Find an accountant to help you set up your limited company

(min 20) 0/2000

HaMuch is Excellent
By Emily Rivers
Last updated 29th February 2024

If you’ve decided to set up your business as a limited company, it can be quite daunting if you’ve never done it before. You’ll need various forms, documents and ID to submit to Companies House – plus you’ll need to pay for it.

So how much does setting up a limited company cost? And how much will you need to pay an accountant to help you do it? We’ll explain everything in this guide.

What is the cost of setting up a limited company?

Item/service

Cost

Registering your company online

£12

Registering your company by post (8-10 day turnaround)

£40

Registering your company by post (same-day turnaround)

£100

One-off accountant fee for setting up a limited company

£300 on average

Accountant fee for setting up a limited company when taking on monthly services

Free, then £250 per month on average

The cost of setting up a limited company online is just £12. As long as you have everything you need to set it up, and it will be limited by shares and use standard articles of association, this is the only cost involved.

However, if you prefer to register by post, this costs £40 for an 8-10 day turnaround, or £100 for a same-day service.

But what about if you want to use an accountant to help you set up your limited company? Accountants will charge an average of £300 as a one-off fee for setting up a limited company. While this seems like a lot of money, most accountants will also help you register for Corporation Tax and VAT, and can offer advice on how to structure your company’s share capital and how to be the most tax efficient.

If you decide to hire an accountant to help you manage your company’s finances on a regular basis, they’ll often help you set up your company for free to get you on board as a retained customer. Then, they typically charge an average of £250 per month for ongoing accountancy services for a limited company with low turnover. It all depends on the complexity of your company finances though, so it’s best to get in touch with a few accountants to get personalised quotes.

Cost of setting up a limited company

What do I need to set up a limited company?

You’ll need a few things to set up a limited company. Some are more complicated than others, so make sure you get advice from an accountant if you’re unsure.

1. A company name

You’ll need to choose a name for your limited company, and it can’t be the same as another registered company’s name or trade mark. You can use the government’s company name availability checker to see if the name you want is available.

The name you choose mustn’t be offensive, and it must usually end in ‘Ltd’ or ‘Limited’. If you registered the company in Wales, you can use the Welsh equivalents.

2. The names of your directors and company secretary

You must appoint a director (most often yourself). They are responsible for:

  • following the company’s rules

  • keeping company records and reporting changes

  • filing your accounts and your Company Tax Return

  • paying Corporation Tax

Some of these tasks can be tricky, which is why many directors hire an accountant to help them manage them. However, the director is still legally responsible, even if an accountant is carrying out these tasks.

You don’t need to appoint a company secretary, but some companies use them to take on some of the director’s responsibilities. Again, the directors are still legally responsible for the company even if they have a company secretary.

3. The names of any shareholders or guarantors

You need at least one shareholder, which is often the director. Speak to an accountant if you’re unsure how you should structure your share capital.

4. A memorandum of association

A memorandum of association is a legal statement that is signed by all initial shareholders or guarantors agreeing to form the company. If you are setting up your limited company online, you don’t need to write your own – it will be created automatically as part of your registration.

If you’re registering by post, the government website has a template you can download and use.

5. Articles of association

Articles of association outline the company rules and the rights and powers of the company shareholders and directors. You can use standard articles, known as ‘model articles’, or you can write and upload your own. Make sure you do this with a solicitor or legal advisor.

6. A completed form IN01

The form IN01 is the form you complete using all the information we’ve detailed above. You can fill out this form online or on paper. The form will ask you for at least 3 pieces of information about yourself and your shareholders and/or directors. This could include the town of you/your shareholders’ birth, passport numbers or National Insurance numbers.

What are the benefits of owning a limited company?

There are lots of benefits of owning a limited company, but it’s worth considering both the pros and cons before you decide to register your business as limited. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits:

  • Reduced personal liability: You and any shareholders are only liable for debts up to the value of your shares in a limited company, unlike sole traders who are personally liable for all debts

  • Lower tax: Sole traders pay income tax and National Insurance on the profits of their business through their self assessment tax return. However, limited companies pay Corporation Tax, which is lower than income tax. As a company director you can pay yourself a combination of a salary and dividends, which can lower your tax bill

  • Easier to access loans and growth funds: Investors tend to see limited companies as lower risk, so business loans are easier to get if your company is limited

However, there are some disadvantages to owning a limited company that you should consider:

  • More admin: Limited companies must keep many more records than sole traders, including records of company activities like voting decisions and submitting full or abbreviated statutory accounts

  • Available to the public: Your business information will be registered on Companies House, meaning that anyone, including competitors, can see your turnover and find out about any business changes

Do I need an accountant to set up a limited company?

No, you don’t need an accountant to set up a limited company – but it can make the process easier if you use one. An accountant will know about all the paperwork you need to have to register your company and will be able to advise you on the best way to structure your shares and company finances.

