Frequently Asked Questions

What do I get?
What is the total I pay?
Are there any ongoing costs?
Is the whole process online?
How long does it take?
Can I choose any company name I like?
Can I check to see if a name is taken?
What are the legal requirements?
I have read that I need to keep printed records. Is this right?
Are there any limitations?
What if I am not a UK resident?
Is a company seal included?
Can I form several companies?


What do I get?

You get a brand new company, absolutely "clean" (with no history or liabilities) and ready to trade. Unlike many providers, we make sure that all the necessary paperwork is done before you receive it.

You will not need to fill in statutory registers and share certificates yourself, unlike many company formations. We do all that for you.

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What is the total I pay?

Our £5 fee is quoted exclusive of fees and taxes. In addition there is a government fee of £13, credit/debit card processing fee of £1.25 and VAT at 20%. This makes a grand total of £20.50.

There are no extra charges for providing the Memorandum and Articles of Asssociation, or for producing share certificates or statutory registers, or any of the other many things that some providers manage to charge for. All those documents are fully completed as part of the service.

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Are there any ongoing costs?

The Company Secretary service, the Registered Office and the privacy service are all absloutely free for 3 months. After that you pay just £5 + VAT per month. We ask you to sign up for this when you order the company.

If you don't need the services, then you will be able to cancel the post-dated PayPal subscription and owe us nothing. However you will have to change the registered office, and will lose the privacy service and the Company Secretary service. There is an administration charge of £10+VAT for making these changes on your behalf. If you choose not to pay the administration charge, we simply transfer the registered office to one of your addresses and re-list the company directors' service addresses as their home addresses. Either way, you will also have to pay the annual return fee to Comnpanies House (which costs up to £30 per year) which is included in our services as long as your £5 monthly fee is up to date.

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Is the whole process online?

Yes! There are absolutely no paper forms to fill in whatsoever, and no visit to a solicitor.

When your company is formed, we send you all the documents you need by e-mail. You will need Adobe Reader 9.0 or higher in order to access them. If you do not already have it, you can download it free from Adobe's website.

You can rest assured that your payment details are processed safely over a secure, encrypted link.

The only paperwork we will need from you is identification documents. We are legally obliged to ask for this under anti-money laundering rules. What we need is similar to the documents you would have to produce if you were opening a bank account. We usually only need these after the company is formed - you can trade as soon as you get the Certificate of Incorporation from us. And don't worry, we will send you a pack containing all the details you need to send to us, right down to the covering letter for you to print off and sign.

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How long does it take?

We have done everything we can to make the process as simple as possible. Filling in the forms should take no longer than 5 minutes.

Once we have received your completed forms and payment is authorised, we start to incorporate your company. This depends on Companies House, but normally takes much less than one working day, often around 4 hours.

When your company is ready, we send you all the documents you need by e-mail. With 5PoundFormations.co.uk, you will not have to wait for the post - your company will be ready to trade immediately.

In order to start using the Company Secretary Service, you will need to send us some identification documents. We will let you know what you need as soon as the company is formed. Access is normally available within two working days of us receiving the documents we need.

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Can I choose any company name I like?

Yes, as long as it is legal.

The main legal requirements are:

  • It must end with "Limited", and it cannot contain the word "limited" anywhere else in the name.

Examples:

WXYZ Technology
WXYZ Technology Limited
  • It must not be a criminal offence to use the name.
  • It must not be the same as another company's name. There are some complicated legal rules about when a name is "the same". The main thing you need to know is that Companies House ignores spaces, punctuation, the type of company, the endings "Company" and "and Company", and abbreviations. It also treats "&" the same as "and", and numbers as being the same as if they were spelt out.

Examples:

Marks and Spencer Ltd.
Mark, Sand, Spencer Ltd.
Marks & Spencer Company Ltd.
Marks & Spencer & Co. Ltd.
Mark Spencer Consulting Limited (but check first, because if a name is "too similar" to another name, you may be forced to change it later)
  • It must not be offensive.
  • It cannot contain a number of sensitive words or expressions, unless you obtain special permission. If you want to use one of these words, you will need to form your company with a different name, and try to change it later.

