What is Companies House?

Companies House is a UK government department. In the UK Companies House is responsible for registering and dissolving all limited companies and making them available to the public.

What does it mean to be on the Companies House public record?

As director or officer of a UK limited company, you will have some of your personal details publicly available. To find out in more detail about this, visit the Companies House website.

What does ‘UK resident company’ mean?

In general, this refers to where you pay the company tax. A company is a UK tax resident if it’s incorporated in the UK, or, if it’s not incorporated in the UK, the business the company carries out is centrally managed and controlled in the UK.

What is a virtual office address?

A virtual office is, in fact, a real office space with a real address that you can use as your UK business address if you don’t have one or don’t want to use your home address or that of a friend or family member.

You can add this address to your website, use it to receive and send mail and on documents whenever your business address is required.

A virtual office address is to be used as the official contact address for directors, shareholders and employees etc. It will also be the address that HMRC (the UK’s tax department) and Companies House will use for you. It will appear on public record.

Although you usually pay a monthly fee to use a virtual office as your registered business address, wamo's company formation service includes your virtual office for 1 year. After that, there is a yearly fee of £37.

What is the difference between LTD and Limited?

Nothing! LTD is just the shortened version of Limited. Companies House requires limited companies to have one or the other at the end of the company name.

What does ‘limited by shares’ mean?

Limited by shares means that the liability of the shareholders (to creditors) is limited to the value of their original share in the company. ‘Limited by shares’ is the most common type of company.

How many shares do I need?

When you register your company with wamo you will be adding yourself as the only shareholder, which means that you’ll have one share and that you own 100% of your company. If you’d like to add more shares it’s easy to do by contacting Companies House directly.

What is VAT registration for England?

VAT (Value Added Tax) means Value Added Tax. Companies wishing to trade in EU member countries are required to have a VAT number.

What is ICO registration?

ICO, which stands for Information Commissioner's Office, is a data protection procedure that regulates data protection in the United Kingdom. It ensures that businesses in the UK comply with data protection principles. Your business must have an ICO registration to control the use of data. All businesses that store data must register with the ICO.

Directors and shareholders

What is a director?

A director is the person who is legally responsible for running the company and for reporting to HMRC and Companies House. Your company can, of course, hire other people to take responsibility for aspects of running the business - for example, an accountant - but the director is legally responsible and answerable for all company-related matters.

Do I need a company director for my UK limited company?

Yes, you must appoint at least one director company director - when you apply through wamo’s service this will be you. You can change this later by contacting Companies House directly.

What is a shareholder?

Shareholders own the company and usually have a say in company business. The company shares that they entitle them to a share of all company profits.

Does my company have to have shareholders?

Yes. You must have at least one shareholder for your UK limited company. When you apply through wamo you will be submitted as the shareholder for your company. You can add shareholders later by contacting Companies House directly.

People with significant control (PSCs)

What is a PSC?

A person or people with significant control, is able to appoint or remove the directors. This person usually is the director of the company or shareholder.

What are the requirements of PSC?

Most PSCs are those who hold:

  • more than 25% of shares in the company

  • more than 25% of voting rights in the company

  • the right to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors

Who is the PSC in a small company?

For LTDs with one owner, its usually the shareholder is the director and in these cases in order to not to cause a problem, it is best to have the same person as PSC as well.

Do I have to appoint a PSC?

You do not have to appoint one during the incorporation process, you can do this later.

What is the benefit of having a PSC?

If your company has more than one shareholder, by appointing a PSC as the controlling person can mitigate the controlling issues and contribute to the mitigate the risks.

Have a look at our other articles and FAQs for more information:

Contacting Companies House

You can contact Companies House via their website, email address or phone number

Telephone: 0303 1234 500

Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0300 373 0995

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