Choose a business structure

You must choose a structure for your business. This structure will define your legal responsibilities, like:

    • the paperwork you must fill in to get started
    • the taxes you’ll have to manage and pay
    • how you can personally take the profit your business makes
    • your personal responsibilities if your business makes a loss

Types of business structures we offer

  • Private Limited by Shares
    Limited by shares companies consist of director(s) and shareholder(s) and are the most common type of business structure used.
  • Private Limited by Guarantee
    Limited by guarantee companies are typically non-profit organisations such as charities, sports association and social enterprises.
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
    LLP companies are where each partner pays tax on their share of profits.
  • Reserve a company name
    You can secure a company name until you are ready to trade and we look after all statutory obligations and responsibilities of owning a limited company
  • Shelf company
    Shelf companies are 'ready made’ companies that are already incorporated. 
  • Sole trader
    As a sole trader, you usually work for yourself and are classed as self-employed. 

Important: Check what details you need to have when setting up your company online with us.

Other types of structures we do not offer 

  • Community Interest Company (CIC)
    CIC companies are for those who want to conduct a business or activity for community benefit. You can set up a CIC with Companies House.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
    An LLC company is the United States form of a private limited company. Therefore, you can set up a UK limited company instead.
  • Flat Management Company
    Companies that are jointly run by residents, e.g., a block of flats. You can set up a flat management company with Companies House.
  • Offshore Company
    An offshore company formation is the setting up of a company as a legal entity, incorporated in a tax haven which is free from all local taxes.
  • Partnership
    A partnership business where two or more people share responsibilities. You can set up a partnership company with Companies House.
  • Public Limited Company (PLC)
    PLC's can issue shares to the public. You can set up a PLC with Companies House. To find out how to set up a PLC contact Companies House.
  • Umbrella company
    Umbrella companies employ temporary workers and enable them to carry out a number of short-term contracts of agencies and clients. 

If you're still unsure about what type of company to choose, please speak with an accountant or business advisor.

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