Setting up your company can seem like a huge undertaking, and is a lot more than an administrative exercise. Most tasks fall into the main categories of legal requirements, accounting, tax and administration. Time and effort in this area up front will avoid time-consuming rework later on.
You will need to consider the structure of your company, who you want as directors and your company ownership model. Some careful consideration up front will avoid time-consuming rework later on. Incorporation as a limited company is the most common option for start-ups. You could choose to run your business as a sole trader, but this restricts your options so is unlikely to be suitable in most cases.
We advise that you create your business plan and marketing plan before setting up your company. We cover these in our Business Startup in a Day workshop and as individual modules, depending on your requirements. Good business and marketing plans will provide the foundations to create the right company structure for your new business.
Once you have decided on your company structure we can guide you through the steps you need to take to complete your company setup. These include registering your company with Companies House, registering with HMRC for tax and setting up a bank account. These are all quick to do online, although may take a few days to process at the other end (particularly in the case of a new bank account).
We recommend that you sign up with a qualified accountant to provide accounting and tax services. A good accountant will ensure that you are up to date with all the current requirements and will allow you to focus on developing your business. We don't provide accounting advice but we can discuss with you the key areas to consider and what services you are likely to need.
You will need to create and keep records for certain company activities and decisions, including board meetings, a register of members and register of directors.
The items above are by no means an exhaustive list. There are many administrative items to complete which are not complicated but do take a while to work through. Not all are required on day one - we can help you prioritise these into a manageable schedule.