How Much Does Incorporation of a Company Cost in the UK?

Paola Faben Oliveira

Incorporating a company is the legal process of registering a company, so you can legally conduct business in the UK. The process you follow - and the fees you’ll need to pay - to register your company depend a lot on the business entity type you choose. In total, the cost for registering a company in the UK can include a few different charges, including legal and agent fees, and a Companies House registration fee.

So - how much does incorporation of a company cost in the UK? Join us as we find out.

📝 Table of contents:

How to register a company in the UK

The process to incorporate a company in the UK will vary a bit depending on the business type you’re setting up.The key UK business types are:

  • Sole trader
  • Partnership and limited liability partnership
  • Limited company

Let’s have a look into the process to register your UK business, depending on the entity type.

To set up as a sole trader, generally you’ll need to register for tax self assessment with HMRC. You’ll need to provide¹:

  • Your own personal and contact information
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your business name

To register a partnership, you’ll also need to get in touch with HMRC - although the exact process to follow will vary a bit depending on whether you’re setting up a limited partnership or a limited liability partnership. Usually you’ll have to provide²:

  • Your business name
  • Personal and contact information for the registered partner

The registered partner is obliged to maintain business records and file business taxes. You might also need to register for VAT depending on the company turnover.

Registering a limited company is the most complex of the business registration processes. At the same time as incorporating your business, you can also register for corporation tax. You’ll need to provide a suite of documents and information including³:

  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Registered business address
  • SIC code
  • Business name
  • Names of director, shareholders and a company secretary if you choose one

Because this process is a little more complicated, many business owners choose to use an agent or a professional service to help them incorporate their UK business without any hassle. This can mean an extra fee, but it can also result in a smoother and easier experience, so you can get on with the day to day running of your new enterprise.

Cost for registering a company

Registering as a sole trader may not cost you anything at all if you do it yourself. Here are the key costs involved in incorporation of some other different types of UK companies:

  • Company incorporation
    • Register online: 12 GBP fee
    • Using third party software: fees vary, from 10 GBP fee
    • Using an agent service: fees vary
    • By mail: 40 GBP fee
  • Limited liability partnership (LLP) incorporation⁴
    • Using third party software: fees vary, from 10 GBP fee
    • Using an agent service: fees vary
    • By mail: 40 GBP fee
  • Limited partnership incorporation
    • Using an agent service: fees vary
    • By mail: 20 GBP fee

Depending on how you want to incorporate your company you may also run into some additional costs, such as:

  • Extra fees for a faster company registration process
  • Fees for printing business documents for future use
  • A registered address service
  • Fees to make your registered address non-visible to the public

Company house registration fee

Here’s a look at the fees that need to be paid to the Companies house based on the type of business you’re registering and the services you need.

Business entity typeCompanies house registration fee options⁵
Company incorporation and registrationOnline: 12 GBP

Using software: 10 GBP

By mail: 40 GBP

Fee for same day registration: 30 GBP (using software only)

LLP incorporation and registrationUsing software: 10 GBP

By mail: 40 GBP

Fee for same day registration: 30 GBP (using software only)

Overseas company incorporationBy mail: 20 GBP

The overseas registration option is for existing companies registered abroad which need to register a local UK establishment. Looking for more? Learn about how to start a business in the UK for foreigners here.

Cost to set up limited company

It’s possible to set up a limited company in the UK yourself, or you could choose to use an agent, company formation specialist, or an accountant to help you.

The basic steps you need to take to set up your limited company include:

  1. Choose an allowable business name
  2. Pick company directors and company secretary
  3. Agree who the shareholders or guarantors are
  4. List out people with significant control (PSC) of your business
  5. Prepare a Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association
  6. Register with Companies House and pay your fee

If you’ve never set up a business before, choosing to set up your UK company through an agent or specialist service can be very helpful.

Depending on your business type, and the specific service you need, you could have your business set up, including opening a business bank account and getting registered with Companies House, for a fee of 10 GBP - 100 GBP. The costs depend on the specific service you need, but to save the hassle of understanding and navigating the company incorporation process yourself, it could be a solid investment.

The cost of incorporating a company in the UK is actually pretty low, particularly if you’re registering a business with a fairly simple structure. For more complicated business types, and when agent services are involved, there are higher fees - but choosing to use a specialist service to get your company incorporation all completed hassle free can mean one less thing to worry about, and leave you free to concentrate on running your business instead.

Wise Business - setting up a limited company in the UK

Here at Wise we've made it easier to set up a limited company and manage your international finances at the same time. Our company formation solution will let you form a new limited company run by a sole shareholder.

And at the same time, you’ll get a powerful Wise Business account with an international debit card and the opportunity to manage your money in 50+ currencies.

It’ll be quick and simple to apply, for a fee of just £55. Your application will be handled by an approved company formation agent, who will securely send your application to Companies House. So, you can focus on getting your new business off the ground.

Set up your limited company
with Wise 🚀

Sources used:

  1. UK government - set up as a sole trader
  2. UK government - setting up a partnership
  3. UK government - set up a limited company
  4. UK government - Limited liability partnership incorporation
  5. Companies House Fees - UK government

Sources last checked March 26, 2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money for here, there and everywhere

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location