Examples:

British Widget Company Ltd.
Widget Makers Insurance Co. Ltd.
Widgets International Limited
The Fine Widget Company (UK) Limited

Please note that even if your company is formed, you might be ordered to change the name later if it is "too similar" to an existing company's name. We recommend that you check a number of combinations to see if there is a company with a similar name.

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Can I check to see if a name is taken?

Yes, by visiting our name check page. This will let you check different company names to see whether they have already been registered, and whether they will be allowed.

When you order, this is checked again. Nearly all problems with the name are caught at that stage, before you go any further. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee names until they have been accepted by Companies House. If there is a problem, we will try your second choice name instead.

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What are the legal requirements?

You don't need to worry about paperwork, because we do all that for you. However, there are a few legal requirements which all companies have to meet.

  • You must have at least one director. Undischarged bankrupts cannot be directors, nor can anyone who has been disqualified.
  • We will only accept directors who are over 18.
  • We will provide the company secretary, free of charge for 3 months.
  • There must be at least one shareholder. This can be the same person as a director. Directors run the company, but shareholders own it.
  • You must have a registered office in the country of incorporation (England/Wales). We provide this service to companies registered in England and Wales free of charge for the first 3 months. After that, we hope you will continue to use our services. If not, you will have to find another address.

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I have read that I need to keep printed records. Is this right?

No, it isn't. Unfortunately, there are some agents who insist on mis-stating the law, in order to charge you extra for printed copies.

What the law actually says is that you need to make your statutory registers available for inspection. The simplest way for most companies to do this might be to print it.

But with our Registered Office and Company Secretary Services, you don't need to worry about that. We keep and maintain your registers, and provide proper facilities for inspection. There is no need to pay for printed copies.

The one document which you are supposed to print the Certificate of Incorporation. You can either do this yourself, or if you do not have the right kind of ivory 160gsm card, we will be happy to do it for you and post it on for £5 + VAT (£5), after you have formed your company.

You are also obliged to provide a "printed copy" of the Memorandum and Articles of Association to a shareholder who asks for it. We supply these documents by e-mail, in standard PDF format. While most people are happy enough with this version, you are most welcome to purchase bound copies from us for £5 + VAT (£6) each.

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Are there any limitations?

We have tried to make our services as widely available as possible. However, at this price, we have had to include a few rules.

  • Our services are currently only available to form companies in England and Wales. Sorry if you are in Scotland or Northern Ireland, but at the moment we do not have the premises to support the Registered Office Service. You can of course buy a company registered in England, and trade throughout the UK in just the same way. All it means is that you will have to continue to use our service (which, of course, we recommend anyway), or find another address in England or Wales to use as the registered office.
  • We also require that you provide us with a contact address in England or Wales. If you stop using our services, we transfer the registered office to this address, though we will give you the option to choose a different address.
  • The number of directors and shareholders at the time you form your company is limited to 5. In the unlikely event that you need more, you can add them later.
  • All companies are formed with no limit on the authorised capital and with shares of a nominal value of £1 each. You will be able to limit capital or do share splits later if you need to. (If, like most people, you do not know what we are talking about, don't worry. This simply relates to the number and "nominal value" of shares. This set-up will suit all but the most complicated new businesses).

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What if I am not a UK resident?

We are happy to offer our services to non-UK residents.

Unlike other European countries, neither the directors nor the owners of a UK company have to be resident in the UK. But the company will need a registered office in England. We provide this service free of charge for 3 months.

Many non-residents are now choosing to incorporate in the UK to take advantage of its language, relatively low tax rates and sensible company law. It is the perfect base from which to sell your goods and services to the 480 million citizens of the EU. You should consult your lawyer for more details.

For people wishing to start a UK business from abroad, we strongly recommend the complete StartNewBusiness package.

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Is a company seal included?

No - because you don't need one. Company seals have been unnecessary for over 20 years. Save your money!

Can I form several companies?

Yes, but each is formed separately.

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