How to register a business name in the UK?

Estimated read time 4 min read

Planning to register a business name in the UK? Well, in that case, you need to carry out the registration formalities for your business unless you are in the category of a sole trader. Registering a business name as a sole trader is not mandatory, albeit you need to register for self-assessment with HMRC.  Most of the individuals go in for registering as a limited company under CHR (Companies House Registration) which is a unique one.

How to register a business name in the UK (step by step guide)

So let’s walk through the essential steps required for registering a business in the UK.


  1. Company or Business name must not already exist

Before you finalize your chosen company name, perform a check whether a similar name does not already exist. You can make use of the company name availability checker to carry out this process. If you are through then click the link which is displayed underneath the search box that is “Register s private limited company online”.

Be careful with the choice of your keywords when framing the company name. Avoid offensive, illegal, or any sensitive words.


  1. Provide an official company address

Once your business name is set, you need to provide a UK postal address which will be used for further communication (it can be an office or home address too). The postal address and the registered company must be falling in the same country. The company’s registered office address is publicly visible.

Those carrying out the registration using Companies House need to first create an account and thereafter fill in the necessary details of company name and address.


  1. Select SIC code

SIC implies Standard Industrial Classification code. It’s used for specifying your business activity. There is a dropdown option for first selecting group headings and thereafter dropdown for selecting trade description. The options lets you choose around 4 SIC codes for one company which can later be modified.

register a business name in uk


  1. Appoint a company director (s)

Your company must have a minimum of one director (above 16) who’ll be taking care of all the legal matters related to the business along with account or finance details. Both the official service address and residential address details of the director must be provided. Though the residential address is not made public.


  1. Frame the company’s share structure

When registering your limited company, you need to provide the information related to shares also referred to as ‘statement of capital’. Also, the no: of shares of each type must be mentioned. There is no limit to the shares and any value along with specific right can be assigned to each share


  1. Mention the company’s Shareholders

Limited companies have shares and must own at least one shareholder. In case you own the entire share it implies that you own the entire company. For every subscriber, you need to provide an address along with at least three security details from a total of seven.  If there is a subscriber holding 25% or more shares in your company their name and service address must also be duly filled since such a person will be listed as a person of significant control.


  1. Signing a statement of compliance

After all the above formalities you need to select and confirm the requirements of the Companies Act and accept the Memorandum of Association

registering a new business in the uk


  1. Paying company formation fee

Registering a company or business comes with a cost. You need to pay a certain amount to Companies House when registering online. Once registration is successfully completed you need to select a business bank account and also register the company for corporation tax within a period of three months of business.

Sarah Cantley

Editorial Head at UK Blog for Business & Startup.

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