How to Register a New Business

Are you planning to embark on a new business venture? Are you uncertain about whether you must officially register your business before commencing operations? Alternatively, if you’ve already launched your business without proper registration, do you need to register your

In either scenario, it’s crucial to determine the appropriate registration authority and understand the relevant regulations and guidelines.

Our comprehensive guide will provide you with answers to these questions and walk you through the process of registering your business.

How to register a new business?

Every freshly established business in the UK is required to complete registration with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). In its simplest form, this entails notifying the tax authority of your business’s existence and ensuring the appropriate payment of all applicable taxes.

If you intend to operate as a limited company, an additional step involves registering your business with Companies House.

This entails a more intricate administrative process, which we will delve into with greater depth in subsequent sections.

How to register a limited company?

Registering your business in the UK involves two main steps: registering with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and potentially registering as a limited company with Companies House. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

HMRC Registration

This is a straightforward process. Create an HMRC account to inform them of your business bank account’s existence and ensure you’re paying the necessary taxes.

Limited Company Registration

If you plan to operate as a private limited company, there are more steps involved:

Consider Your Business Structure

Decide if being a limited company is suitable for your business. Alternatively, you can be a sole trader or business partner, which involves less paperwork but less personal financial protection.

Choose a Company Name

After deciding on the limited company structure, select a unique name for your company and check its availability using the online Company Name Availability Checker at Companies House.

Appoint Directors

Appoint at least one director who will be responsible for various company duties, including managing records and tax filings. You can also appoint a secretary for smoother administrative operations.

Allocate Shares

Understand that a limited company consists of shares, and you must have at least one shareholder (subscriber) when you set up the company. Shareholders may have certain rights and responsibilities.

Create Company Rules

Develop company rules, including a ‘memorandum of association’ and ‘articles of association,’ which outline the company’s purpose and rules for operation. If you register online, the ‘memorandum of association’ is automatically generated for you.


Maintain records of directors, shareholders, company secretaries, loans, agreements, transactions, shareholder votes, and mortgages.

Provide Official Address

Offer an official address for your company registration, which can be your business premises or your home address if you don’t have a separate business location.

Select SIC Code

Choose a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code that describes your company’s activities and sector. This code helps categorize your business.

Registration with Companies House costs £12, payable by debit or credit card, and usually takes about 24 hours to process.

Once completed, you’ll receive a certificate of incorporation, legally recognizing company formation of your business as a limited company or limited liability partnership. You’ll also be registered for Corporation Tax simultaneously.

These steps outline the basics of registering your business in the UK. Ensure you carefully consider your business structure and follow the necessary procedures for successful registration.