Company Formations

Form your new company quickly online with Wisteria Formations

Wisteria's company formation service allows you to incorporate your company instantly for as little as £24.99. Wisteria can continue to support your business with a host of optional professional services:

Company Name Checker

Find out if your company name is available?

  • Accountancy & business advice
  • Business plans
  • Tax advice
  • Company secretary
  • Registered office and mail forwarding
  • VAT registration / PAYE registration
view our company registration video

Simple process with videos to guide you

Wisteria Formations allows you to register a company instantly in 10 easy steps. View our company registration video to learn more.

We are one of the leading UK Company Formations agents and we are part of Wisteria Chartered Accountants so you can be safe in the knowledge that our formations service is quick, reliable and trustworthy.

When it comes to Company Formations we provide the best value for money.

For only £24.99 our Company Formations service has all of these benefits:

  • It's Quick - Your company is immediately incorporated online.
  • It's Easy - Our 10 simple, video guided steps make the process really easy.
  • No Red Tape - We work directly with Companies House on your behalf to form your company.
  • Peace of Mind - As part of Wisteria Chartered Accountants, we are regulated by ICAEW.
  • Free Telephone Support - For all our customers from our London offices throughout the formation process.
  • No Hidden Costs - What you see is what you get.

Company Formations with Wisteria could not be more simple. We have a video guided process that explains each step in detail as you go:

  • Step 1 - A few details about yourself (phone no. / email etc)
  • Step 2 - Search for free to see if your desired Company Name is available
  • Step 3 - Tell us who the directors of your company are
  • Step 4 - Provide us with details of the Company Secretary (if applicable)
  • Step 5 - Assign shares in your company (normally to yourself and directors)
  • Step 6 - Provide us with some details of the directors
  • Step 7 - Provide us with the address of your registered office
  • Step 8 - Optional step to create a bank account for your new company
  • Step 9 - Optional step to select services to help your new business such as book-keeping, accountancy, tax planning, business plan writing, etc.
  • Step 10 - Payment for your Company Formation

"I would just like to say how fantastic Wisteria have been for me as well, you have all really helped so far and I will be recommending you in the future."

Mr Jamie Dawson, director of High Peak Claims Limited

"I also wanted to give a compliment on your services. We are so grateful and happy. You have been great! Thank you so much Wisteria Formations."

Mr Giovanni Suarez, director of Clickmart Trading Limited

"Thank you very much for your quick and professional service. I will recommend your company to all my friends in the future."

Mr Harold Honde, director of BIM Architecture Limited

"I do want to record how prompt and professional your service has been, and say that I would have no hesitation in recommending Wisteria to anyone looking to set up a business."

Mr Dennis Kerslake, director of Ferryboat International Limited

"Many thanks for your fantastic services in setting up my company. I am 100% happy with everything you have done for me, the speed and customer service were second to none… I would not hesitate to recommend you to my clients and contacts"

Mr Steve Sharrard, director of Snap Management Consultants Limited

"It was all so easy. It is such a well designed website. In minutes I had completed the forms. The next day I had printed Certificates of Incorporation in my hand."

Mr Robin Chapman

"I have to say I am impressed by your swift and proactive assistance."

Mr Louis Mann, director of The International Mortgage and Finance Company Limited

"A huge thank you to you for helping to make this process as simple as possible and for your professional and friendly support throughout've been great!"

Mr Paul Gorman, director of Paul Gorman Consulting Limited

"Many thanks for your prompt and excellent service to register the company successfully and efficiently."

Mr Laxman Patel, director of Online-Foodmart Limited

"Thanks for your excellent service."

Mr Ayoubkhan Pokkakkillath, director of Pravasi Croydon Limited

"I have really enjoyed the process of setting up shop with Wisteria and that your firm definitely gets my thumbs up seal of approval. I will surely be recommending you to future start-ups."

Ms Alicia Dudek, director of 4Pie Research Limited

"your service was great and the price was equally as good"

Mr Andrew Mayze

"I was pleasantly surprised by how easy the company registration was online - I would definitely recommend it."