Is it worth setting up a limited company?

Whether it’s worth setting up a limited company depends on a variety of factors. As we outlined above, you reduce your personal financial risk by having a limited company compared with being a sole trader. You can also save money on your tax bill.

However, having a limited company isn’t as attractive as it used to be. Directors used to be able to save much more in personal tax than they can now, making it cheaper to have a limited company than so it may not be worth setting up your business as a limited company until your turnover increases or you start to grow quickly.

It’s best to speak to an accountant if you’re unsure whether you should register your business as a limited company. Use our partners, Unbiased, to get in touch with accountants operating in your area today.


Estimates for common accountant services

Job Estimate
Setting up a limited company £300.00
Self assessment tax return £200.00
Bookkeeping £225.00 per month

Rates for other trades

Find an accountant to set up a limited company
Find an accountant to set up a limited company
Location in UKSetting up a limited company cost
Setting up a limited company near Aberdeen£331
Setting up a limited company near Amber Valley£329
Setting up a limited company near Angus£328
Setting up a limited company near Arun£332
Setting up a limited company near Ashfield£331
Setting up a limited company near Aylesbury Vale£339
Setting up a limited company near Barnsley£332
Setting up a limited company near Basildon£342
Setting up a limited company near Basingstoke & Deane£341
Setting up a limited company near Bassetlaw£330
Setting up a limited company near Bath & North East Somerset£335
Setting up a limited company near Bedford£339
Setting up a limited company near Belfast£323
Setting up a limited company near Birmingham£333
Setting up a limited company near Blackburn£332
Setting up a limited company near Blackpool£332
Setting up a limited company near Bolton£332
Setting up a limited company near Bournemouth£333
Setting up a limited company near Bracknell Forest£345
Setting up a limited company near Bradford£332
Setting up a limited company near Braintree£338
Setting up a limited company near Breckland£336
Setting up a limited company near Bridgend£330
Setting up a limited company near Brighton£338
Setting up a limited company near Bristol£335
Setting up a limited company near Broadland£334
Setting up a limited company near Broxtowe£331
Setting up a limited company near Bury£332
Setting up a limited company near Caerphilly£330
Setting up a limited company near Calderdale£331
Setting up a limited company near Cambridge£338
Setting up a limited company near Canterbury£332
Setting up a limited company near Cardiff£330
Setting up a limited company near Carmarthenshire£329
Setting up a limited company near Charnwood£331
Setting up a limited company near Chelmsford£341
Setting up a limited company near Cheltenham£332
Setting up a limited company near Cherwell£337
Setting up a limited company near Chester£331
Setting up a limited company near Colchester£336
Setting up a limited company near Conway£349
Setting up a limited company near Coventry£333
Setting up a limited company near Crewe & Nantwich£329
Setting up a limited company near Dacorum£345
Setting up a limited company near Derby£329
Setting up a limited company near Doncaster£330
Setting up a limited company near Dover£330
Setting up a limited company near Dudley£333
Setting up a limited company near Dumfries & Galloway£330
Setting up a limited company near Dundee£331
Setting up a limited company near East Ayrshire£330
Setting up a limited company near East Devon£331
Setting up a limited company near East Dunbartonshire£335
Setting up a limited company near East Hampshire£336
Setting up a limited company near East Hertfordshire£342
Setting up a limited company near East Lindsey£326
Setting up a limited company near East Riding£330
Setting up a limited company near Eastleigh£337
Setting up a limited company near Edinburgh£334
Setting up a limited company near Elmbridge£348
Setting up a limited company near Epping Forest£347
Setting up a limited company near Erewash£331
Setting up a limited company near Exeter£329
Setting up a limited company near Falkirk£335
Setting up a limited company near Fife£332
Setting up a limited company near Flintshire£330
Setting up a limited company near Gateshead£333
Setting up a limited company near Gedling£331
Setting up a limited company near Glasgow£334
Setting up a limited company near Gloucester£331
Setting up a limited company near Guildford£344
Setting up a limited company near Gwynedd£345
Setting up a limited company near Halton£332
Setting up a limited company near Harrogate£331
Setting up a limited company near Havant & Waterloo£335
Setting up a limited company near Highland
Setting up a limited company near Horsham£341
Setting up a limited company near Huntingdonshire£337
Setting up a limited company near Ipswich£333
Setting up a limited company near Isle of Wight£338
Setting up a limited company near Kings Lynn & West Norfolk£331
Setting up a limited company near Kingston-upon-Hull£330
Setting up a limited company near Kirklees£331
Setting up a limited company near Knowsley£332
Setting up a limited company near Lancaster£329
Setting up a limited company near Leeds£333
Setting up a limited company near Leicester£336
Setting up a limited company near Lisburn£324
Setting up a limited company near Liverpool£332
Setting up a limited company near London£348
