[Skip to main content]

TJL: Marketing & PR for small businesses

Targeted activity acheives results.

Top 10 Tips for Forming a Private Limited Company

Top 10 Tips for Forming a Private Limited Company


  1. Make sure your chosen name is available at Companies House. Companies House has recently become stricter about incorporating companies with names that are similar to those that have already been registered. Words such as ‘Company’ and ‘Services’ are not enough to differentiate your name from one that already exists and will not be accepted by Companies House. Use a free company name checker to see if your company name is available.

  2. Be aware of ‘reserved words’ in a company name. Some words and expressions are considered by Companies House to be “sensitive”, requiring permission or additional documentation in order to be used. Words such as “Architect”, “Royal” and “Dental” require written approval from the relevant authorities should you wish to include them in your company name. Details of who to write to are available from Companies House. Other words such as “Group”, “Holdings” and “International” require additional documentation providing more information about your company. If you form your company with Companies Made Simple, they can supply you with these templates.

  3. Use symbols correctly in a company name. The use of some symbols such as £, %, $, @ are permitted for use in your company name. Accents however cannot be used. For example, should your company be called “Made Simple Café”, you will need to register the company name without the accent. Just remember that symbols cannot be used in the first three characters of the company name.

  4. Every company must have at least one director. A director must be over the age of 16, but does not have to be a UK or EU resident.

  5. Every company must have a human director. This means that while another company may be appointed as the director for your new limited company, you must provide the name and address for an authorising person from that company.

  6. The service address of the director can be anywhere in the world. Any filing of a director’s details for incorporations now has to include both the director’s usual residential address and, for each directorship, a service address. The service address will be on the public record; the residential address will be protected information. A director may choose to use their residential address as their service address in which case it will be available on the public register. The service address can be located anywhere in the world, but cannot be a PO Box.

  7. Every company must have at least one shareholder. The shareholder CAN be the same person as the director, which means you are allowed to incorporate a single person company. At least one share must be issued at incorporation, in order for the company to be a private company limited by shares.

  8. Every company must have a UK registered office. This can be a residential address, a business address, or the address of an accountant or company formation agent. It must be a physical address at which official documents can be served but cannot be a PO Box. The address will be displayed on public record at Companies House.

  9. You may have a company secretary, but it is no longer a legal requirement.

  10. Every company must have their own Memorandum and Articles of Association. This document states the nature of the business, and contains the shareholder information. If you form your limited company through Companies Made Simple, we can provide you with this document as part of our company registration service.