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In this video, our founder and serial entrepreneur Anthony Rose outlines when a company should incorporate in the UK, and how to register your company in a way which is sustainable for the future. This includes how to handle articles of incorporation and which share class to incorporate the company with.
This video is part three of a series of seven videos created by Anthony, who’d like to share his thoughts, advice, mistakes, and learnings from his extensive career in startups, so that you can avoid the same mistakes and get off to a running start when creating yours.
Great news: The UK is incredibly founder friendly. It costs a huge total of £12 to register your company online with Companies House.
However, similarly to having a child; whilst the conception of a business may be easy, the recurring maintenance cost afterward can be prohibitive. Once you’ve registered your business you will have to start tax filing, and incorporation things, and a whole load of stuff that goes with this.
So when is the right time? You will want to register at the moment you think your idea is going to be a goer. As soon as you create your company, you can get a bank account, you can start putting money into that account, and can potentially start pitching to investors and incentivising them with the possibility of EIS or SEIS tax savings, and you may tax deduct your investments and so on.
Companies House will give you a default set of articles upon registering (maybe you read these but most people probably don’t bother). The problem with the model articles is that they’re one size fits all and so there could be something that harms you later on (kind of like a bug). In particularly these articles won’t have founder vesting, so what happens if one of your cofounders has 30% equity and quits after 6 months to get a ‘proper’ job at Facebook whilst keeping all their equity? This could really damage your company and kill your ability to get funding at a later stage. Your model articles will also assume that all board decisions need to be unanimous which can be a real problem if you have a disagreement and you need to make a decision quickly. The model articles are great but are the sort of thing you get for free, and this is where SeedLegals can help by offering you the articles you really want.
A quick aside about share classes: It can be overwhelming learning about all the different share classes. There are broadly three types of shares relevant to a starter; ordinary share, B ordinary shares, and preference shares:
We’re happy to help you with that! We’ve partnered with Tide, the finance platform for small businesses. It’s quick to get started, and you get all the expert support you need to get set up correctly.
Start your business with SeedLegals and Tide. Register officially with Companies House and get a business bank account with £50 credit and a year of free transfers. T&Cs apply.Get offer