Setting up a limited company near Luton£344
Setting up a limited company near Macclesfield£332
Setting up a limited company near Maidstone£342
Setting up a limited company near Manchester£332
Setting up a limited company near Mid Bedfordshire£341
Setting up a limited company near Mid Sussex£340
Setting up a limited company near Middlesbrough£332
Setting up a limited company near Milton Keynes£338
Setting up a limited company near Neath Port Talbot£330
Setting up a limited company near New Forest£336
Setting up a limited company near Newbury£341
Setting up a limited company near Newcastle-under-Lyme£329
Setting up a limited company near Newcastle-upon-Tyne£333
Setting up a limited company near Newport£330
Setting up a limited company near North Ayrshire£332
Setting up a limited company near North East Lincolnshire£327
Setting up a limited company near North Hertfordshire£342
Setting up a limited company near North Lanarkshire£335
Setting up a limited company near North Lincolnshire£330
Setting up a limited company near North Somerset£334
Setting up a limited company near North Tyneside£333
Setting up a limited company near North Wiltshire£339
Setting up a limited company near Northampton£337
Setting up a limited company near Norwich£336
Setting up a limited company near Nottingham£331
Setting up a limited company near Nuneaton & Bedworth£335
Setting up a limited company near Oldham£332
Setting up a limited company near Oxford£339
Setting up a limited company near Pembrokeshire£325
Setting up a limited company near Perth & Kinross£333
Setting up a limited company near Peterborough£332
Setting up a limited company near Plymouth£331
Setting up a limited company near Poole£333
Setting up a limited company near Portsmouth£337
Setting up a limited company near Powys£333
Setting up a limited company near Preston£332
Setting up a limited company near Reading£343
Setting up a limited company near Redcar & Cleveland£333
Setting up a limited company near Reigate & Banstead£347
Setting up a limited company near Renfrewshire£335
Setting up a limited company near Rhondda, Cynon, Taff£331
Setting up a limited company near Rochdale£332
Setting up a limited company near Rochester-upon-Medway
Setting up a limited company near Rotherham£329
Setting up a limited company near Salford£332
Setting up a limited company near Salisbury£331
Setting up a limited company near Sandwell£333
Setting up a limited company near Scarborough£329
Setting up a limited company near Scottish Borders
Setting up a limited company near Sefton£332
Setting up a limited company near Sevenoaks£344
Setting up a limited company near Sheffield£329
Setting up a limited company near Slough£346
Setting up a limited company near Solihull£333
Setting up a limited company near South Ayrshire£332
Setting up a limited company near South Bedfordshire£339
Setting up a limited company near South Cambridgeshire£339
Setting up a limited company near South Gloucestershire£335
Setting up a limited company near South Kesteven£335
Setting up a limited company near South Lanarkshire£333
Setting up a limited company near South Oxfordshire£341
Setting up a limited company near South Somerset£334
Setting up a limited company near South Tyneside£332
Setting up a limited company near Southampton£337
Setting up a limited company near Southend-on-Sea£340
Setting up a limited company near St Albans£345
Setting up a limited company near St Helens£332
Setting up a limited company near Stafford£331
Setting up a limited company near Stockport£332
Setting up a limited company near Stockton-on-Tees£332
Setting up a limited company near Stoke-on-Trent£329
Setting up a limited company near Stratford-on-Avon£334
Setting up a limited company near Stroud£331
Setting up a limited company near Suffolk Coastal£334
Setting up a limited company near Sunderland£332
Setting up a limited company near Swale£337
Setting up a limited company near Swansea£330
Setting up a limited company near Tameside£332
Setting up a limited company near Teignbridge£328
Setting up a limited company near Tendring£334
Setting up a limited company near Test Valley£333
Setting up a limited company near Thamesdown£338
Setting up a limited company near Thanet£330
Setting up a limited company near The Wrekin£329
Setting up a limited company near Thurrock£344
Setting up a limited company near Torbay£328
Setting up a limited company near Trafford£332
Setting up a limited company near Vale of Glamorgan£331
Setting up a limited company near Vale of White Horse£337
Setting up a limited company near Vale Royal£330
Setting up a limited company near Wakefield£332
Setting up a limited company near Walsall£333
Setting up a limited company near Warrington£332
Setting up a limited company near Warwick£334
Setting up a limited company near Waveney£333
Setting up a limited company near Waverley£342
Setting up a limited company near Wealden£345
Setting up a limited company near West Lancashire£332
Setting up a limited company near West Lothian£333
Setting up a limited company near West Wiltshire£339
Setting up a limited company near Wigan£331
Setting up a limited company near Windsor & Maidenhead£345
Setting up a limited company near Wirral£333
Setting up a limited company near Wokingham£344
Setting up a limited company near Wolverhampton£334
Setting up a limited company near Wrexham Maelor£329
Setting up a limited company near Wychavon£333
Setting up a limited company near Wycombe£343
Setting up a limited company near York£331