How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a Limited Company in the UK?

Fintech Harbor Consulting | How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a Limited Company in the UK?
Reviewer: Bohdan Popovchenko
Reviewer: Illia Ivanko
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Starting a business or a new project, not anywhere, but in the United Kingdom, everyone tries to calculate the profit that can be obtained as a result of such activities. But before this project starts working, it is always important to understand how much it costs to set up a company and the costs of running a limited company in the future. What costs must be incurred before the company begins to function normally? If you ask how much is it to set up a limited company, you will immediately get the most common counter question that the limited company cost depends on the ways of registration.
There are three ways to register a business in the UK:
  • the first way is self-registration of the company by submitting an application form IN01 to the Companies House;
  • the second way is to appoint an accountant to register the company. You may prefer to choose a specialist limited company contractor to take care of you. If you have an accountant, you can ask him/her to do this for you;
  • the third way is to choose a reliable company formation agent.
The choice of how to register a company in the UK depends only on you.

How much does it cost to register a company in the UK by myself?

If you still decide to set up a company and want to do it yourself, you should be aware of the upcoming costs. The initial fee for registering your company at Companies House when filing online is only £12. If you decide to register a company by mail then you will have to pay £40 for an 8-10 day turnaround or £100 for same-day service.
If we talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the above methods, of course, online registration is the most expedient option considering its price and timeframes. In addition, online registration allows you to register for income tax as well. If it is not set up online, you will need to complete this step manually within three months from the date of the company incorporation.
Despite the cheapness that is typical for the self-registration of a company, «the reverse side of the coin» is that you will be responsible for completing all the necessary documents. Only you will be responsible for the information provided in the application form, Memorandum, Articles of association, and other documents. Very often, it is the preparation of the Memorandum, Articles of Association, as well as other documents at the stage of creating a company that requires professional legal knowledge. And at this stage of company registration, you still shouldn’t spare money, so that in case of errors you don’t have to redo the documents and don’t waste time.
Fintech Harbor Consulting | How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a Limited Company in the UK?

The cost of setting up a limited company through an accountant

The set up of limited company costs through an accountant can vary. It depends on the specific services provided, as well as the complexity of your business requirements.
To begin with, the cost of setting up a company through an accountant includes the payment of a fee in the first place. This setting up a limited company cost, in turn, includes services such as:
  1. Сreation of a company: the cost of setting up a limited company can range from £50 to several hundred pounds, depending on the accountant and the level of assistance provided.
  2. Кegistered office: every company in the UK must have a registered office. Accountants are willing to offer a legal address for the company for an additional fee of 50 to 300 £ per year.
  3. Acting as a secretary: accountants can help maintain statutory registers, file annual returns, and handle other paperwork. The cost of these services can be provided both as part of a package (based on what the accountant will do for you in addition to providing secretarial services) and on an individual basis. An accountant performing the basic secretary services will usually work for between £20 and £30 per hour.
  4. Additional services: when carrying out activities, one should remember about taxation, and salary payments (up to £200-500 per month 200-500 depending on the number of employees). Accountants can help with the registration of a company as a VAT payer, and with further tax planning. You can structure your company’s share capital in the most tax-efficient and profitable way with the help of a smart accountant. In addition, the calculation and payment of wages can also be carried out with the help of a reliable and meticulous accountant.
Among the indisputable advantages of this method of registering a company, it is also indisputable that an accountant who will help you register a company can help you manage your accounting and become a reliable assistant. On the other hand, prices between different accountants and the level of services provided can vary significantly. It is not always easy to find the right professional at a price that suits your budget and all your requirements. Especially at the beginning of building your business.

The cost to set up an LLC through a formation agent

The costs associated with setting up a limited company through a formation agent will depend on the services they offer or require. In order to choose an agent, it is recommended to use information from official sources, and not just the Internet, namely:
A one-time fixed fee is charged as standard. It can range from £20 to £200 depending on the services you choose. If you need to obtain a registered office address, as well as VAT, PAYE, and other tax registration services, the cost of an agent’s services naturally becomes more expensive.
If we talk about the pros and cons of attracting an agent, of course, there are more pluses in this process. And the most important plus is that not you, but a third party will take care that the documents for registering a company are drawn up in the best way. In addition, based on the experience of registering companies and supporting businesses, it is from agents that you can get good advice on how to run a company as a beginner. Despite all the above «perks», the disadvantage of attracting an agent is that very often, when attracting an agent, you have to pay for services that are not necessary to be available / received. Therefore, it is very important to choose an agent based on reputation and your business goals.
Fintech Harbor Consulting | How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a Limited Company in the UK?

