Frequently Asked Questions – UK Company Formation

What is UK Limited Company?

UK limited company is a legal entity of its own right registered at Companies House.

What is Certificate of Incroporation?

When the company is registered, the Registrar of Companies provides a certificate of incorporation.The Certificate of Incorporation is the primary document which states your company is in existence and has been duly incorporated in accordance with Companies House regulations. It includes your company name and number. The certificate is often a document that is required by banks when opening a business bank account.

Who is the owner of UK Limited Company?
The company is considered to be owned by its shareholders and run by the directors.
Are shareholders liable for limited company debts?
A limited company by its nature gives the directors Limited Liability. This means that in case the company is unable to pay its debts, the shareholders personal assets do not constitute part of the company’s assets unless they have personally provided guarantees for the company’s activities. The company is a separate legal entity and therefore the business continues to trade irrespective of whether the original director(s) or shareholder (s) remain as part of the company.
What is an LLP?
A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is a business entity similar to normal partnership and differs from the latter with an additional benefit of limiting the personal liability of each of the partners.
What is a company Limited by Guarantee?
A company limited by guarantee is mainly for non-profit organisations. This kind of company does not usually have shareholders, but has members who act as guarantors.
Can I set up a company Limited by Guarantee on your website?
Unfortunately, we currently do not offer registration of companies Limited by Guarantee.. We are looking to add this company type in future.
Are all names acceptable for Companies?
Most names are acceptable to Companies House, but there are number of exceptions which fall into the following categories:
1. The proposed company name must be unique, meaning that there must be no other company incorporated under the same name.
2. Some words as “British”, “Group” or “International” must be substantiated by the means of providing evidence of other related companies or companies operating in at least two different countries. You will need to apply separately for the use of reserved words. There are also sensitive words which could imply a connection with the UK government, an administration or specified public authority. Words such as King or Queen are sensitive words, and you need request approval to use a sensitive word from the corresponding bodies/persons.
3. Names containing words likely to cause offence are not allowed.
For the company name search you can use our up to the minute system to check whether your chosen name is available for registration. Our company name search system is fully harmonized with Companies House, so you always get the most relevant result. In case your chosen name is similar to an existing company name, that company could object within 12 months and you may be forced to change your company’s name.
Important Notice – Similar Names
Since October 2009 Companies House has started exercising stricter regulations in regards to similar names. Unfortunately, our current company name search engine can only specify if a name has or hasn’t been taken. For example, ABC Ltd will be unavailable on our search as the name is already taken. ABC GB Ltd would appear to be available. However, this is not the case, GB falls into a category of words and expressions that Companies House feel do not separate the latter from the former. Therefore the company would be rejected. Other such words/expressions that fall into the same category are:
  • Company
  • Com
  • International
  • Net
  • Org
  • Services
  • UK
  • United Kingdom
For the extensive list of words/expressions take a look here.
Please note that if you already owned ABC Ltd and wanted to form ABC GB Ltd this would be possible. You would just need to create a supporting document detailing your ownership or directorship of the original company.
Companies House will also reject names split up with punctuation marks. Once again, using ABC Ltd as our example company, all the below would also be rejected.
  • AB-C Ltd
  • AB and C Ltd (or &)
  • ABC! Ltd
  • @ABC Ltd
Companies House accepts the following punctuation, signs and symbols marks
  • 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9
  • full stop (.), comma (,), colon (:), semi-colon (;) or hyphen (-)
Does my company name need to end with Limited or LTD?
The limited company name will always by default include the suffix Limited or LTD.
Can I change my company name?
You can change the company’s name at any time, but you still keep the company’s registered number. All items purchased by the company belong to it, not directly to the person(s) who have ownership of the shares in the company.
How long does a company formation process take?
Mill uses the Electronic Filing facilities at Companies House. This means that when you place a company formation order on our website your request is sent immediately to Companies House for further processing. The Registrar of Companies in most cases completes the incorporation within 3 working hours. This means that if you placed an order before noon on a normal working day, we will normally have your company registered by the end of that same day. This process is, however, out of our control and in very rare cases the process may take longer.
When I set my company up with you is the Companies House fee included in the price?
Yes, all of our package prices include the Companies House fee. We do not charge extra for that.
Will I have to sign any forms in the presence of solicitors while registering my company with you?
No, an online company formation application does not require any signatures. The entire application is filled in and completed fully online.
What details do I need to form a limited company?
You will need the following information ready to complete your formation:
Registered Office Address

