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It is a secure system for customers to submit their applications to incorporate a company online. This service can be used by anyone who wants to incorporate a private limited company limited by shares, adopting model articles; and meeting the requirements of the Companies Act The Web Incorporation Service is not suitable for bulk use, i.
For bulk filing, the Software Filing service is more suitable. You will also need to have a working email address able to receive attachments; and Adobe Reader to view the Memorandum of Association and Incorporation Certificate attached to the email.
The service is currently available for the incorporation of a private company limited by shares, adopting model articles. The online service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service will only be unavailable for essential maintenance at scheduled times - these times will be advertised on the sign in screen.
Due to the need for document processing at Companies House, documents can only be examined during Companies House's working hours of am to pm, Monday to Friday. The only additional costs to you will be your telephone or broadband charges whilst online.
A registered company is a legal entity with a separate identity from those who own or operate it. Most companies are limited liability companies which mean the liability of the members is limited by shares or by guarantee. One or more persons can form a company for any lawful purpose by subscribing their name s to the Memorandum of Association and complying with the legal requirements for incorporation.
Those persons who subscribe their names to the Memorandum of Association are known as "subscribers", and are the first shareholders of the company. Currently, you can incorporate - A Private company limited by shares, adopting Model Articles.
This type of company has a share capital and the liability of each member is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on their shares. A private company cannot offer its shares for sale to the general public. Companies House can provide you with guidance on the forms and methods of incorporating a company, on your choice of company name and also provide general advice on matters such as filing requirements. However, we cannot advise you about the content of your company's articles, or whether a company is the best vehicle for your business.
If you are unsure about any aspect of forming a company, you should consider seeking professional advice from a solicitor, accountant or company formation agent. All company incorporation documents are subject to certain checks including those necessary to ensure proposed officers director and secretary are not on the 'Disqualified Directors Register' maintained by Companies House.
If the documents satisfy all the appropriate examination and company name checks, we will incorporate the company, issue a certificate of incorporation and place the documents on the public record for public inspection. Please note the incorporation does not take effect until Companies House has issued the certificate of incorporation.
You should bear this in mind before obtaining company stationery or creating bank accounts. The incorporation certificate will be attached to the email confirming your company incorporation has been accepted, in PDF format. Alternatively, you can retrieve the certificate by signing into the WebFiling service and selecting 'My Recent Filings' from the top navigation bar under the CH logo.
The certificate will remain in this area for 10 days. The certificate is conclusive evidence that the registration requirements of the Companies Act have been complied with and that the company is duly registered under this Act. The certificate will state:. You just need to supply an email address and password to use the service. If you are already registered with the Companies House WebFiling service , you can sign-in to the Web Incorporation Service using the same email address and password.
If you are a brand new customer to Companies House online filing services, the email address and password supplied will also be used to register you for the Companies House WebFiling service. WebFiling enables you to file other company documents online and also save and return to previous filings. When your incorporation application is accepted, the company incorporation certificate will be sent to the email address supplied on registration.
Passwords for the Web Incorporation Service must be between 8 to 32 characters and a combination of letters a-z and at least two numbers To sign-in enter your email address and password. When your account details are verified, you will be directed to the first stage of the Incorporation process to enter your company name and address.
From the 'Sign in and registration screen' select 'Forgotten your password? An email will be immediately sent containing a link to a webpage, which will allow you to enter a new password. The Web Incorporation Service is to be used to submit incorporation applications only.
If you want to file other types of documents once the company is incorporated, then you can use the Companies House WebFiling service. As well as your email address and password, you will need a company authentication code. This is the secure code used to ensure that you are authorised to file documents on behalf of the company.
The authentication code is automatically sent to the company's registered office address by post when it is incorporated; and you can also request an Authentication Code reminder for an existing company, which will be sent to the registered office address.
Managing changes to your email address, password and company authentication code after your company is incorporated.
But you will need to sign in to the WebFiling service. Select 'Change account details'. Sign in to the WebFiling service , and select 'Company authentication', from this screen you can:.
Your new Authentication Code will overwrite the current one at the end of the working day. In the meantime the old code will still be valid. Yes, initially you will receive a different code for each company, but you can then change the codes so that they are all the same.
