Company Registration

Register a limited company and open a business bank account, all in one go, for FREE

We're only accepting single shareholdershelpYou can add additional shareholders and directors at a later date by contacting Companies House directly.

Ready to be a business owner? Here's how to get started

As we’re an authorised company formation agent, registering your business couldn’t be simpler:

  • Apply within minutes, in one streamlined process
  • We’ll pay your £12 Companies House registration fee
  • Get your certificate of incorporation within hours.

Register your limited company in four easy steps

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Search available company name
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Enter your business and personal details
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Receive your limited company registration certificate
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Get your free business bank account at the same time

From company registration to business bank account in minutes

Our mission is to help those who work for themselves. That’s why we’ve made company formations easier than ever, letting you get back to growing your business.

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Two-in-one

We’ll register your company and open your business bank account in just four easy steps.

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Free

We’ll take care of your Companies House registration fee – plus, there are no monthly fees for your account.

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Fast

Your business account should be open in minutes, and your company is usually registered the same day.

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Secure

We’re a Companies House authorised formation agent with a secure integration, so you’re in safe hands.

How to get started with setting up your limited company

Time to turn your idea into reality, in one streamlined process, you can register your UK limited company and open a Tide account. Better yet, we’ll take care of the registration cost with Companies House, so it won’t cost you a penny. What you’ll need to register your company

  1. Unique company name

    Use our search tool to instantly check if your company name is available.

  2. Registered office address

    This will be where official communications are sent, for example, letters from Companies House. The address must be in the UK or you can opt for a Tide ‘virtual office address’.

  3. Director and shareholder information

    You’ll need the name, nationality, date of birth, occupation, and address of the director. If there’s more than one director or shareholders, you can add this later directly with Companies House.

Get started

Tide App timeline

Why register your company using Tide?

  • Trusted by over 300,000 businesses

    From sole traders to freelancers and limited companies, we’re all about saving small businesses time and money, so you can get back to doing what you love.

  • All your business account needs in one app

    Create and pay invoices, set spending limits for your team with company expense cards, upload receipts, and tag transactions with your own labels - it’s all in there.

  • Loved by accountants

    Connect in seconds and synch with a range of popular accounting software, including Sage, Xero, QuickBooks, and Crunch.

  • Member perks

    As a Tide member, you’ll unlock exclusive discounts and bonuses all designed for small businesses. Enjoy free subscriptions, freelance offers and get savings on training.

Trusted by over 400,000 UK businesses

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About the application process

What does ‘limited by shares’ mean?

Limited by shares is the most common type of company, and is used if owners ever want to take profits from the company. (‘Limited by guarantee’ is different in that it’s widely used for nonprofit bodies like charities and clubs. Profit is rarely given to the owners. It’s usually kept within the company or used for other purposes).

How many shares do I need?

As the only shareholder, you’ll have 1 share and own 100% of the company. You can add more shares after the company is registered by contacting Companies House directly.

What are ordinary shares?

Ordinary shares are the most common type of shares, and most companies use ordinary shares in British pounds (GBP). If you need more than one type of share, you’ll need to use a different service to register your company as Tide only offers applications using ordinary shares. Ordinary shares give a shareholder the following rights;

  • One vote per share on company decisions
  • Receive a share of profits as dividend payments
  • Receive a share of capital, for example, if the business closes down

Can I change the value of each share?

When you register your company through Tide, the nominal value of a share will be set at £1. Share value is not linked to how much the company is worth. You can change the value and number of shares at any time directly through Companies House.

Can I add additional directors or shareholders at a later date?

Yes, you can add or change parts of your company information at any time, by contacting Companies House directly.

Can I apply if I already have a Tide account?

Yes. If you have an existing Tide account you may still register a new limited company through Tide. You should use a new email address when applying for a second account.

What happens if Companies House rejects my application for a limited company?

If Companies House rejects your application, then Tide won’t be able to open a business current account for you.

Do I need the app to finish the application?

Yes, you’ll need our Android or iOS app to finish the application. Unlike traditional high street banks, you can activate your account from your fingertips, without needing to book an appointment and physically visit a high street branch.

Can I make an application on behalf of someone else?

This isn’t possible at the moment – for legal reasons the applicant needs to sign the terms and conditions themselves.

