Limited companies

There is one main rate of corporation tax of 19%. The corporation tax rate reduces to 17% from 1 April 2020.

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Registered office

The registered office is the official address to which all communications and notices may be addressed. The company must at all times have a registered office and this must be a physical location and not a PO Box address. The country of the location o...

Appointment of directors

The legislation governing the appointment and removal of directors is contained in the Companies Act in Part 10 and comprises nine chapters and over 100 sections. Inevitably this section of our website cannot cover all the aspects of the Act, but endeavours to ...

General duties of directors

The general duties required of a director are set out in seven sections of the Companies Act.

Directors' service contracts

The company is required to keep directors' service contracts or any memorandum of terms at the company's registered office, or at any place specified under section 1136, as section 229 confers rights on members to inspect a request copies.

Directors' liabilities

Companies Act provisions protecting directors from liability

Appointment of auditors

An auditor of a private company must be appointed for each financial year of the company, unless the directors resolve otherwise on the grounds that audited accounts are unlikely to be required.

An auditor's rights to information

Auditors are appointed by the members and are accountable to them. As a result it is important that auditors are given the information they consider relevant to the fulfilment of their duty to members.

A company's members

The Companies Act requires that all companies must keep a register of members

Shares and share capital

Shares in a limited company having share capital must each have a fixed nominal value and a share must be distinguished by its appropriate number, unless if at any time all the issued shares in a company are fully paid up and rank pari passu for all p...

Director's transactions requiring members approval

Where a service contract is, or maybe, longer than two years. This is a complicated area of the Act and we recommend that advice be sought with regard to long term service contracts.

Directors' report

One of the requirements of the Companies Act is that the approved accounts must include a directors' report

Signing of accounts: directors and auditors

Subject to certain exemptions, a company that meets the small company criteria in respect of a financial year is exempt from the requirement to have an audit of accounts for that year.

Records of directors' meetings

The Companies Act requires a company to keep records of its director's meetings. The responsibility for these records rests with the company's Board of Directors.

Financial year

A company's financial year is determined by its accounting reference date in each calendar year.

Group accounts

The requirements of the Companies Act regarding the preparation of group accounts are based on the company's size.

Changing the company name

The Companies Act permits a company to change its name. The provisions governing name change are found in sections 78 and 79. This may be achieved either by special resolution of the members or by other means provided by the company's articles. There are also p...

Related director agreements

The Companies Act requires that a company may not take part in an arrangement under which another person enters into a transaction that, if it had been entered into by the company, would have required approval under sections 197, 198, 200 or 201, and that person, in pursuance of the...

Company secretary

A private company is not required to have a secretary, while a public company must have a secretary.

The tax system for companies

How the tax system works for companies.

Forming a limited company

Although you can set up a limited company by buying a company online or 'off the shelf', it is usually advisable to seek our professional advice. There are so many options and pitfalls we strongly recommend working with us on your new business venture. Is it advisable to use a limited company? What are the tax benefits and consequences?

Pros and cons of limited companies

We are often asked, 'Should I form a limited company?' The reality is that there is no easy answer. Each situation has to be judged individually. Our guide provides an overview of some of the key issues relating to a business trading as a limited company.

Buying a company 'off the shelf'

If time is an important factor, you can consider buying a ready-made company. The procedure will depend on the company formation agents', including online agents, requirements.

Tax and the company car

Details of how the tax system charges tax on a company car.

Company bonus or dividend?

In many small companies, the owners are also the directors, and this gives importance to how income is extracted from the company.

Tax-saving strategies

Expenditure incurred before the company year-end might reduce the current year's tax liability instead of next year's.

Interest and tax payments

HMRC charge interest on underpayments of tax, and pays interest (repayment supplement) on overpayments.

Companies Act

The Companies Act comprises approximately 1,300 sections.

Companies House - forms you need to know about

There are over 100 company-related forms prescribed. We list below these and include a link to all the forms which can be downloaded direct from Companies House.

The law and directors' responsibilities

Who is a director and what are their legal responsibilities?

Statutory records

It is essential that you keep your company's statutory records up-to-date. Do not underestimate the importance of these records - they are definitive proof of the company's legal existence and its members.

The company secretary

The position of company secretary in a private company is now optional. Thus a company can operate with a sole director.

Getting the company struck off

A private company (not subject to insolvency proceedings) can apply to the Registrar of Companies to be struck off the register and dissolved.