You’ve had the dream and taken the plunge to set up a limited company, but what next? First of all, well done on deciding to start your own business – you’ve made a courageous decision in taking the first steps of your business venture! Let us guide you through some steps to take once you have your newly incorporated company.
Have your first meeting as a company
Once your company is officially formed, it’s time to arrange the first meeting for all directors (even if you’re the only director). Each meeting conducted should have minutes accompanying it, so it is clear what was discussed and who attended – this is a legal requirement and the first is known as the first board meeting minutes. We found this article helpful in explaining what should be included in the first minutes of the first board meeting. Make time to file your meeting minutes alongside company documentation – you can upload your own minutes to your Companies Made Simple account.
Get your documents in order
Whilst on the subject of documents, once your company is incorporated you should first make sure you have all of the necessary documents. Keep your Incorporation Certificate and Shareholder Certificate safe alongside any statutory books and business registers as they are proof of your business and shareholders, and you may also need these for future meetings or when opening a bank account. If you need any further business forms, we have some available to purchase here.
Receive your UTR number
You’ll need this 10-digit number when registering for Corporation Tax and to file your Self Assessment tax return. This will be sent to your Registered Office Address, usually within 3 weeks or so of your company’s incorporation. If you are using one of our Registered Office services, please make sure that you have provided us with your Proof of ID and Proof of Address as otherwise we are unable to forward on your government mail. You can find more information here. Get in contact with HMRC if 3 weeks have passed and you are yet to receive your UTR number. You will also need this number when registering for VAT – for more information see here.
Open a bank account
If you want to trade with your business you’ll need a bank account. You can go to your local bank to arrange an appointment to set one up yourself, or if you selected one of our bank referral options when incorporating with us you should expect to receive communication from your chosen bank (either by a call or email) in the next 2-3 working days. Make sure you have the necessary documentation (usually company certificates and proof of ID/address) to hand. Whilst it can vary from bank to bank, be aware that all Directors may need to attend the business bank opening meeting.
Make a note of significant dates
You will have some annual filing obligations so make sure you make a note of these once your company has been incorporated. Set reminders so you know when you can file these and the latest dates to do so, to avoid late penalties. The most significant filings are the Confirmation Statement and Annual Accounts, but there are other annual requirements. We can prepare and file your Confirmation Statement for you with our Confirmation Statement service and Dormant Company Accounts if your company has never traded.
Get business support
Support is out there for your business if you know where to look. We have some articles and guides ready-made here, or you could join Facebook groups (like our Startup Community!) and search elsewhere online. If you’re interested in finding something more local, take a look at some Growth Hubs recommended on the Gov website.
Look into trademarks
Your company name means that no one else in the UK is able to register a company with the same name, but there’s nothing stopping them from using the company name in their branding, products or logos. Registering a trademark means that you will have a stronger case if taking legal action on someone who has used something that is legally deemed as being yours. Take a look at our handy article for more information on trademarking.
Set up a website
It’s more common for a business to have an online identity with social media accounts and a dedicated website in order to stay connected with customers. If you’re looking to set up a website, we offer a free domain name and one-page website when incorporating with us.
We hope this gives you an idea of the next steps you can take after incorporating your company. While we know setting up a business can be challenging, we’re here to answer any questions along the way. Get in contact if you need further support.