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Idiot’s Guide to setting up a business – Part 1: Registering your business

I’ve decided to record setting up my 8th venture with the hope that it will be useful to those who might be considering setting up their own business.

One of the key aspects of setting up a new business is registering your company. Here are the steps I followed:

  1. Choose a legal structure for your business, e.g. sole trader, limited company, partnership, etc. I chose “limited company”.  Go here for further reading.
  2. Decide where the registered address should be, e.g Manchester, London, etc. Do you value having a prominent location, even though you might not actually meet anyone there?
  3. Decide whether you are happy to register your home addresses for the directors and secretary or not. If privacy matters, you could use the registered address for this purpose. Typically, this require paying more.
  4. Decide whether you want to register directly with the companies house or use a service provider. Costs are comparable, if you shop intelligently. Service providers make their profits through value added services, so if you do select the right provider, you could end up with discounted services, e.g. accounting, banking, etc.

Here is my requirement that was not met by any of the service providers I found online:

I like to register my company with an address in central Manchester.

Problem I faced was that to register on companies house website, I needed an address for the registered office. I cannot get a registered office address without the company registered first. Bit of a chicken and egg situation. If there was a service which provided both, then it would save a lot of hassle. I could not find such a service which offered an office address in Manchester.

At the end I settled for a service, which provided me a registered address in London instead of Manchester. Not ideal, but it’s acceptable.

Perhaps someone should setup a business or expand and existing business to address this pain point. Anyone?

Published inSetting up