Before choosing a company name use the WebCHeck to ensure the name is not the same as an existing registered company. As a final check, the Companies House Web Incorporation Service will display a warning if the name you have selected is the same as another on the register.
The company name must be available, i. The company name cannot contain more than characters including spaces and name ending e. All company names will be converted to capital letters and some symbols are not permitted in the name. If the proposed company name contains sensitive or restricted words or expressions, you cannot currently use this online service to incorporate your company. This is because you must provide appropriate supporting documentation before the company name will be accepted.
The Web Incorporation Service will check if a company name contains sensitive words or expressions, and display a warning notifying you of the sensitive word. Other words or expressions considered to be offensive are not permitted and will result in the company incorporation being rejected.
By law every company must have a registered office. The registered office address is the 'home' of the company to which all official documents, notices and court papers have to be sent by law. This address must be a physical location for the delivery or inspection of documents. However the registered office need not be a place where the company carries on its day-to-day business. For example, some companies use their accountant's address as their registered office.
However, the directors are responsible for ensuring their registered office is effective in terms of dealing with all notices, letters and reminders sent by Companies House or other organisations, businesses or individuals. For example, you could receive a legal demand from a creditor and you will need to respond promptly to avoid further action.
If any person you deal with in the course of your business requests in writing the address of your registered office, or the location where they can inspect your company records, or details of the records that you keep at your registered office, you must respond within five working days. For England and Wales companies, the address provided can either be in England or Wales. For Welsh companies, the address provided must be in Wales. For companies registered in Scotland or Northern Ireland, the address provided must be in Scotland or Northern Ireland respectively.
Once the company is incorporated, you can choose to change the registered office address easily by submitting a form AD01 online. It's a unique 5 digit code that has a trade description or nature of business associated with it. The individual SIC codes are broken down into a number of trade groups. Once you have found the trade group that applies to your business activity, choose your nature of business from the individual SIC codes within that group.
If you can't find a code to meet your business activity, you can choose one that is similar. The Companies Act requires private limited companies to appoint at least one director who is an individual. All directors must be at least 16 years of age. It is up to the members to appoint the people they believe will run the company well on their behalf. The only restrictions that prevent anyone becoming a director are:.
Directors must prepare and file documents required under the Companies Act , including the annual accounts and annual returns. In addition, the company will be liable to a civil penalty if its accounts are delivered late.
Further information about late filing penalties can be found in our 'Late Filing Penalties' guide. These terms are applicable to the positions should they be held by a person or a corporate entity i.
A Director is a person or a corporate entity appointed by the company members shareholders to run the company on their behalf. All companies must have at least one 'person director' and all directors must be at least 16 years of age.
Where a director is a corporate entity a company or firm , these are usually referred to as 'Corporate Director'. A Secretary is a person or corporate entity appointed by the directors to be the chief administrator of the company.
It is optional to have a secretary for private companies. Where a secretary is corporate entity a company or firm , these are usually referred to as 'Corporate Secretary'. Private limited companies must have at least one person director.
When you have entered your company name and address, you will be asked to enter the details of your first director as part of the 'Officers' section. You can then choose to appoint multiple officers using the appropriate buttons on the Officers Summary screen, or simply proceed to the next section.
You may also have officers that are companies or firms, and for these you will need to supply the company or firm name, its registered office address, details of the legal form of the company, where it is registered and if applicable its registration number.
The service address is a location where official documents and notices can be delivered serviced for the attention of an officer of the company. The address information provided for service address will appear on the public record. The address does not have to be a residential address, but if a residential address is provided within the address fields of the service address section, it will appear on the public record.
The residential address is the home address of the director. The residential address information will not appear on the public record, so long as it is provided within the address fields of the residential address section.
About our services
It is a secure system for customers to submit their applications to incorporate a company online. This service can be used by anyone who wants to incorporate a private limited company limited by shares, adopting model articles; and meeting the requirements of the Companies Act The Web Incorporation Service is not suitable for bulk use, i. For bulk filing, the Software Filing service is more suitable. You will also need to have a working email address able to receive attachments; and Adobe Reader to view the Memorandum of Association and Incorporation Certificate attached to the email. The service is currently available for the incorporation of a private company limited by shares, adopting model articles. The online service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Filing your company's accounts
Companies House: User guide to webfiling for companies