Mr Tim Liddle, Director of StructureIt Services Limited

"I will have no hesitation in recommending Wisteria to others."

Mr Keith Ainsley of Ainsley Bespoke Limited

"I will not hesitate to recommend your company to anyone else who may be looking to set up."

Mr Adrian Pollock, Director of ARP Building Consultancy Limited

"You guys do a great job and I have been giving you good reviews on Twitter"

Mr Philip Hendy

"Thank you for all your professional assistance. I will certainly be retaining Wisteria Formations with reference to our future administrative business requirements."

Mr Paul Robinson-Troake, Director of Zoosoup Limited

"You have been a great help and I will be happy to recommend your service to other colleagues and friends."

Ms Harbinder Sondhi, Director of Blush4U Limited

"May I also please state that your formation service was very easy to follow, much easier than any I have previously used and I will be recommending it and using it to my clients."

Mr Steve Sharrard, director of Snap Management Consultants Limited

"A very efficient service … If I ever need your services or get the opportunity to recommend you I will make sure to do so."

Mr Conor McCabe, Director of Value Added Vouchers Limited

"Excellent service and one I will not hesitate to recommend."

Mr Philip Carruthers, Director of Philip Carruthers Limited

"Thank you very much for your prompt and excellent service… really very impressive."

Mr Ola Fakeye, Director of World Solutions Enterprise Limited

Company Formations Tips and Articles

Company Names and Sensitive Words

27th August 2014

Every company must be registered with a unique name. For a private limited company, the name must end in ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’. This appears in the title of the Memorandum and Articles of Association for identification purposes. The unique name can be rejected by Companies House if it is offensive, contains sensitive words or is too similar to another company name.

Sensitive words are those that give the impression the company is connected to the local or central government or those that need the consent of the Secretary of State. Examples of sensitive words include university, charity, police, bank and NHS. In addition, sensitive words can be those that imply that a company operates in multiple countries, such as ‘International’ or as part of a group, such as ‘Holdings’.

Company name

It is the responsibility of the person forming the company to check the Companies House index of names to ensure the company name is not the same as an existing company. If a company is registered with a name that is the same (or similar) to another company, within 12 months of registration the new company may be instructed to change its name within such a period specified by the Secretary of State. A company can change its name by special resolution or by other means as provided in the articles of association. This is usually done by authorising the directors to approve the change by directors resolution. The name change takes effect on the issue of the Certificate of Change of Name by the Registrar of Companies. Further guidance can be found on the Companies House website.

In addition to this, if there is a company incorporated outside of Great Britain that has a place of business in Great Britain, the name used may need to be changed if too similar to the name of a company already in Great Britain.

If you have any queries related to company names, sensitive words or company formations please email or call us on 0844 893 0808.
Advantages and disadvantages of setting up as a sole trader or a limited company

19th August 2014

A limited company is one owned by its shareholders. Limited companies provide the shareholders with limited liability meaning that there is a separate legal identity between the shareholders and the company. Consequently, shareholders of a limited company limit their liability to pay off the company’s debts beyond the amount that they have paid for their shares. Limited companies are legally registered and regulated therefore they generally have a greater corporate identity and are often thought to be more professional than other types of business. Further to this, a limited company may find it easier to raise funds as shares can be sold for investments. They are also often easier to sell than sole traders.

On the other hand, Companies House requires that a limited company files certain business information with them which is available for the public to see. This means that limited companies usually have less privacy than a sole trader. In addition to this, administration costs tend to be greater in limited companies than they would be for a sole trader. This is because limited companies must ensure that they comply with company law and often need professional accountancy services to assist them with the filing of accounts and tax returns.


A sole trader is a business owned and run by a single individual. Benefits of trading as a sole trader include that the owner makes all decisions on the management of the business and consequently has complete control over it. As well as this, the owner personally owns all assets used within the business. The accounts of a sole trader are fairly simple and the owner is required to annually submit an individual self-assessment tax return alongside VAT and payroll returns when required. Sole traders often have reduced administration costs as accounts and tax returns are less complex than those for a limited company. Finally, a further benefit of a sole trader is that there are usually no requirements to make information public.

