It's less scary than you think to set up a UK organisation.
If you want to set up a UK business that has social, charitable or community-based objectives, you can set up as any of:
- limited company
- charity, or from 2013, a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)
- community interest company (CIC)
- sole trader or business partnership
This guide explains how I set up a limited company, to try and make it easier for others to follow the same steps I did.
(1) Form your company (1 hour)
You can use https://www.rapidformations.co.uk/ to form your company. For a small fee they will set up your limited company for you.
I recommend using the Privacy option. In this option you'll have a business address registered in London, so that it's that address rather than your home address which is registered publicly. Post that is sent to that London business address is scanned and emailed to you.
(2) Get bank accounts and set up accounting (2 hours)
- I recommend using https://www.tide.co/ as your business bank account
- I would also set up a https://wise.com/ account for any international payments you have
- I recommend using https://www.pleo.io/en as company cards to make all purchases on. It has good automatic systems to scan receipts for any purchases that you make, which is useful for accounting later.
Accountants and book keepers
- I recommend immediately setting up with these accountants https://osome.com/uk/ once you've registered your company and have banking set up. It's good to be on top of accounting from the beginning.
(3) Learn about your responsibilities (4-8 hours)
This can be done later, over the first few months of running your organisation.
- What is a limited company?
- Obligations for limited companies
- Paying yourself through your business
- Bookkeeping for small businesses
- Bookkeeping for Limited Companies
- Claiming for business expenses
- Corporation Tax for Limited Companies
That's all you need to get started. It's easier than you think.