How To Register a Limited Company in London

entrepreneur-593362_960_720London is one of the best places in Europe to start a business.

It’s easier, cheaper and quicker to set up and register a company in London than anywhere else in Europe.

How To Register a Limited Company in London

There are fewer of the restrictive rules and regulations that you encounter in other EU countries when you want to set up and register a company in London.

Other European countries demand that you have a minimum amount of starting capital.

In Germany for example, you are required to have at least 25,000 Euros minimum capital  to be permitted to register a company, compared to the UK where you need just 1 pound. And in Belgium only people who hold a university degree can register a company.

None of those sort of restrictions on enterprise exist in London. Start up fees for forming a company in London are also minimal and the whole process can even be done online with just a few mouse clicks. You don’t even need to be a resident of the UK or even for that matter, a resident of the EU.

London is Number One in Europe for Internet Start-Ups

People come to London to start businesses from all over Europe, particularly online businesses. And especially from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Eastern Europe.

Young people from France, Italy and Spain in particular flock to London to found their start-ups. London has a dynamic can-do attitude towards business – especially when it comes to web-based startups.

I too chose London to set up my company. Apart from the fact that London also happens to be my native home town,  I’m not interested in the set-ups offered by the other EU countries.

The procedures in the other countries of the EU are mostly too restrictive, too expensive, bureaucratic and cumbersome. That’s not a route I wanted to go down.

I also wanted a LTD, a UK limited company designation, and not a GmbH, bvba or any of the other company designations in Europe (each country has it’s own particular designation).

Many people would wonder what on earth a “bvba” is. Whereas everyone in the world knows what LTD means. London is a recognized international global business location. You don’t need to do any explaining for an LTD.

How to Register a Limited Company in London

If you want to register a company in London, then a good place to start your research is to visit Companies House, the UK government’s official company registration department online at

To actually register a company, you need to contact a formation agent. There are now lots of these around, and most of them now permit you to register and complete most or all of the formalities online. However, it’s best to choose one of the small number of large established agents, and in particular, select one that lets you to perform all the formalities online.

Check Out Companies Made Simple

A good formation agent to consider is Companies Made Simple. They’re based in the City of London and in addition to performing company registration they provide a whole range of other services, such as postal address, virtual office and other facilities for businesses.

Companies Made Simple can also assist with arranging a bank account and appointing an accountant for your business. The fees are low and the process is straightforward. You do not need to be resident in the UK and you do not need to have any directors or secretary in the UK either.

Your Company Registered Office MUST be in the UK

Your limited company does however need to have an appointed “registered office” in the UK. This is basically just an address which is used as the official “residence” of your company for official Companies House and legal purposes, in particular, for receiving legal correspondence.

Your registered office doesn’t have to be where your company is actually based. In practice, the “registered office” is little more than a formality.

The convention for many companies is to use the office of their accountant or lawyer as their designated registered office. Companies House also offer a registered office service of their own to newly registered companies for a small additional annual fee.

Your UK registered Company is NOT Automatically Liable for Tax in the UK

Note that just because your company is registered in London does not automatically mean it is “resident” for taxation purposes in the UK. Company incorporation and taxation are separate matters.

It’s a similar situation to how it is with a human being. The registration of your company and the Certificate of Incorporation that is issued are in effect the birth place and birth certificate for your company, that’s all.

And your company can, just like a human being  (leaving aside specific visa requirements) move and reside in any country of the world.

It’s the country in which your company has it’s main centre of control and operations that is used to determine in which country it is officially “resident” for annual taxation purposes.

For more information about forming and registering a limited company in London – or elsewhere in the UK, visit

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