However, a sole trader has unlimited liabilities. This means that there is no separate legal identity between the owner and the business. Therefore, the owner bears all legal obligations for the company and its debts. As a company grows this usually becomes more risky, therefore it will often be better to trade as a limited company later in a business’s life. When trading as a sole-trader the owner is self-employed and hence is taxed personally on the business’ income and capital gains. This can often mean that  the tax payable may be greater than if the business was a limited company. In addition to this, it can be harder to gain investments when trading as a sole trader as the credit rating of the business relies on that of the owner. Also, unlike with limited companies, there are no shares to be sold to raise investments.

If you would like more information about choosing the best business structure  or would like assistance setting up a limited company please email or call us on 0844 893 0808.
What is a Registered Office and why is it important?

15th August 2014

The registered office of a company is the legal address that is entered in the official register of the Registrar of Companies. All government and court communication is addressed here. When applying to register a company one of the basic requirements is to know whether the registered office will be situated in England and Wales (or Wales), Scotland or Northern Ireland. The location of the registered office must be in the same jurisdiction in which the firm is registered. For example, if a company is to be located in England and Wales, the registered office address must be in either England or Wales. The registered office address given must also be consistent with the domicile stated in the company’s memorandum of association.

A company’s registered office address is filed at and published by Companies House and must appear on all company stationery such as company letterheads, business cards and websites. Due to this, it is usually not advisable to use your home address as the company’s registered office address. Instead, an office or business address could be used. It is also common for a firm to pay a fee to use another company’s address as its registered office, such as their accountant or lawyer.

A company can change its registered office by giving notice of the change to the Registrar of Companies using the relevant form. However, a firm must still have access to their old registered office address for the first 14 days after the change of address has been filed with Companies House, as documents may validly be served there during this period. Following the change of address all documents which refer to the registered office must be updated by the company, for example the company letterhead. As well as this, the company’s registers must be moved to the new address.

Registered Office

If you do not want to use your home address or are a non-UK citizen looking to set up a UK company, Wisteria Formations offer a registered office service. Wisteria’s address will therefore need to appear on all of your company stationery and will be visible within the Companies House database. If you have any questions or queries related to registered office addresses or company formations please email us at or call us on 0844 893 0808.
What are allowable business expenses?

30th June 2014

It is important to remember for a limited company, the owner and the company are two different entities. When a company has been incorporated a number of costs and expenses are incurred. These costs and expenses are entered as business expenses. These costs can be taken from the business account to work out company profits. However, only certain expenses can be deducted as not all expenses are allowable for tax purposes.

The costs paid with the sole purpose of earning business profits are known as allowable business expenses. These costs do not include money paid for non-business uses or for personal purposes. Common allowable expenses can include cost of stock, premises costs, payroll costs, repairs, motor and travel expenses, finance costs, administration costs and professional fees.

Company Formation 34

A business expense is usually allowable if it meets the following conditions:

  • The expense is not capital expenditure

  • The expense is not specifically non-allowable

  • The expense is wholly and exclusively for business purposes

Examples of allowable expenses related to accountancy, legal and other professional fees are accountants, solicitors, surveyors, architects and other professional indemnity insurance premiums. Examples of non-allowable expenses are legal costs of buying property and large items of equipment. Additionally, the costs of settling tax disputes and fines for breaking the law are non-allowable.

Sometimes expenditure is incurred for both business and private purposes. Expenditure for mixed private and business purpose is non-allowable expenditure. However, if you can separate between the business and private purposes, the business part can be included in the allowable expenses.

VAT affects the amount that is included in the allowable expenses. Value added tax (VAT) is an indirect tax on transactions. It is a consumption tax that is charged on taxable supplies of goods and services made in the UK, by a taxable person, in the course of business. If the company is VAT registered, the net amount (expense less VAT) is used to reduce the turnover; however this can only be done if the VAT on the expense is recoverable. If the company is not VAT registered, the total amount spent on the expenses including VAT is used.

