There are various factors to be considered as part of the company set-up process.
Choosing a company name
You are entitled to choose almost any name you like for your company as long as this has not already been registered with Companies House. However, care should be taken not to choose a name that may be objected to by a company already in business because it is too similar.
By law, a limited company must have at least one director.
You should decide who is going to be appointed a company director. It is likely that the main fee earner for the company would be appointed a director but you have options in terms of appointing others as you see fit.
Some of the main responsibilities of a company director are:
Depending on the service you choose to receive from GRANTS, we will be able to assist you with some of the above responsibilities.
- try to make the company a success, using your skills, experience and judgement
- make decisions for the benefit of the company, not yourself
- ensuring that the company maintains proper accounting records
- ensuring the company accounts represent a true and fair view
- ensuring that accounts and tax returns are submitted to the appropriate authorities
Having a company secretary is not compulsory, but our advice would be to appoint one at the time of setting up your limited company.
The normal scenario is to appoint the spouse of the director as the company secretary but the role could also be filled by a partner or a relative or friend.
Appointing a company secretary means that there is more than one person available in the company to sign or authorise documents and, from experience, we have found this to be very valuable when the director is, for example, working away from home when a tax filing deadline is approaching.
Being appointed a company secretary will have no effect on an individuals financial position unless they receive payment from the company for the duties performed.
Normally, the company's registered office will be your home address. However, in certain cirumstances, this may not be suitable or even permitted.
For example, if you set up a Scottish company whilst living in Scotland but subsequently moved to England, Companies House would not permit your Scottish registered company to change to an English address. You would have to retain a Scottish registered office address.
On incorporation, the company will need to have at least one share. It is likely, at least initially, that this share will be issued to the director of the company to expedite the company set-up process.
Thereafter, it is important to review the share structure of the company with a view to arranging this in the most tax efficient manner. In some cases, this may involve introducing your spouse as a shareholder.
One final point is that we always recommend that each individual shareholder makes separate payments for their shares.
We normally recommend placing a low value on the shares, e.g. £1.