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What is the cost to register a company in the UK?

What is the cost to register a company in the UK

Octa Accountants

Reading Time

6 Min Read

Publish Date

April 8, 2023

Blog Category

Company Registration

Registering a company with Companies House in the UK is cheaper than expected. Online and postal methods are the most common ways for UK limited companies to apply for registration. If you want to register as a global company, you must send a finalised OS IN01 form and a £20 cheque to Companies House within one month of establishing yourself in the UK. One could be better off utilising a company formations consultant if you don’t desire to undergo the procedure of registering a limited company. The cost of registering a business in the UK varies between £12 and £100, based on the approach chosen. The easiest and most affordable way to register is online, however, you can also register by submitting a form for a fee. Further, with the assistance of an online company formation agent, it is feasible to establish a UK-limited company with less than £12.00.

We will look at the possibilities open to you below. You have the following options for registering a company in the UK:

  • Online registration 
  • Register by post

Company registration charges and options

Three main methods for registering a company in the UK, each with a different cost but all providing the same outcome: a UK company registered at Companies House under the Companies Act 2006. You can register by going to:

  • An accountant

  • The Companies House

  • A company registration agency

How to Register with Companies House?

Companies House offers both online and postal registration services.

Online registration charges are £12.00 by filling out the Companies House application form IN01 and submitting it through the Internet Incorporation Service, and most requests are approved within 24-48 hours.  The online network is only permitted to establish a private company limited by shares using model articles; you cannot offer more than one type of share, utilise updated or customised articles, or register a non-profit company with a guarantee.

In the case of postal, the IN01 application form can alternatively be completed on paper and posted, which charges £40.00 and requires 8-10 days. It should be noted that the amount of company applications refused by Companies House owing to inaccuracies and mistakes in the IN01 form is substantially higher for postal applications than for online applications. According to Companies House’s official incorporation statistics, 53% of postal applications are denied, compared to only 8% of online registrations.

Also Read: How to register a company in the United Kingdom?

Register your company online

To register a company online, visit the Companies House website and complete the application form. You can use this service to register for both corporate tax and PAYE at the same time. Online registration costs £12 which can be paid with a credit or debit card or through a Paypal account. Companies House and HMRC are offering more of their online services, which reduces paperwork and improves efficiency. Companies House eFiling partners have been approved by company formation professionals to provide quick, reliable, and economical online company registration and filing services. Online registration is straightforward, safe, and efficient, with most registrations handled in 24 hours. Nonetheless, the company must be share-limited and utilise ordinary articles of association. Company registration agencies can provide smooth online incorporation services at quite a low cost by utilising advanced existing technologies.

You will need at least three personal details regarding yourself and your shareholders or guarantors to register online. Here are a few instances:

  • Maiden name of mother

  • First name of father

  • Birthplace

  • Passport number

  • a phone number

  • The NI number

Register your company by post

For people who don’t have easy computer access or choose to fill out documents by hand, registering a company in the UK by post can be easier. Also, assistance may be minimal, and you may not acquire digital versions of your registration paperwork. The cost of registration, plus the amount of time needed for it are both higher than that when applying online. If you like keeping the process offline, you can still register a limited company by post. It may offer more flexibility and privacy while being less costly. Nevertheless, the manual method may be more time-consuming and may lead to more errors. Also, registration confirmation may not be received immediately.

The ordinary postal service charges £40 and requires 8-10 days to deliver. You can pay £100 for your registration application completed on the exact day it comes. You must submit a complete IN01 form with a cheque made available to “Companies House.” For processing to take place that same day, your application must be received before 3 p.m. Regarding the additional payment, you must write ‘same day service’ in the top-left corner of the envelope.

Register with the help of an accountant

Before the advent of the Internet and the development of company registration agencies, the usual approach to registration was through an accountant. All was carried out on paper and by post, which took a long time. Currently, few people utilise accountants solely for this reason, preferring instead the ease, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of online registering a company offered by a registration agent. An accountant’s time is also costly, and an average fee for company registration might vary between £150.00 and £500.00.


Also Read: Outsourcing Accounting Services in the UK – Why, When, & How?

Things you need to know before forming a limited company

Octa Accountants provides a range of registration packages to meet a broad spectrum of company types. Our prices start at £11.99 for a ready-to-trade private company limited by shares. In addition, we offer packages for forming private companies with several share classes held by guarantee and charity companies, public limited companies (PLCs), and limited liability partnerships (LLPs). Check out the list below for the specific costs of establishing multiple types of UK company structures.

  • Company limited by guarantee with bespoke articles £49.99
  • Charity company limited by guarantee £49.99
  • Right to manage company limited by guarantee £59.99
  • Property management company limited by shares £49.99
  • Company limited by shares – multiple share classes £29.99
  • Company limited by shares – non-UK residents £119.99
  • Company limited by guarantee – standard articles £29.99
  • Property management company limited by guarantee £49.99
  • Limited liability partnership with partnership agreement £29.99
  • Public limited company £39.99
  • Company limited by shares – basic package £11.99
  • Company limited by shares – fully inclusive package £89.99

Companies House generally takes 3-6 working hours to register a new company, although this might vary depending on workload and can need up to 24 hours. If you need to register urgently, most company registration agencies provide guaranteed same-day services.

Does it have additional costs?

When establishing a company in the UK, there are two optional add-ons that many individuals choose to acquire. The first is a registered office service, which allows people to safeguard their privacy by using an address other than their home address for disclosure on the public register of companies. Usually, this service costs between £30.00 to £50.00 annually. The second is to purchase a service address from an address provider, which typically costs around £20.00 to £30.00 per year.

In the UK, registering a company is quick and affordable. Once your registration is accepted, you can start doing operations as a private limited company. Beyond this point, there won’t be any more administrative charges. Although Companies House’s online registration services are adequate, they are not as user-friendly and efficient as services supplied by company formation agencies. The application forms are more complicated and take longer to complete, the services are more expensive, online registration alternatives are limited, and more effort is needed to fix and resubmit rejected applications. Do not forget that you must register for corporation tax during your first three months as a company. 

Register your company via a third-party agent or accountant with Octa Accountants

Using a third-party agent or accountant is a good option, although it may be more expensive than the standard cost of £12 to register a company in the UK. If you already work with an accountant, you may want to talk to them about their role in assisting you with company registration; alternatively, you can assign it to them if you’d prefer. Octa Accountants can assist you in effortlessly registering your company in the UK through their company incorporation service. They create personalised company registration plans that cater to the individual needs of their clients. You can schedule a free consultation with one of their experts or obtain a quotation straight away!

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