About your company documents

When will I get my UTR number?

When you register a company, Companies House will automatically inform HMRC. HMRC will send a letter to your registered address with your UTR number. It can take up to three weeks for this letter to be received. If you do not receive your UTR number within 3 weeks, you can contact HMRC directly.

  • UK: 0300 200 3410
  • Outside UK: +44 151 268 0571

What are prescribed particulars?

Prescribed particulars form part of the ‘statement of capital’. Tide uses the standard set of prescribed particulars suggested by Companies House, which states that each shareholder will;

  • Have one vote per share on company decisions
  • Receive a share of profits as dividend payments
  • Receive a share of capital.

What is a statement of capital?

A statement of capital is a snapshot of a limited company’s issued share capital at a given time. Private Companies limited by shares must complete a statement of capital and initial shareholdings as part of the application to incorporate. Tide will automatically create a statement of capital for you when you register your company through our service.

What information needs to be included in the statement of capital?

The statement of capital must include:

  • The total number of shares of the company
  • The aggregate nominal value of those shares
  • And for each class of shares:
    (i) Prescribed particulars of the rights attached to the shares
    (ii) The total number of shares of that class
    (iii) The aggregate nominal value of shares of that class

What is a memorandum of association?

A memorandum of association is a legal statement signed by all initial shareholders agreeing to form the company. It confirms that all parties involved wish to form a company and agree to take at least one share. Tide will automatically create a memorandum of association for you when you register your company through our service. If you have formed a company and are looking for your memorandum of association, it is available on the Companies House register.

What are model articles of association?

All limited companies must have articles of association. These are rules for directors and shareholders about how to run the company. Model articles are a standard set of rules that have been written to suit most companies and Tide will use model articles of association when registering your company. The model articles provided by Companies House may be found here.

Can you send the printed documents for my company registration to my international address?

We email your documents to you. If you need a printed copy, you can request them directly from Companies House.

How long does it take to get my Certificate of Incorporation?

Companies House usually create a company within 3-6hrs, but they don’t work on weekends so if you apply on a Friday night you might have to wait a little longer. As soon as it’s created, we’ll send you an email with your certificate of incorporation.

What documents will I get as proof of my new company incorporation?

You’ll receive your certificate of incorporation via email once registered. Keep this safe. You can request additional documents from Companies House for £1.

Your company details

Can my registered office be abroad?

No, your registered office must be in the same region as the company you’re trying to create. For example, to create a Scottish limited company you must have a Scottish address as your registered office address.

Can I change the registered office address?

Yes, you can add or change parts of your company information after registration, by contacting Companies House directly.

Do I need to register my company for VAT?

Not unless your company turnover exceeds the VAT threshold of £85,000. It can still be beneficial for some businesses to register for VAT even if their turnover is less than the threshold. You can find more on the gov.uk website.

Is a company secretary a mandatory requirement?

No, it’s not, and for that reason we don’t submit one, but you can always appoint one later by contacting Companies House directly.

What is a shareholder?

Shareholders are the company owners. They own shares in the company, which entitle them to a share of company profits. Most shareholders also have a say in important company issues, like appointing new directors. You can change the shareholders and their shares at any time after the company is registered by contacting Companies House.

Are shareholders required for my new limited company?

Yes, every UK limited company has to have at least one shareholder, and as part of your application through Tide we’ll submit you as the only shareholder.

What is Companies House public record?

Anybody who becomes a director or officer of a company must be prepared for some of their details to be publicly available. You can read more about the Companies House public record on their website.

Do I need to appoint a company director for my limited company?

Yes, every UK limited company must have at least one director, which will be you. You can appoint and remove directors at any time through Companies House.

What is a director?

As a director, you’re legally responsible for running the company and reporting to HMRC and Companies House. You can hire other people to manage some of these things day-to-day (for example, an accountant) but you’re still legally responsible for your company’s records, accounts and performance. We are currently only able to set up limited companies with a single director (yourself).

Your company registration

Is it really FREE to form a limited company through Tide?

Yes! Tide pays the £12 registration fee to Companies House on your behalf.

What information do I need to provide to form my new company?