This address will be used for statutory mail from Companies House and HM Revenue & Customs. Your registered office must be in England & Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. PO Box is not accepted.
Director Details (Min 1)
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Date of Birth (16 years or older)
  • Nationality
  • Occupation
  • Country of Residence
  • Residential Address
  • 3 Security Questions (these act as an online signature)
    • First three letters of Town of birth
    • Last three digits of Telephone number
    • First three letters of Eye colour
Shareholder Details (Min 1 – can be the director)
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Residential Address
  • Share Currency (GBP, EUR, USD)
  • Number of Shares
  • Value Per Share
  • 3 Security Questions (these act as an online signature)
    • First three letters of Town of birth
    • Last three digits of Telephone number
    • First three letters of Eye colour
Secretary Details (Not Compulsory)
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Address
  • 3 Security Questions (these act as an online signature)
    • First three letters of Town of birth
    • Last three digits of Telephone number
    • First three letters of Eye colour
After I have paid for my company formation, how do I appoint my director/secretary/subscribers?
Just view My Companies and click ‘Continue’ next to your company name. This will guide you through all further steps to form your company.
Can a Director also be appointed as a Subscriber (shareholder)?
Yes, the Director of a company is allowed to be appointed as a Subscriber. The subscriber is the original shareholder and can be any individual or company who would hold shares in the company. This includes the Director and Secretary as well as any other individual or company. The mere fact of being Director does not change the matter.
Can the Director also be appointed as a Company Secretary?
Yes, the Director can be appointed as a Company Secretary, but for this purpose the company must have at least one other Director. If the company has only one Director, another individual or company would need to be appointed as the Company Secretary.
Can the Director be another company?
Yes. However, in order to have a legal person (company) appointed as a director, you will need to also appoint a natural person (director). A company cannot act alone as director.
Can anyone be a company director?
Generally, yes, but there are still some rules. A person cannot be a UK Limited company director if he or she:
  1. Have been declared bankrupt or banned from being a company director by a court. The courts can reverse their ban for one or more companies.
  2. Is under sixteen.
Do I have to be resident in the UK to form a company and/or be a director?
You do not need to be resident in the UK in order to open a company or, to be a Company Director.
What is a company registered office?
The company registered office is an address in England, Wales or Scotland where the company’s statutory books must be available for inspection and where documents can be delivered to the company. A company’s registered office address must be displayed on all company documentation. All companies in the UK are required to provide a registered office address during company formation process.
If you do not have a UK address (or if you want to keep your address private) you can get one from from MIll.
Does the Registered Office address need to be in the United Kingdom? And can the address be a residential address?
The Registered Office needs to be based in England, Wales or Scotland. It must be a physical address and not a P.O Box unless the P.O Box refers to a postal box in the building you are trading from or living in. Post office P.O Boxes are not accepted for registration.
If you do not have such address, you can get one from us.
Does the trading address needs to be the same as the registered office address?
No, the actual trading address can be different from the registered address.
What is a subscriber?
A subscriber is a shareholder of the company. Any person owning a share in the company can be regarded as an owner of that company.
Can I upload my own Memorandum & Articles of Association?
Yes, our system allows you to either use our standard articles or to upload your own.
What will happen if the Company Registrar does not accept my submission?
In case the Companies House rejects your application our system will send you an automatic notification. Companies House will provide the grounds on which your company registration application was not accepted and we will provide this reasoning in your email. Any amendments that are requested, can usually be made easily online and there is no additional fee to resubmit.
What is a Service Address?
A service address is an address at which a company officer can be reached. Service address appears on the public register and does not have to be the officers residential address.
If you want to avoid personal address details being placed on public record you can get a service address from us.
Will I receive electronic copies of my documents?
Yes, regardless of the choosen package you will receive a copy of your certificate of incorporation via email. All documents, including your company’s memorandum & articles, will be available on your account 24/7. To access your documents, please go to your incorporated companies and click ‘View’.
Does the company name have to be shown on all documents and where else it must be displayed?
The company is required to display its name clearly, on all the following: all of the company’s letters, all of its notices and other official publications, and all bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, cheques and orders for money or goods purporting to be signed by, or on behalf of, the company.
Every company must paint or fix its name on the outside of every office or place in which its business is conducted – even if it is a directors home. The name must be kept painted or fixed and it must be both conspicuous and legible.
Can I change from Sole Trader to Limited Company?

Yes, you can. Please read our article on this topic for further details – Changing From Sole Trader to Limited Company

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