Frequently Asked Questions


Listed below are answers to some of the most common questions we are asked. If a question you need an answer to is not listed below please email us and we'll be happy to help.

Q. What is a Limited Company or Private Company Limited by Shares?
A limited company is a separate legal person created by incorporation at Companies House. Its profits, losses, assets and liabilities are its own. The company is owned by its members (the shareholders) and run by the director (or directors) whose assets are protected from loss if the business should fail. This is sometimes referred to as limited liability. Because a company has a life of its own the business can continue despite the resignation or death of any directors or shareholders and the sale of the business or the introduction of outside investors is simplified. Reasons for wanting or needing a limited company may include ownership of property, obtaining outside finance, taxation, status and protection from risk.

Once incorporated Companies House issue a certificate and company registration number. This becomes the company's ID so to speak. You can change the company's name at any time but you still keep the registered number. The profits, losses, assets and liabilities belong to the company. The company is then owned by its members (the shareholders) and run by the directors. If the company should fail the directors personal assets are protected. Because a company has a life of its own the business can continue to trade despite the resignation or death of any directors or shareholders.

Q. Don't I need a solicitor or accountant to do this?
A. No you don't - we can handle the whole process from start to finish. In fact, we provide company formation services to many accountants & solicitors.

Q. Who can use this website?
A. This website can be used by anybody who wishes to form an UK company. Accountants, solicitors and formation agents will find great value in being able to quickly incorporate companies at the push of a button. The general public will also find great convenience in being able to form their companies online, anytime.

Q. What details do I need to form a limited company?
A. You will need the following information at hand to complete your formation:
Registered Office Address
This address will be used for statutory mail from Companies House and HM Revenue & Customs. Your registered office is required to be in England & Wales, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Currently the Wales only option is not available on the site. Please note that PO Box address must also include road name.
Director Details (Min 1)
•    First name
•    Last name
•    Date of Birth
•    Nationality
•    Occupation
•    Country of Residence
•    Residential Address

3 Security Questions (these act as an online signature)
o    First three letters of Town of birth
o    Last three digits of Telephone number
o    First three letters of Eye colour

Shareholder Details (Min 1 - can be the director)
•    First name
•    Last name
•    Residential Address
•    Share Currency (GBP, EUR, USD)
•    Number of Shares
•    Value Per Share

3 Security Questions (these act as an online signature)
o    First three letters of Town of birth
o    Last three digits of Telephone number
o    First three letters of Eye colour

Secretary Details (Not Compulsory)
•    First name
•    Last name
•    Address

3 Security Questions (these act as an online signature)
o    First three letters of Town of birth
o    Last three digits of Telephone number
o    First three letters of Eye colour


Q. How long does it take to form a company?
Our system uses the Electronic Filing facilities at Companies House. This means that whatever the time of day, when you place an order on our website your request is sent instantly to Companies House for processing. Companies House then aim to respond to electronically filed documents within 4 working hours. Although this is not always possible, it does generally mean that if you placed an order before midday on a normal working day we can have your company incorporated by the end of that same day

Q. Can I choose any name I want for my company?
It is important to check that the name you want is acceptable to Companies House.

Briefly, the restrictions are that:
- you cannot register the same name as another company;
- the use of certain words is restricted; and
- names likely to cause offence are not allowed.

It is also important to check whether your chosen name is similar to any other names already on the register. If your chosen name is too like another name, an objection could be made within the 12 months following the incorporation of your company and you could be directed by the Secretary of State to change the company's name certain words and phrases are classed as sensitive by the Department of Trade and Industry. If this is the case you will be prohibited from using them or you might have to justify you are entitled to use the name. For more information on this subject see Companies House notes CHN2, CHN3 & CHN11 .

Q. On which documents must my company name be shown?
The company must state its name, in legible lettering, on the following:

- all the company's business letters;
- all its notices and other official publications;
- all bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, cheques and orders for money or goods purporting to be signed by, or on behalf of, the company;

Q. Where must my company name be displayed?
Every company must paint or fix its name on the outside of every office or place in which its business is carried on - even if it is a director's home. The name must be kept painted or fixed and it must be both conspicuous and legible.

Q. Do I need a company seal?
Changes to the Companies Act in 1989 mean that a seal is no longer required and therefore our standard package does not include a seal.

