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Guides on Limited Companies, Sole Traders and Partnerships

company guides

A selection of our most popular business structure articles:

  • What is a limited company?
  • Company formation
  • What is a Partnership?
  • Limited company advantages
  • Use our company formations service to set up your company for £75 + VAT.

    When you register a company name, your name is not automatically protected by trade mark law. Similarly, if you have a trademarked brand name, you may not necessarily be able to register the brand as a limited company name. So what are trade marks, and how can you protect your company name?
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    Choosing a company name is an important task when setting up a new venture. Your name will help define the image of your business, so you should take some time out to get it right first time.
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    All limited companies are obliged to file accounting and other information with Companies House and HMRC each year. What happens if you deliver documents late, and how can you avoid penalties?
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    In order to understand the reason for this, you need to understand the different types of rights that shares give their owners. Ordinary shares will generally have all of these rights but that doesn’t have to be the case and it’s this that gives rise to the benefit of different share classes.
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    The share capital in a private limited company is the amount of money invested by its owners in exchange for shares of ownership. Company directors are typically shareholders in their own companies. Shareholders exercise certain powers over how the company is run.
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    If you decide to start a new business as a limited company, you will need to choose an appropriate name. There are several important factors to bear in mind when thinking of possible names, including legal restrictions imposed by Companies House.
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    A shareholders’ agreement is exactly what the name suggests; an agreement between the shareholders of a company.
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    The Companies Act 2006 is the main piece of legislation which governs company law in the UK. It is the longest piece of legislation ever enacted in the UK, with over 1,300 sections. Following eight years of consultation, the final provisions of the Act became law in October 2009.
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    The Companies (Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2008 detail what types of information limited companies have to disclose on all types of communications – both paper-based and electronic.
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    The Companies Act 2006 governs how limited companies should display their details when dealing with members of the public. So, do you have to display your company name at the company’s registered address?
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    Thanks to the Companies Act 2006, and advances in web technology in recent years, it has never been easier (or cheaper) to set up a limited company. In fact, you can register a new company online via the Companies House Web Incorporation Service in around 10 minutes.
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    Whether you’re setting up a public or private limited company, all companies are run by appointed officials who have a number of statutory obligations and responsibilities.
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    Once you’ve submitted your company formation details to Companies House, and your application has been accepted, you will be sent a certificate of incorporation, which states your company name and other details.
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    If you want to form a limited company, in addition to Form IN01 (application to register a company), you must also provide a copy of your company Memorandum and Articles of Association to Companies House.
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    Companies House is the Registrar of Companies in the UK. It oversees the incorporation and dissolution of all incorporated business structures, and acts as a central repository for information relating to all limited companies.
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    However good a company name may seem at the time of initial incorporation, there may be reasons why you want to change the name at a later date. So, how can this be achieved?
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    An LLP provides its members with limited liability (like a limited company), but they are taxed in a similar way to self employed partners. It is a popular business structure in professional occupations, such as accountancy and legal industries.
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    One of the first things you need to consider before starting up is whether to register as a sole trader (or partnership), or set up a limited company. There are significant differences between the two types of business structure.
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    A dormant limited company is simply one which is not trading. The company may never have traded before, or may have ceased trading for any number of reasons, without being shut down. Dormant company directors have a number of responsibilities to fulfil to comply with Companies House rules.
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    Shares can be transferred in many ways. If you are transferring shares in a listed company, then you (or your broker) will generally use an un-certificated system such as CREST. However for a private company, the more normal instrument is a stock transfer form.
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