What does it take to form a limited liability company?

In order to create a limited liability company (LLC) in the UK, certain requirements must be met:
  1. decide on the name of the company. You need to choose a unique name for your company. You can check the availability of the desired name on the Companies House website.
  2. choose a legal address. Your business must have a registered office in the UK where official correspondence will be sent. This may be your business address or a professional registered office address.
  3. appoint a director and shareholders. For the functioning of the company, you need at least one director responsible for the activities and management of the company. A director may also be a shareholder. In addition, you can choose several directors and shareholders, who can be both individuals and legal entities.
  4. decide on the size of the share capital. When establishing a company, determine the initial share capital. Its size can be as little as 1 pound sterling. You also need to determine the value of each share.
  5. prepare the memorandum of association and articles of association. You can use standard templates for these documents or contact lawyers such as FINTECH HARBOR CONSULTING to create documents according to your specific requirements.
  6. register at the Registration Chamber. You need to fill in the required forms to register your company with the Companies House. You can do this online or by mail (you choose how you want to set up a company). At the same time, the costs of setting up a company will differ.
  7. pay the registration fee. The registration fee is paid to the Registration Chamber. The amount of the fee depends on the method of registration (online or paper submission). The current fee structure can be found on the Companies House website.
  8. receive confirmation: Once your company is registered, you will receive a certificate of incorporation. This document confirms the official legal existence of your company. This document includes your company number, registration date, and registered office address.
  9. complete a number of additional requirements. After registering a business, you will have to maintain statutory registers, file annual returns and annual confirmations with the Companies House. In addition, if there are any changes in the corporate structure or details of the company, you will also have to notify the Companies House about this.
Perhaps the above requirements for registering an LLC in the UK seem complicated to you and the limited company setup cost is huge. But, in fact, with a rational approach, company set up costs will be small. In order not to waste time, contact specialists, for example, in FINTECH HARBOR CONSULTING. We will help you in choosing the form of a legal entity and, in general, tell you about the features of doing business in the UK.
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Additional costs of setting up a limited company

If you register a company yourself, the limited company set up costs will be minimal. If you involve an accountant or agent when registering a company, the registration costs increase, but in any case, the initial costs are small. In any case, setting up a limited company entails additional costs associated with starting a new business. Such costs include the following:

The cost of creating a company website

If you want to promote your business, a website will help you grow your company, find new customers and showcase your business lines. To create a website, you will need to register a domain name. The cost of a domain name may vary. But usually, the payment for the domain does not exceed 10 pounds per year. You can make a website either on your own or by hiring a specialist. You can do the work on web design yourself with the help of various web designers. This will also allow you to save money. Web builder business package prices start at around £15 per month. If we talk about the services of a web designer, the average cost of the services of this specialist is about 50 pounds per hour. In order to build a website, maintain and maintain it, you will have to pay an average of approximately 5,000 pounds sterling. It should be noted that the costs for an e-commerce site will be much more expensive. The average cost varies from 7300 pounds. Therefore, when establishing a website, it is also necessary to take into account the specifics of your business and the subsequent costs of developing a website.

Cost of premises (office)

Often, it is the rent of commercial premises that is often one of the most significant expenses associated with opening a company. Therefore, at the initial stage, if of course your business allows you, you can start working from home. This will save you costs in the early stages of the company’s existence. In addition, you can use the virtual office offered by business centres. Virtual office packages provide a business address, mail forwarding, and phone call answering services. The cost of renting a virtual office is about 100 pounds per month.

Utility and operating costs

Any limited company will have to take into account the costs of electricity, water, heating, telephone Internet, garbage collection, snow removal, and network and system maintenance. On average, such costs associated with maintaining the life of the office amount to at least 250 pounds per month. If you plan to engage in the hotel business, get ready for the fact that the utility costs will be even higher.

Personnel costs

Hiring employees is usually the biggest expense when starting a company. In order to maintain staff, it is necessary to take into account the national living wage. Considering the fact that this indicator is constantly growing, as well as the market salaries of employees, you should understand that personnel costs will increase. In order to somehow save on employees, many companies will try to outsource work and/or self-employed freelancers (private entrepreneurs).

