free company formation process in just four steps. This is how it looks:
1. Choose your company name
Firstly, check if your proposed company name is available for registration by entering it into our online company name-check tool, located on our homepage.
This system will scan your proposed name against the Index of Company Names already registered at Companies House. Results are instant, so you will immediately find out if your chosen name is available or if you’ll need to choose an alternative name.
Our name-check system will also notify you if the name requires supporting documentation for approval or if it contains any sensitive words or expressions.
Before selecting your name, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the rules that apply when choosing a company name provided by GOV.UK.
2. Select a company formation package
We have a host of tailor-made company formation packages to choose from, catering to a wide range of company structures. Whether you wish to form a private company limited by shares, a company limited by guarantee, a limited liability partnership (LLP), or a public limited company (PLC), we can help (from just £12.99!). We also offer a package dedicated to non-UK residents.
3. Opt for additional services and support
As well as simplifying the online formation process, one of the main reasons that business owners-to-be choose to register with a company formation agent, rather than directly with Companies House, is for the exclusive additional services they can benefit from.
Once you’ve chosen your company name and selected a package, you’ll proceed to the checkout, where you can decide whether or not to opt-in for any of our additional services.
Some of our most popular options include:
- Registered Office Address Service which allows you to protect the privacy of your home and enhance your corporate image with the use of our prestigious Covent Garden, London address.
- Service Address that maintains the privacy of a director, secretary, or shareholder, keeping their residential address off the public register.
- Business Address Service allows your company to use our distinguished London address to receive and forward business mail, whether you are in the UK or overseas.
- Confirmation Statement Service ensures your company remains legal and compliant, with your statement prepared and filed at Companies House.
- VAT Registration allows one of our experts to take care of the application to HMRC for you, taking what can be a daunting task off your hands.
- Call Answering Service ensures you never miss a call again! Have your calls answered professionally and promptly by a dedicated receptionist, who will transfer and announce the call to you, or alternatively take a message and forward it to you by email or SMS within ten minutes.
These are just some of the professional services provided by 1st Formations to help propel your corporate image and ensure your new company gets off to the very best start.
You can view a full list of our company secretarial and business support services from our main menu.
4. Enter your company details through our simple online form
Our online application form is super straightforward and will take just a few minutes of your time to complete. You’ll be asked to provide the following information:
- Your company name
- Registered office address
- Description of main business activities (SIC code)
- Director’s details (minimum of one, must be at least 16 years old)
- Shareholder’s or guarantor’s details (minimum of one)
- Secretary details (optional)
- Information about people with significant control
- Statement of capital (this outlines the share capital of a company limited by shares)
- Supporting documentation (required if your company name contains any sensitive words or expressions, or is similar to the name of another company)
Review and submit your online application
If you purchase our Pre-Submission Review (£4.99), once you’ve followed the above steps and filled in your online application, we will check through it for you before sending it to Companies House on your behalf.
You will then be notified by email as soon as your company registration is approved.
If your company formation package includes paper incorporation documents, we will post these out to you within 24-48 hours.
Manage your company online
Once your company has been formed, a good company formation agent will provide a free Online Company Manager; an easy-to-use customer dashboard, allowing you to access a range of services and facilities, and the ability to manage your company online in one safe place.
Via the 1st Formations Online Company Manager, you can:
- Create a new company
- Update contact details
- View your order and invoice history
- Check and update your primary payment options
- Access key information such as your company registration number and authentication code
- Access and download your registered office and service address mail (and business mail if you receive it digitally), at any time, from anywhere (if you have address services with us)
- Update and file changes to directors, company addresses, and purchase products and services for your company from our Shop section
Ready to get started?
Take the first steps in forming your company now with the UK’s favourite company formation agent. In just four simple steps your company can be formed with us today!
Thanks for reading
You should now have a good understanding of what a company formation agent does and how they work.
We hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to leave a reply below.