Just bought a ready made company

Things you must do when you just bought a ready made company from a company formation agent. A ready made company is a limited company incorporated by company formation agents for sale. Generally, people buy a ready made company because they either like the company name or the age of the company.

Preliminary check

Go to Companies House website to check the filing history of the ready made company you would like to buy. To ensure that the company’s filing is up to date with Companies House and it has never traded since it’s incorporation.

Transfer company ownership and control

Usually, after you bought your ready made company, the company formation agent will transfer the company’s ownership and control to you. They would carry out the following to transfer the company’s ownership and control to you.

Appoint your director and company secretary

Generally, the company formation agent would ask you to provide details of at least one company director to them for your ready made company. They would submit the form AP01 to add a new director to your company. If the new director is you, after the appointment, you would be legally responsible for the company.

Thereafter, you can add more directors or a company secretary if you wish.

Terminate the existing director and company secretary

Subsequently, the company formation agent would terminate the existing director by submitting the form TM01 with Companies House. If there is a company secretary appointed, the appointment will be terminated too using the form TM02.

Shareholders information

Concurrently, you would also be required to give details of the person who will be holding your ready made company shares. Your director can also be the shareholder in this instance. The company formation agent would transfer the ownership of the existing shares to your shareholder. This would be done by filing a confirmation statement.

Company’s principal activity

Normally, a ready made company’s is registered with a dormant company SIC code. You may let your company formation agent know what would be your company’s principal business activity so that they can update the SIC code for you. Alternatively, If the company formation agent did not change the SIC code, you can change it yourself afterwards. It is very easy to add and remove SIC code when completing your confirmation statement later on.

Registered office address

Let the company formation agent know if you are not going to use their registered office address and you have your own address. They would update the registered office address with Companies House for you.

The person with Significant Control (PSC)

You would be required to provide details of the person with significant control (PSC) of your ready made company. The agent would submit the form PSC01 to register your PSC details with Companies House. At the same time, they would submit the form PSC07 to remove their PSC from your ready made company.

Your Company authentication code

Do not forget to ask for your company authentication code from your agent. This code is important when comes to using Companies House web filing service to submit your confirmation statement, company accounts, appoint directors and so on.

Your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number

Also, ask your agent for the UTR number issued by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for your ready made company. You need this UTR number when corresponding with HMRC every time.

Update your company registered office address

Use the form AD01 to update your company registered office address with Companies House whenever you moved office or changed service address providers. The law requires you to inform Companies House within 14 days of the change taking place.

It is important that you must change your registered office address before you submit your confirmation statement. You may file it online or by sending printed A4 size paper form.

Why you must update your registered office address?

You must keep your registered office address updated because important mails and letters are sent there for your company.

Letters from Companies House

Companies House often send reminders to your company registered office such as confirmation statement reminders and company accounts reminders.

If you request your company authentication code, Companies House would only send the code to your registered office address.

Letters from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

HMRC send reminders to your company registered office when your company corporation tax return (the CT600) is due.

HMRC also send your unique tax reference number to your registered office.

Court papers for your company

Another reason to update your company registered office address as soon as possible is that all legal notices served to your company registered office address is considered served to the company.

This would not be good if you did not receive those legal notices especially court papers because you forgot to change it with Companies House.

Change company registered office address

Change your company registered office address when you are no longer able to access mails sent to there. At the same time, you notify Companies House with your new address.

The UK company law require every limited company must to have a valid registered office address at all times. So that you could receive all formal letters and legal notices sent there.

Generally, Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs send all of their correspondences to your company’s registered office address only. Therefore, you must ensure your company registered office address is up to date and that all mails can reach you.

How to change company registered office address?

First of all, you change your company registered office address with the Companies House form AD01. You deliver the form AD01 to Companies House within 14 days.

Universally, your new registered office address cannot be a PO Box address. As a rule, it must be a physical address. However, the address need not be where your company carries out their operations.

For example, you may use your accountant’s office as your company registered office address while you operates your business somewhere else.

In other words, your registered office address need not be the same as your business address. Commonly, businesses based outside United Kingdom but trading as limited company adopt that practice.

Update your company official stationery

Thereafter, you must also update your company official stationery. This would include your letterhead, website and any formal correspondences.

Submit Confirmation statement

On the other hand, you must also include your company registered office address when filing your confirmation statement.

Inform HM Revenue and Customs

In addition, you are to notify HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of your company’s new registered office address.

HMRC and Companies House are separate governmental bodies for companies in the UK.

12