How to set up a UK organisation (Limited Company version)

post by james (james_aung) · 2022-04-22T11:44:27.275Z · EA · GW · 13 comments

Contents

    This guide explains how I set up a limited company, to try and make it easier for others to follow the same steps I did.
  (1) Form your company (1 hour)
  (2) Get bank accounts and set up accounting (2 hours)
    Banking
    Accountants and book keepers
  (3) Learn about your responsibilities (4-8 hours)
    This can be done later, over the first few months of running your organisation.
  (4) Done!
None
13 comments

It's less scary than you think to set up a UK organisation.

If you want to set up a UK business that has social, charitable or community-based objectives, you can set up as any of:[1]

This guide explains how I set up a limited company, to try and make it easier for others to follow the same steps I did.

(1) Form your company (1 hour)

You can use https://www.rapidformations.co.uk/ to form your company. For a small fee they will set up your limited company for you.

I recommend using the Privacy option. In this option you'll have a business address registered in London, so that it's that address rather than your home address which is registered publicly. Post that is sent to that London business address is scanned and emailed to you.

(2) Get bank accounts and set up accounting (2 hours)

Banking

Accountants and book keepers

(3) Learn about your responsibilities (4-8 hours)

This can be done later, over the first few months of running your organisation.

(4) Done!

That's all you need to get started. It's easier than you think.

  1. ^

    https://www.gov.uk/set-up-a-social-enterprise

13 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by weeatquince · 2022-04-25T18:06:38.481Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Hi. I have a bunch of notes on how to start a UK registered charity that I can share on request if useful to people. Message me if needed.

Replies from: james_aung
comment by james (james_aung) · 2022-04-26T14:44:54.753Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Cool! Have you considered turning those notes into a post? Could be a great way for more people to see rhem

comment by Luca Parodi · 2022-04-22T12:17:01.147Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

That's exactly what I need at this exact moment since I am going to establish my company here in the UK. Can I contact you in private to ask more questions? 

As a reference: I will receive a grant from the FFF to launch my social media outreach project globally.

Replies from: james_aung
comment by Andrea_Miotti (AndreaM) · 2022-04-22T12:34:26.240Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thank you very much for writing this! It's very timely advice for many people, as new organizations are being (or will soon be) set up  thanks to funding decisions of the Future Fund [? · GW] (e.g., another comment [EA(p) · GW(p)] to this post).

comment by Grayden · 2022-04-29T13:33:38.347Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Great guide!

For company formations, you can also do them easily direct at Companies House.  The only downside is you can't hide your address.

I've also had a good experience with Revolut, which can do a multicurrency account and similar FX fees to Wise.

comment by Rasool · 2022-04-22T16:53:40.423Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for this guide!

One thing about the UK is that it is very easy to set up a company (almost too easy...)

I had some feedback though:

  • Why did you recommend https://www.rapidformations.co.uk/? If mainly for the use of their address, many accountants (including osome) provide this service. Osome (and many other accountants) will also do the company formation (often for free!)
  • I prefer Starling over Tide. Starling is totally free, whereas Tide take £0.20 for every transfer. I like Mettle too, particularly because it gives you FreeAgent for free.
  • I love FreeAgent. Like it will handle 90% of bookkeeping, account reconciliation, and tax forms for you. Very simple interface and good documentation.
  • Step 3 reeks a bit of "draw the rest of the owl". I might have liked a summary of your responsibilities as a director, key accounting dates, VAT, expenses etc. 
     

If you wanted to write a longer guide with some more detail then I'd be very happy to help out!

Replies from: james_aung
comment by james (james_aung) · 2022-04-23T10:03:14.016Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Great suggestions. I didn't know that Osome would also do company formations, thanks for the tip. I simply just listed the process I used.

Also excited to check out Starling and Free Agent. Thanks for the recommendations.

I agree that this post would be substantially enhanced with summaries of key responsibilities. I'd love for you to contribute to that and perhaps we can update this post and add you as a coauthor?

I'm probably not going to work on this post myself more, as I just wanted to spend a few minutes writing a quick post. But if you feel excited about it I think it could be valuable for you to draft extensions to this post :)

comment by Max Ghenis (MaxGhenis) · 2022-04-24T06:59:16.607Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thank you! How much of this would you amend for starting a CIO instead?

Replies from: james_aung
comment by james (james_aung) · 2022-04-24T09:10:46.205Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

I'm not familiar with CIO's unfortunately, so don't know :(

comment by Kayode Adekoya · 2022-04-22T20:03:08.181Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

This is informative and detailed Thank you.

comment by james (james_aung) · 2022-04-22T13:57:06.689Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

USA recommendations

I recommend  Stripe Atlas to set up a USA for-profit entity https://stripe.com/atlas. It costs $500 for them to set up your entity.

I also recommend https://mercury.com/ for US banking