Q. Does 121 Company Formation provide First Minutes?
Companies formed using 121 Company Formation Limited are formed with the correct officers and subscribers (shareholders) from incorporation. This means that there is no need for the commonly referred to "First Meeting" to resign the nominee officers. This also saves time when opening a bank account as it will always be the correct officer details displayed on a company search by the bank.

Q. Does 121 Company Formation Limited provide share transfer forms?
Companies formed using 121 Company Formation are formed with the correct share holders from incorporation, so there is no need for initial share transfer forms. Importantly, this also means there is no need to pay stamp duty on the transfer of any shares either. However, you can download Form 88(2) from the Companies House  website, should you wish to issue any further shares in your company after incorporation.

Q. What is my accounting reference date?
The accounting reference date is the date in each year to which accounts will be drawn up. The date depends on the date of incorporation as it is the last day of the month in which the anniversary of incorporation falls. For example, if your company is incorporated on 2 July this year, the accounting reference date will be 31 July, and its first financial year must end on 31 July next year (or within seven days of that date).

Q. Can I change my accounting reference date?
You may change it by sending Form AA01 (previously Form 225) (available for download from this website under the Companies House menu option) to the Registrar. You must do this during the accounting period affected by the change or during the period allowed for delivering the associated accounts.

Q. How do I issue more shares? (via company secretary services)
If you wish to issue further shares up to the authorised share capital form 88(2) should be completed and sent to the Registrar of Companies.
You can increase your authorised share capital by passing an ordinary resolution at a general meeting. A copy of the resolution and Form 123 detailing the proposed increase must then reach Companies House within 15 days of being passed.
On a similar note, the authorised share capital of a company can be reduced using Form 122 and must reach Companies House within 1 month.

Q. What if I no longer need my company?
Private companies that have not traded or otherwise carried on business for at least three months may apply to the Registrar to be struck off the register.

Q. What is a registered office?
This is an address in England or Wales (or Scotland if your company is registered there) where documents can be delivered to the company.
Valid addresses - Companies House uses the Post Office address file to verify addresses; so, to avoid delays, please ensure that your proposed registered office address is recognised by the Post Office and always give the correct postcode on forms sent for registration.

Q. Can I change my registered office?
If a company changes its registered office address the new address must be notified to Companies House on Form AD01 (previously Form 287).
This can be done online using our website free of charge, as often as you need to.

Q. Does 121 Company Formation Limited offer a registered office service?
Yes. You may wish to use this service if you want to keep your home address private or you wish to avoid junk mail. All overseas customers will need to use this service since by law the registered office of all UK companies must be a valid UK addresss (not a P.O.Box). Please send an email to [email protected] ideally before you have set up your company and we will provide you with a prestigious Central London address.

We also provide a Director and Company Secretary service address which also must be a UK address. In addtion, we offer a Trade Mail Forwarding service so you can receive all trade mail (except goods and stock) without revealing your home address or the fact you are not operating out of the UK, if you are an international customer. Please contact us at [email protected] for more information.

Q. Where can I obtain Inland Revenue information?
Your Accountant is probably your best source together with the Inland Revenue Website. The Inland Revenue will automatically post you a registration form after you register your company.

Q. Do I need to register for VAT?
You will need to register for VAT if your sales have been (or forecast to be) over £68,000 for the last 12 months (otherwise you may register voluntarily).

Q. What is included in the 121 Company Formation package?
A.121 Company Formation offer 3 levels of registration package, along with a number of other options extras as you are purchasing your company. However, all levels of service provide you with your complete company formation, Certificate of Incorporation, Share Certificate, and Memorandum and Articles documents to start trading

Q. What if Companies House reject my application?
A. If Companies House reject your application our system will automatically email you informing you of this. You can then log back into our system and make the necessary modification to your application and resubmit your forms back to Companies House.
This must be done within 3 days as Companies House keep the document ID process open for each failed application for 3 days only.
If you decide not to continue with the application after 3 days you must then log into our system and cancel the application. Any costs associated with that application are placed on your online account to use for any other services. If you wish to have them refunded to your card please

Q. Does 121 Company Formation offer reseller packages?
Not yet, but this service is coming soon.

Q. What is an Annual Return?
A company's accounts and annual return must be filed annually with the Registrar at Companies House. Non-compliance will render the company liable to dissolution with liabilities subsequent to the dissolution being the responsibility of the company directors.

If you require us to submit your annual returns you purchase the Annual Return service as you buy 121 company formation from us. Alternatively you can purchase the Annual Return separately after you have bought your company and it has been accepted by Companies House.