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How quickly can you set up a company online

Setting up a company online can be a much faster option than filling out paper forms and sending them via post. In this blog we look at just how quickly you can set up a company online.

1 min read

More and more of our lives have become increasingly digital over the last few years, and 2020 and the coronavirus has only accelerated that. If you’re looking to set up a business in this current climate, doing so online is probably at the forefront of your mind. 

There are many perks to setting up a business online and as we move forward with tech, new platforms in the social sphere and wider adoption of doing things digitally rather than in-person it all makes setting up an online business all the more feasible. 

One of the major perks to setting up a business online is that it can take a fraction of the time it takes if you were to open a store or try and deliver workshops or training sessions in person. 

So, how quickly can you set up a company online? 

Setting up a company online can be done in around 24 hours.

If you’re a limited company you will have to get a number of things in order before you can register with Companies House. For full information on what these are, you can check out our full guide to registering as a limited company here

The simple matter of registering with Companies House online, however, costs just £12 to do and most companies see their registration take just 24 hours to be approved. 

To register you’ll need to provide three pieces of information about you and your shareholders or guarantors, these could be: 

  • The town you were born in

  • Mother’s maiden name

  • Father’s first name 

  • Telephone number 

  • NI number

  • Passport number 

Also if you don’t want to use ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ in your name you will have to register by post, which takes around 8 to 10 days. 

Whilst you’re registering your company online, you can also register for corporation tax and PAYE.

If you are a sole trader, however, there is no need to register yourself with Companies House. There is a different process for sole traders setting up a company online.

As a sole trader, you need to apply to pay tax to HMRC via self-assessment. It’s quick and easy to set up via the HMRC website. All you have to do is fill in a few details and it will send you a letter containing a 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference and set up your account for the online self-assessment service. 

Once you’ve registered, you should receive a letter within around 10 working days that has an activation code to finish setting up your online account. You can also fill in a form and post it to HMRC, but this can take a little longer.

So no matter if you’re a sole trader or limited company, setting up a company online shouldn’t take long and you should be able to start working on your small business idea ASAP.

For more information on how you can get started on social media or our guides to VAT, bookkeeping etc. check out our full blog here.

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