Costs for involved specialists

Very often, when performing certain tasks in business, it becomes necessary to involve third parties – an accountant, an auditor, a lawyer, or other specialists (depending on the scope of your business). The professional fees of good specialists vary greatly. The minimum fee for a consultation is usually several hundred pounds. And it happens that one or two consultations do not solve the problem. For example, an accountant for filing annual returns with Companies House typically charges between £800 and £1,500 to prepare annual returns for a start-up.

Costs for software and IT support for the life of the business

Not one of the companies in the modern world exists without the use of a computer and special programs. Thus, you will have to face the fact that you will have to buy equipment: a desktop computer or a laptop, a printer, a scanner or a copier. For example, the cost of the simplest laptop usually ranges from 750 to 1000 pounds. In order for an accountant to be able to perform their work qualitatively, licensed software is required. For example, a license for Xero accounting software costs start from £10.00 per month. Naturally, you can save money by using a free alternative, but, as practice shows, you cannot do without professional programs.

Insurance costs

If a limited company or any other type of business has employees, they are required by law to take out employers’ insurance. Other types of insurance include civil liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and insurance for buildings and their contents. The amount of insurance is different and depends on the company you have chosen.
As can be seen from the above, the cost to register a company is an insignificant amount compared to the additional costs associated with the existence of a business.
Fintech Harbor Consulting | How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a Limited Company in the UK?

Costs associated with running a limited liability company

Running a Limited liability company (LLC) in the United Kingdom comes with a variety of costs. Among the expenses associated with the management of an LLC, the following can be distinguished:

Registration costs:

These are the initial costs that arise in the process of setting up a limited company and include registration fees at Companies House. The amount of fees is also different and varies depending on the type of submission chosen and the processing time. When registering a company, you can involve either an accountant or a formation agent. This is also an additional cost.

Annual Attestation Application:

Companies in the UK must submit an Attestation Application to Companies House each year. The essence of the statement: to confirm the accuracy of information about the company. There is a fee for applying for confirmation. If you do not submit your application on time, the company may receive penalties.

Filing of Annual Returns and Tax Returns:

UK limited companies are required to prepare and file annual financial statements and tax returns with HMRC. The cost of processing these documents is affected by the complexity of the company’s accounts and the services of an accountant or financial specialist involved in their processing.

Payment of corporate tax:

Limited companies in the UK are subject to corporate income tax. Since, in addition to the current corporate tax rates, there are also benefits, it is very important to be able to understand these tax intricacies or contact a specialist who will help with the optimization of tax planning.

Payroll tax payment:

if the LLC has employees, it will need to register and use the payroll system, deducting income tax and national insurance contributions from employees’ salaries. Employers are also required to make their own national insurance payments.

Payment of Value Added Tax (VAT):

If the LLC’s taxable turnover exceeds the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000 per annum), the company must register for VAT. VAT accounting, reporting, and payments can add administrative and financial responsibility to a business.

Local Taxes:

Depending on the location and nature of the business, an LLC may be liable for business rates, which are a form of local property tax. Rates vary depending on the appraised value of the property and local government rates.

Payment for the involvement of third-party specialists:

In order to obtain advice from a specialist, it may be necessary to involve an auditor, accountant, financier, or lawyer who understands tax issues. The cost of services will depend on the specific requirements of the LLC and the rates charged by professionals.

Insurance costs:

UK limited liability companies are advised to have insurance coverage to protect against potential liabilities. The cost of insurance will depend on factors such as the size of the company, the scope of the company, and the types and levels of coverage chosen.

Operating Expenses:

These expenses include rent, utility and operating expenses (electricity, garbage collection, professional services, etc.), advertising expenses, marketing expenses, and other day-to-day expenses associated with running the LLC.
The question of how much to set up a limited company cannot be unambiguous and depends on many factors. But understanding the company set up costs must start from the core costs.

Conclusion

When you ask yourself how much it costs to set up a limited company, there will be no definite answer to this question. It all depends on the method of registration and the timing of registration. In addition, it should be remembered that the cost of setting up a company is not only the cost of the registration fee. There are a number of additional costs associated with running your business. In order for the registration of the company to be successful, without corrections and changes, contact the professionals who will easily and simply create a company for you.
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