Once you’ve registered your limited company, you’ll need to define the roles within your new business – find out how to set up your limited company here
Here’s a quick outline of the different roles you’ll need in your new business.
Your limited company must have at least one director, but you can have as many directors as you like. As a director, it’s your job to run the company and make sure you’re meeting all your financial and legal obligations – ultimately, you’re now responsible for the company (but with the benefits of ‘limited liability’, keeping your personal and business finances separate).
To be a director, you must be aged 16 or over and mustn’t have been disqualified from being a director at any point (through bankruptcy etc.). You can set up a company to be a director, but at least one of your directors must be a ‘natural person’ (that’s a real human, in plain English).
The names and addresses of you and your fellow directors will be publicly available through the Companies House register– although you can request that your details are removed if there’s a danger to you or your family from your address being public.
Many limited companies will also appoint a ‘company secretary’ to do a lot of the actual administration of running the business.
You’re not legally obliged to appoint a company secretary, but it can be a good way to reduce the workload for you and your other directors and to make sure your compliance and governance is being properly looked after through a defined company secretary role.
Your company secretary can also be a director but can’t be:
- the company’s auditor
- an ‘undischarged bankrupt’ – unless they’ve had permission from the court
The company secretary can run many elements of the business, but ultimately it’s you and your directors who are responsible for the company, not the secretary.
As a limited company, you need to have a least one shareholder – someone who owns and holds the private shares in the company. A director can also be a shareholder, but shareholders needn’t be a director – anyone can be a shareholder.
In short, your shareholders OWN the company, and the directors and company secretary are appointed to RUN the company.
As owners of the company, shareholders can vote on decisions regarding the future of the company – most businesses will need a shareholder majority to action plans put in place by the directors.
Shareholders can also take dividends – money paid out of the business to the directors and shareholders of the company (not to be confused with a ‘living wage’).
If you need help appointing the roles in your new limited company, give us a call on 01454 300 999 or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org