Incorporating a company: top tips

HMRC has issued useful tips and advice on how to incorporate a company in the UK using the online Companies House service

Last financial year Companies House incorporated over 644,000 companies, 99% of those were on line and 1% on paper. Over 8% of online applications to incorporate and nearly 53% of paper applications were rejected.

Electronic applications are usually processed within 24 hours of receipt whereas paper incorporation usually take up to 10 working days to process. Many of these rejections were for quite simple and straightforward reasons which could easily be avoided.

These top tips are really about what to check before submitting an incorporation application:

• Check the name using our Companies House company name availability checker and check it again just prior to submission. This will help ensure that the proposed name is not regarded as the same as one already in existence. Make sure the name is consistent throughout the incorporation documents and any supporting documentation

• Check that if the company name contains a ‘sensitive’ word, one that will require supporting documentation and that support is submitted with the application. A list of those words and expressions can be found here

• Make sure the correct memorandum is with the IN01 and is dated and signed correctly

• Individuals must show their nationality in a correct and acceptable form. Nationalities that are not acceptable will result in the application being rejected

• Make sure the full names of the officers are shown and that initials are not used

• Check the subscribers to the company are correct and the company is not shown as subscribing to itself as often happens. A subscriber must have its own legal personality. If the subscriber is a corporate body please ensure you have evidence to confirm that the corporate body has legal personality

• An officer is only able to claim exemption under Section 243 of the Companies Act 2006 if the application has been made in advance and the exemption granted. This is also true of People with Significant Control claiming exemption under Section 790. Unfortunately many officers select this option who have not been granted the exemption. Further guidance can be found at, Restricting the disclosure of your address

Companies House guidance on incorporation and names is available here 

Further information is available at or Companies House contact centre tel: 0303 1234 500.

This article first appeared in HMRC Agent Update Aug-Sep 2017 Issue 61 

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