A guide to registering a business with Companies House

registering a business

A guide to registering a business with Companies House

Registering a business with Companies House is one of the most important steps when starting your company. Many people think the process is a lot harder than it is because of the horror stories you might hear about its difficulty. The truth is, registering your new enterprise with Companies House is the easy part. It’s what comes after that can be challenging without the right guidance.

You shouldn’t let any misconceptions deter you from registering a business. Running a successful business means being able to make the right decisions, and putting things off isn’t one of them. We’ve created this guide to give you all the necessary information you need to start your company and take the first steps towards success. No excuses!

Who needs to register with Companies House?

You need to register with Companies House if you are looking to start a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP). This is a legal requirement, but there are benefits to doing both. If you would prefer to be a sole trader, you don’t need to use Companies House. You do need to make sure you have registered with HMRC and completed your annual self-assessment tax return though. If you have a business partner, they will need to be part of the process too.

How much does it cost to register?

The cost depends on how you send your application, and whether you use a third party or do it yourself. You can register yourself online here, which costs £12 and can be paid by debit card, credit card, or PayPal. You’ll usually be approved within 24 hours this way. However, you can only complete the process online if your business:

If you choose not to include ‘limited’ in the name of your business, you have to complete the application by post using an IN01 form. Registering a business by post takes eight to ten days and costs £40. This has to be paid by cheque, so you need to make sure you have a chequebook before you try to send your form to Companies House.

You can apply for same-day registration, as long as you complete your application before 3 pm. This will cost you £100 however, so it’s good to plan and opt for the cheaper of the two previous options.

If you don’t have time to deal with the paperwork, you can pay a registrar to sign up on your behalf. Using a third party will cost you the registration costs as well as a fee charged by the registrar. These prices will vary, so it’s worth weighing your options before settling on one.

But if you get yourself organised and gather all the necessary materials, registering your own company is actually quite straightforward. If you still have questions about your new business, such as which bank to use or what insurance policies you need, we have you covered.

This is a basic guide to registering a business with Companies House. If you need further guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Big Hand on 0161 327 2911. We help new businesses reach their full potential by taking care of their finances and providing the best advice around.


About the Author:

Since 2013, Sophie has been an integral part of the Big Hand team. As a social butterfly, Sophie is mostly responsible for introducing new clients to the company. If you’re an avid networking, you’re most likely to meet Sophie at local events. Alongside attracting new business, she also assists with account management, and she manages payroll on behalf of clients. For fun, Sophie loves to keep fit running or playing korfball with her team. She is also in the middle of learning a new language and so her most recent challenge is attempting to read Harry Potter in Dutch.