If you have any questions or queries related to allowable business expenses or tax services, company formations, company secretarial services or accounting services please email or call us on 0844 893 0808.
What are dividends and how are UK dividends taxed?

20th June 2014

The sum of money paid by a company to its shareholders from the company’s profits after the corporation tax has been deducted is known as a dividend. A dividend is allocated as a fixed amount per share, where shareholders receive a dividend in proportion to their shareholdings. The profits that are not distributed to shareholders as dividends are known as retained earnings. A company cannot declare dividends when it does not make profits, because dividends can only be made out of profits. If the company does pay out a dividend other than from the company’s profits these dividends are known as illegal dividends and in some cases the directors could be personally liable to repay an illegal dividend.

The usual forms of dividend payment are:

Cash dividends – This is the most common form of payment, it is in the form of investment income and is usually taxable to the recipient in the year that they are paid.

Stock dividends - This form of payment is paid out in the form of additional shares of the issuing company.

Stock dividend distributions - These shares usually increase the market capitalisation and total value of the company, however these shares reduce the original cost basis per share.

Property dividends – This form of payment is relatively rare and paid out in the form of assets.

An interim dividend is a payment made to shareholders before a company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and final financial statements. Whereas a final dividend is declared by referring to the company’s final set of accounts for the year. It is important when declaring an interim dividend to ensure that there are sufficient profits available to pay shareholders, as unlike with final dividends there will not be a final set of accounts to refer to.

Tax is paid at different rates on UK dividends. There are three different income Tax rates on UK dividends. The rate paid by an individual depends on the overall taxable income. Tax needs to be paid if the taxable income falls within or above the basic or higher rate Income Tax limits. For the tax year 2014 to 2015, the basic rate Income Tax limit is £31, 865 and the higher rate Income Tax limit is £150,000. Dividends received from a company, unit trusts or open-ended investment company are usually all taxed the same way.

If you have any questions or queries related to dividends, tax on UK dividends or tax services, company formations, company secretarial services or accounting services please email or call us on 0844 893 0808.
What is a virtual office and what are the advantages of using one?

17th June 2014

When setting up a company there are a number of expenses incurred and using a virtual office is one of the ways to decrease these expenses. Small businesses and start-up companies can benefit from virtual office services, because using the service means that larger expenses, such as setting up a physical office and appointing someone to be a receptionist or answer calls can be avoided. Virtual office services can also benefit individuals who would like to work from home at the beginning of their company’s life and therefore are not yet ready to set up a physical office. Start-up companies and small businesses that use virtual office service can seem more professional, for example by having someone available to take a message when the director is busy or by having access to a physical meeting room if there is a need for the company to meet suppliers or customers.

Board of Directors

The advantages of a virtual office address are:

  • Low costs - Virtual offices do not incur the costs of leasing or buying an office space, this lowers costs for starting a business. A company with a virtual office can often expand more quickly compared to a traditional office.

  • Increase productivity levels – Where a director or employees are able to work from home, the time spent commuting to and from a workplace can be devoted to job duties, projects and other work-related responsibilities.

  • Flexibility – Virtual office offers flexibility to the company officers and its employees with their schedules. It is often cheaper for to hire a meeting room when required rather than paying for office space all of the time.

  • Professional image – Having a business address and professionals answering company queries, helps the company increase professionalism.

  • Low start-up costs – The virtual office space offers savings as compared to starting up an actual office.

  • Office space – In addition to meeting rooms, the virtual office space may offer temporary office or work space when needed.

  • Environmental benefits - Virtual offices benefit the environment because fewer people are traveling in cars, buses and trains, which lowers the amount of vehicle emissions and decreases fuel usage.

Virtual office services usually include telephone answering in your company name with call forwarding and messaging, business address and mail forwarding with optional registered office hosting and meeting room hire.

If you would require a virtual office service or have any questions or queries related to virtual office services, company formation or company secretarial services please email or call us on 0844 893 0808.
Who needs to complete a Self-Assessment tax return?

