Setting up a new limited company is much quicker than most people realise. Depending on the incorporation service you use, it is entirely possible to form a company online and have it ready to trade on the very same day.
The quickest way to form a company
The quickest way to form a company is to complete an application through an online company formation agent. This affordable option also happens to be the simplest route.
If you choose your company name ahead of time and have all of the required information ready to use, it will take only a few minutes to fill out the online company formation application.
You will submit the form online and it will be reviewed and approved at Companies House (the UK registrar of companies) within three to six working hours. Many applications are processed in less time, but on rare occasions, it may take longer if Companies House has a particularly heavy workload.
Mondays are usually the busiest day of the week at Companies House, and applications submitted on a Friday afternoon may not be processed until after the weekend. Ideally, try to file your application Tuesday-Thursday before midday to ensure same-day approval from Companies House.
The information you will need to provide to complete a company formation application includes:
- Company name – read our guidance on choosing a company name
- Registered office address – read out guidance on choosing a registered office address
- Details of directors – minimum of one director required
- Details of members (shareholders/guarantors) – minimum of one member required (members and directors can be the same people)
- Details of People with Significant Control (PSCs) – PSCs are normally members
- Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code – SIC codes are used to describe your company’s main business activities
At 1st Formations, you can form a company for as little as £12.99 (+VAT), with free guidance and assistance throughout the process. Our streamlined services facilitate the quickest company incorporation because we deal with the bulk of the administrative burden that would otherwise be placed on Companies House.
You can also take advantage of our optional Pre-Submission Review Service, whereby one of our company formation experts will check your application and flag or correct any errors before it is submitted to Companies House. This greatly reduces the risk of any application being rejected.
Other ways to set up a company
You can form a company directly at Companies House, either online (£12) or by post (£40). The application (form IN01) is a little time-consuming, especially if completed on paper.
Online applications are usually processed within 24 hours, and postal applications take around 8 to 10 days.
If any mistakes are made on the form, you will have to correct the errors and resubmit to Companies House, which can cause significant delay and may result in additional costs.
Moreover, unlike company formation agents, Companies House does not offer tailored professional advice and assistance with aspects such as choosing a company name, selecting the best type of company for your business, issuing shares, and altering the articles of association.