You’ll need these items:

  1. Your unique company name
    Use our search tool above and we’ll instantly tell you if your company name is available.
  2. Personal information
    You’ll need personal information such as your address, date of birth, and nationality.
  3. Registered office address
    You can choose your home address or your business address (if you have a separate trading address). You can also use a virtual business address if you have one.

Does Tide register my business directly with Companies House?

Yes. We’re an authorized formation agent of Companies House, and we’re securely integrated with them, so you can trust us to register your limited company.

How do I choose and register a company name?

Once you’ve brainstormed and chosen your company name, simply use our search tool at the top of this page, and we’ll instantly tell you if it’s available. When you’ve settled on a name that’s available, we’ll register it for you as part of the simple four-step process.

What names can I use for my company?

Currently Tide will only accept names that don’t require additional documentation. In other words, if you apply directly with Companies House then it’s possible to register a name such as “Kim’s Doctors Surgery”, however, you would need to provide additional information to Companies House to prove that you are indeed a registered doctor. Tide doesn’t currently offer the ability to send accompanying documentation, and so only phrases that require no ‘proof’ can be submitted.

What information will show on the public record?

Your name, nationality, occupation, month and year of birth, the ‘registered office address’ of your business and the ‘service address’ of directors. As you progress through the application, we’ll point out which parts will show on the public record. Your home address will only show on the public record if you choose it as your registered address. You can learn more by looking at the Companies House website.

Can I register a UK company myself without the help of a solicitor or an accountant?

Yes, you can! With our simple registration process, all you need is the correct information and we’ll register your new company with Companies House for you.

Can I set up other types of business, like an LLP, 'Community Interest Company' or a charity?

For now, you can only create a limited company, which is limited by shares. You won’t be able to create any other type of registered company.

How do I add myself to the secure register?

You can find information on the gov.uk website on how to restrict the disclosure of your information.

Do I have to have LTD at the end of my company name?

Companies House requires limited companies to have either Limited or LTD at the end of the company name. If you don’t include LTD or Limited in your search, we will automatically add LTD. There is no difference between the name endings Limited or Ltd, except for how they look.

What is the difference between LTD and Limited?

There is no difference between the name endings ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’, except for how they look. Companies House requires limited companies to have either Limited or Ltd at the end of the company name. At the moment Tide is pre-populating all applications with Ltd, but we’ll offer the ‘Limited’ option in the future.

What are my responsibilities after setting up a limited company?

You’ll have yearly responsibilities such as your tax return and annual return plus ongoing tasks like keeping records of the company and keeping a register of PSC’s (People with significant control). Full details can be found on the gov.uk website.

Do I need to sign any documents?

Not on paper – it’s all done online with a digital signature to make things simple. No printing or scanning required!

How long does it take to register a limited company through Tide?

It depends. In many cases, Companies House will incorporate your company within 1 business day. The majority of businesses are incorporated within 48 hours. Please note that Companies House does not work on weekends so if you send an application on a Friday, it will take longer.

How do I contact Companies House?

You find the contact details for Companies House at gov.uk/contact-companies-house

What is Companies House?

Companies House is a government department, like HMRC or DVLA. Tide is authorised by Companies House to make an application on your behalf, meaning we can set up a limited company for you.

Your Tide business current account

What happens if Tide is unable to approve my application for a business account?

In some cases, we will be unable to offer you a business current account. Sometimes, we will already submitted your application to Companies House. In this case, you will have an incorporated company but no Tide account. In other cases, we will withhold the submission to Companies House – in this instance, it would still be worthwhile trying to register a limited company directly with Gov.uk. Please watch your inbox for the status of your application and advisable next steps.

Do I need a limited company to open a Tide account?

No, you can also set up a Tide business current account if you’re a sole trader, simply open an account.

Can a non-UK resident open a Tide business account?

The company formations service is only available to UK residents at this time. You can apply for a Tide account (without the company formations service) from outside of the UK. In some cases, we may have to complete additional checks in order to process your application to open a business current account.

What documents are required to open a Tide current account?

When you register a limited company through Tide you’re also applying for a Tide business current account. To complete the application you’ll need one of the following: either your passport, drivers licence or ID card.

Do I have to register my company and apply for a Tide current account separately?

No. We’ve streamlined the process, so in one simple form, you’ll form your UK limited company and open a Tide business current account. We’ll cover the cost of incorporation with Companies House to help you get started.