13th June 2014

Self-Assessment involves completing a tax return each financial year. When completing a self-assessment tax return it may be necessary to seek professional advice and in any case most individuals can benefit from regular tax planning advice.

Who needs to complete a self-assessment tax return?

Not everyone needs to complete a tax return. If the tax affairs are straightforward taxes can usually be by using the person’s tax code within a company’s payroll. However, if the tax affairs are complicated and under the following circumstances a self-assessment tax return needs to be completed.

Company Formation 34

  • You’re self-employed

  • You’re a company director – A tax return does not need to be completed if the director does not receive any payments or benefits or is the director of a non-profit organisation.

  • Your annual income is £100,000 or more

  • You have income savings, investments or property – If tax is not being paid through a PAYE code, a tax return needs to be completed if there is income to be declared and if income exceeds total allowances and reliefs.

  • You get income from overseas – A tax return needs to be completed if foreign income is received that is liable to UK tax.

  • You have Capital Gains Tax to pay – A tax return needs to be completed, if capital gains tax is paid for selling, giving away or disposing off an asset.

Registration for Self-Assessment needs to be done before you can submit a tax return to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Once the registration is completed, HMRC provides a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), which is a ten digit number. Usually in April or May every year HMRC sends a letter reminding individuals to complete their tax return for the year. The tax return can be usually be submitted either online or by paper. The submission process is usually simple and quick if completed online.

If you require assistance completing your self-assessment tax return please contact us for more information. If you have any questions or queries related tax return or tax services, company formations, company secretarial services or accounting services please email or call us on 0844 893 0808.
How to manage health and safety at work?

6th June 2014

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (also referred to as the HSW Act or the 1974 Act) is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in the UK. It is every worker’s right to work in a place where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Health and Safety is basically about preventing an employee from getting hurt at work or ill through work.

Managing health and safety at a workplace is an integral part of managing a business. In order to do so, a risk assessment needs to be carried out to determine the risks in the workplace, put sensible measures to control these risks and ensure that the measures are controlled. It is usually advisable to follow the ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ approach, while managing health and safety and assessing the risks in a workplace. The ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ approach means:

  • Plan - Describe how the health and safety issues are managed in the business and plan to make it happen in practice.

  • Do - Prioritise and control risks and provide training and information to the employees.

  • Check - Measure how the health and safety issues are managed.

  • Act - Learn from previous experiences and think of new solutions.

Company Formation 15

According to the law, employers and self-employed people need to conduct their business in a way that ensures that persons are not exposed to risks to their health and safety; this may include providing essential welfare facilities to employees. The employers need to provide adequate first-aid facilities and they need to have insurance that covers the employees, in case they get hurt at work or fall ill through work. It is important for the employees to take care of themselves and other people’s health and safety at the workplace, co-operate with the employers on health and safety and follow the training received when using any work equipment.

The ‘six pack’ health and safety regulations are Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, Manual Handling Operations Regulations, Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations, Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations and Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations.

If you have any questions or queries related to health and safety at a workplace, company formations, company secretarial services or accounting services please email or call us on 0844 893 0808. Please note that Wisteria cannot provide employment law advice or advice on the legal implications of health and safety issues.
What are the business stationery rules?

3rd June 2014

After a limited company has been incorporated, it is necessary to know what information needs to be displayed on the business stationery. Under the Companies Act 1985, a company is legally obliged to have certain information printed and written on all the company documents and displayed at the company’s premises.

The business stationery rules include the following:

A company must state its name, in legible lettering on all the company’s business letters, all its notices and other official publications. The legible lettering should also be stated on the company’s bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, cheques and orders for money or goods purporting to be signed by, or on behalf of, the company, all its bills of parcels, invoices, receipts and letters of credit and on all the company’s websites.

File and books

The legible lettering should include the company’s place of registration; company’s registered number and registered office address. If the business is not operating from home, it is necessary to display a sign at the company’s registered office.

