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The 3 documents you need to register a limited company

The process for registering a UK limited company can now be completed entirely online, without the need for any paper documentation. As you work your way through the company formation application – whilst you may not know it – you are providing the information for 3 key documents that you need to register a limited company. Here we explain what these documents are.

  1. The ‘IN01: Application to register a company’ document

The overwhelming majority of companies are now formed online directly with Companies House or through a company formation agent (such as 1st Formations). When someone is completing an online application to register a company, they are filling out an online version of the Companies House registration document.

For a private company limited by shares – the most popular type of limited company – this is the ‘IN01: Application to register a company’ document. This form may not be mentioned anywhere in the online process but if you are setting up a private company limited by shares, this is the document you’ll be completing.

This document includes the following information:

  • Company name
  • Principal business activity (defined by up to 4 SIC codes)
  • Registered office address
  • Director’s information
  • Shareholder information including details on the shares they are to hold
  • Person with significant control information

Once complete, this document is delivered to Companies House who will then process the application.

  1. The memorandum of association

This basic document is drawn up automatically using shareholder information included as part of the above company registration application.

The purpose of the document is to outline that each subscriber in the company (these are the shareholders in place at the time of the company’s incorporation) has agreed to form a company in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 and hold at least one share.

It includes the following information:

  • Company name
  • Subscriber name
  • Date of incorporation
  1. The articles of association

This document sets out how the company is going to operate and includes sections dedicated to decision-making powers, director responsibilities, shareholder responsibilities and liabilities, how shares can be moved, and more. It’s essentially an internal handbook for how the company is going to operate. As this would suggest, it’s a complex document.

A company can not be formed without having articles of association in place. Fortunately, as part of the company registration application, you can choose to adopt a ‘model’ form of the document that suits the majority of businesses. It is possible for a company to create its own bespoke articles of association to accompany the registration but this must follow a strict format – because of this it’s not recommended unless you have professional assistance.

It is possible for a company to alter its articles of association post-incorporation.

Thanks for reading

So there you have it, the 3 documents you will need to register a limited company. We hope you have found this article useful.

For more information about registering a company, visit the 1st Formations website

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