The Basics

What is Companies House?

Companies House is the registrar of limited companies (incl. LLPs) in the United Kingdom. All companies must be registered, or ‘incorporated’, with Companies House. Any changes to registered company details must be reported to Companies House.

What is a limited company?

It is a legal business entity that has been incorporated with Companies House as limited by shares or limited by guarantee. The financial liability of its members (shareholder or guarantors) is limited to what they invest in shares or guarantee to the company. A limited by shares company is by far the most common type of company in the UK for profit-making businesses; limited by guarantee companies are popular with non-profit organisations.

What is a company limited by guarantee?

It is a type of limited company that does not have shares or shareholders; instead, it has guarantors who guarantee a fixed sum of money to the company. This business structure is primarily designed for non-profit organisations.

What is a LLP?

LLP stands for Limited Liability Partnership, and is similar to a normal business partnership, with the one difference being that the personal liability of the partners is limited.

What types of company can be set up on our website?

We specialises in the online formation of companies limited by shares or guarantee. We also form Limited Liability Partnerships.

What is the Certificate of Incorporation?

The Certificate of Incorporation is the main document that proves a company exists and has been registered under the requirements of the Companies Act 2006. It includes the company name and number, the date of its incorporation, whether it is limited or unlimited and where the registered office is situated (England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland).

This document is usually required by banks when opening a business bank account. If you form a company online through Rapid Formations, you will receive a digital copy of your Certificate of Incorporation by email as soon as your company formation application has been approved by Companies House.

What company names are acceptable?

Most names are acceptable to Companies House; however, there are a few exceptions:

  • The name cannot be the same or very similar to a name already being used.
  • It cannot be considered offensive.
  • The words ‘limited’ or ‘unlimited’ cannot be used unless at the end of the name.
  • Words of the nature of ‘group’ require you to prove the existence of related companies, whilst use of the word ‘international’ must be substantiated to prove companies in at least two different countries.

 

Limited or LTD?

All registered limited companies require the suffix Limited of LTD after the company name. Both mean exactly the same, and the choice of which one to use is a matter of personal preference.

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