Supporting you to get the Basics of Business right from Day 1


Choose a topic and browse our knowledge bank of videos, PDFs and FAQs.


Do you really need an accountant?

Are accountants simply a waste of money for things you can easily be doing yourself from the outset of your business journey? Or when it comes to your company finances are they an outsourcing option which will deliver value from day 1?

Do you need a business plan?

Is a business plan still necessary when you start a business or is it just one big waste of your valuable time at that critical early stage of getting your business up and running.

Why do start-ups succeed?

In this TEDTalk serial entrepreneur Bill Gross identifies the single biggest reason why start-ups succeed - and it surprised even him!

Articles and PDFs

Top 10 tips on starting up a business

Minimise the risks and learn the lessons of the entrepreneurs who’ve gone before you.

5 steps you should take after setting up a limited company

Wondering what you need to do after setting up your limited company? Here’s 5 steps you should take in the first few weeks after incorporating your company.

Website Legal MOT Checklist

Use your website to sell or advertise online? Take our FREE 'Website Legal MOT' and use our handy checklist to see what you are missing or where you may be exposing yourself to unnecessary liability.

FREE limited company statutory registers template

Download our FREE company statutory registers template and use it to create the up-to-date official records for your limited company.

Quick info


What is a Private Company Limited by Shares?


What is the minimum number of directors required for my company?


What is a company's accounting reference date?


Where must I display my company name?

Latest from Basics of Business

5 key things about articles of association and shareholders agreements every new business owner should know

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To be a limited company or not to be - the advantages and disadvantages of a limited company

Posted on 26 July 2018

When setting up a business in the UK you will need to decide what structure your business will take...

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What is a Private Company Limited by Shares?

A company that has had shares issued but whose shares are not for sale to the general public.

In a UK private company limited by shares, the liability of a shareholder is limited to the amount unpaid on their shares. In other words if a director or shareholder holds 1 share with a value of £1 their financial liability would be  £1.

For a more detailed view of the characteristics of the different types of company that can be formed in the UK take a look at our Basics of Business™ blog article.

Or if you're ready to form a private company limited by shares now you can start your new business journey right now. We'll guide you every step of the way!

What is the minimum number of directors required for my company?

The Companies Act 2006 requires that all types of private company in the UK must have at least one director. If a company only has one director then that director must be an individual rather than a corporate entity (e.g. another company).

The Articles of Association of a company may also impose a minimum number of directors.

If you are forming your UK limited company with Lightwork Business then our Articles will allow you to have the statutory minimum number of directors which is one.

What is a company's accounting reference date?

A UK company's accounting reference date is the end of it's financial year. It is often abbreviated to 'ARD' and is the date a company must make its annual financial accounts up to.

As each financial year comes to an end, you will have to:

  • Arrange to complete your company's annual accounts,
  • Send a copy of the accounts to each shareholder in the company,
  • Send a copy to Companies House, and
  • Send a copy to HMRC.

The annual accounts are needed to report your business’s activity during that financial year, up to and including the accounting reference date.

It’s very easy to change the ARD subsequent to company formation if you intend to extend or reduce your 12 month financial year. There is no limit to the amount of times you can shorten a company's financial year but you can only extend it once every five years, except in certain circumstances. You can also only change the ARD before the deadline for providing your company's annual accounts - i.e. nine months after your accounting reference date. You can not change the ARD though if the company's accounts are already overdue.

Where must I display my company name?

Unless a UK company has been dormant since incorporation, it must display a sign with its registered name at:

  • Its' registered office.
  • Any inspection place.
  • Any location at which it carries on business unless the location is primarily used for living accommodation.

The registered company name - together with other details such as company number, place of registration and registered office address - must also be included on all business communications such as letters and emails.