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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!

The case for the new investor

How do investors benefit from the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)?

Start-up success story - Ladudu Ltd

Teresa Le shares the story of starting her Vietnamese mobile cooking school after being made redundant with the British Library Business & IP Centre.

Articles and PDFs

What do King Kong, a dentist and the Prince of Wales pub have in common?

No matter how angry he got about it, King Kong would need prior approval if he wished to use his name as part of his new company name.

Entrepreneurship - you can't teach that?

We examine both sides of the argument about whether entrepreneurship is a natural talent or can be learned?

Make sure you're drilling for oil and not gas! (Part 2)

Data is the new oil (Part 2) - To make the best business decisions you need to make sure you're collecting the right data.

You can't build a business by yourself. You'll need to build a team too.

To build a successful business you're going to need to build a successful team at the same time.

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

What do King Kong, a dentist and the Prince of Wales pub have in common?

Posted on 3 April 2017

Choosing a company name is an important early step for any business. It helps to create the first...

Learn more

Entrepreneurship - you can't teach that?

Posted on 28 March 2017

In the lead up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio the BBC conducted an online public vote that found...

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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.

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