Once the company formation process is complete, it is not necessary to include the names of the company directors on the stationery, however if you wish to do so you must include the names of all the company directors.

If you have any questions or queries related to business stationery, company formations, company secretarial services or accounting services please email or call us on 0844 893 0808.
What are the types of pension schemes?

30th May 2014

A pension is usually fixed sum to be received regularly by employees after they have retired. It is a periodical payment made by an employer, usually in recognition of past services. It may be paid to the person who provided those services or to his or her spouse or any dependant.

The most common types of pension schemes in the UK are:

  • Occupational Pension Schemes – This type of scheme is set up by an employer to provide pension or death benefits for the employees. An occupational pension can provide pension benefits on a money purchase, defined benefits, cash balance or hybrid arrangement basis. These are also known as company pension schemes.

  • Personal Pension Schemes – You do not need to be employed to start paying into a personal pension scheme. A regulated financial organisation sets up and runs the personal pension scheme. Personal pensions are money purchase arrangements so the amount of pension you'll get depends on the amount of money paid into the scheme.

  • Stakeholder Pensions - This type of pension scheme can be set up as individual arrangements, in the same way as personal pension schemes or occupational schemes. Stakeholder pensions encourage more people to save their retirement by way of simple and flexible schemes offering good value for money.

The two main types of pension arrangement are:

  1. Defined benefit arrangement, also known as final salary – Under this pension arrangement, a member is promised a pension, which is based upon the length of service and salary at the time of retirement. Any variations in future inflation and investment returns will be reflected in the employer’s costs of providing the scheme. Usually the employee meets a part of the cost but this is at a fixed rate.

  2. Defined contribution arrangement, also known as money purchase – Under this pension arrangement, the employer agrees to make contributions to the scheme on behalf of the employee. The benefits are defined as a fixed amount, a fixed percentage of pay or a graded amount. There are two types of defined contribution scheme, i.e. employer-sponsored, trust-based arrangement and group personal pension arrangement.

Hybrid arrangements – The simplest type of this arrangement is where the employee is provided a pension which is better than a final salary pension promise or the one that can be provided out of a money purchase accumulation.

If you have any questions or queries related to pension schemes or regulations, company formations, company secretarial services or accounting and tax services please email or call us on 0844 893 0808.

Choosing Your Company Name

Once you have decided on a company name that you like, there are some factors that should be considered when deciding whether it is suitable to use it or not.

Existing names and "Passing off"

Before submitting your application to Companies House you should check that there isn't someone already registered with the name you want or a similar name. If you are forming your company with Wisteria Formations when you fill in your company name the system will automatically check whether it is free or not. If there is already someone with the same name you will be unable to incorporate using that name and will need to think of a different one.

If you want to check whether there is already someone registered with a similar name you can do this using the Companies House WebCheck service. If you register your company and there is already someone with a very similar name, they could take legal action against you claiming that you are "passing off" as them.

Sensitive words

When you are forming your company you should also be aware that there are some words that Companies House deems sensitive. There are restrictions on such words meaning that you may be required to supply additional information to be able to use them. In some cases this is proof that your company will be acting in the way that the name describes, e.g. proof that you are working on a global scale if you have 'international' in your name, or you need approval from a certain establishment if you want to have the word "dentist" in your name. Before you proceed with your formation, make sure you have the proof required if necessary.


Most companies will want a website after they have been set up. Make sure that the URL (website address) that you want is available before you form your company otherwise you may need to change your name or your first choice of URL.


Just registering as a limited company will not completely protect the use of your brand. You do have some control over someone having a similar name, but not over your image and logo. By having a trademark or copyright you ensure that you can take legal action if you find someone is using your name or logo. If you wish to obtain a trademark you will need to seek further advice from a patent attorney following your incorporation.

  • Limited company
  • Electronic Memorandum & Articles of Association
  • Electronic certificate of incorporation
  • Electronic company register
  • Bank account (if you need)
  • Free consultation with a tax adviser or chartered accountant
Register a company
Immediate response

Wisteria Formations are an authorised Companies House presenter for Company registrations.