What is Inform Direct and why should I use it?

Inform Direct is an online software service that allows you to manage your company statutory records simply and efficiently.

It allows you to maintain records of your company's officers, shareholders and PSCs. Any changes that require notification to Companies House are automatically submitted electronically. This includes appointment of new officers; termination of officers; change of an officer's details; adding a new PSC or removing a PSC; updating PSC details; allotment of shares and share reorganisation transactions. Inform Direct can also electronically file changes to company details (such as registered office, accounting reference date and single alternative inspection location); changes to your company name; filing of dormant company accounts and incorporation requests.

Each year your company is required to submit a confirmation statement (formerly an annual return) to Companies House. Our software makes this quick and easy by using the records you have maintained in Inform Direct to file your confirmation statement in just a few simple steps.  Inform Direct also updates and maintains your statutory registers and monitors time-critical events, alerting you to take action when required.

With Inform Direct you have no need to understand which Companies House forms need to be submitted or how to fill out any of the Companies House forms currently supported. Inform Direct takes you step by step through any changes you are making to your company records and electronically submits the data to Companies House once you confirm the changes.  Our clever software will also suggest documents that may be required to support your transaction. It can produce over 100 different documents, including template board minutes and resolutions, company letters, forms and certificates and these will be pre-populated with the information you entered when completing your transaction, so you won't need to enter it all again.

In addition to all of the above great features,  Inform Direct offers each account:

  • a secure online document storage area – your Document Library;
  • a specially designed 'Your Portfolio' page that allows you to easily manage multiple companies; and
  • the ability to invite other users to access your account, and to control their access rights and permissions.
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Is Inform Direct authorised by Companies House?

Yes, Inform Direct is a Companies House authorised service. This authorisation enables Inform Direct to electronically exchange data direct with Companies House.

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What are your terms and conditions?

You can read our full terms & conditions here Terms of Service

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Which Companies House forms does Inform Direct support?

Inform Direct automatically recognises which changes you make need to be submitted to Companies House. With your approval, wherever possible it will electronically submit these changes to Companies House using the Companies House electronic interchange system. For forms where Companies House does not allow electronic filing, Inform Direct will fully pre-populate a paper form that you can post to Companies House.

Inform Direct supports each of the following forms for limited companies:

  • CS01 - Confirmation Statement
  • AR01 - Annual Return
  • IN01 - Application to Register a Company
  • NM01 - Notice of Change of Name by Resolution
  • NM04 - Notice of Change of Name by means provided for in the Articles
  • AA01 - Change of Accounting Reference Date
  • AA02 - Dormant Company Accounts (DCA)
  • AP01 - Appointment of Director
  • AP02 - Appointment of Corporate Director
  • AP03 - Appointment of Secretary
  • AP04 - Appointment of Corporate Secretary
  • CH01 - Change of Director's details
  • CH02 - Change of Corporate Director's details
  • CH03 - Change of Secretary's details
  • CH04 - Change of Corporate Secretary's details
  • TM01 - Termination of appointment of Director
  • TM02 - Termination of appointment of Secretary
  • AD01 - Change of Registered Office address
  • AD02 - Notification of single alternative inspection location (SAIL)
  • AD03 - Change of location of the company records to the SAIL
  • AD04 - Change of location of the company records to the Registered Office
  • SH01 - Return of Allotment of Shares
  • SH02 - Notice of consolidation, sub-division, redemption of shares or re-conversion of stock into shares
  • SH03 - Return of purchase of own shares
  • SH04 - Notice of sale or transfer of treasury shares
  • SH05 - Notice of cancellation of treasury shares
  • SH06 - Notice of cancellation of shares
  • SH07 - Notice of cancellation of shares held by or for a public company
  • SH08 - Notice of name or other designation of class of shares
  • SH10 - Notice of particulars of variation of rights attached to shares
  • SH11 - Give notice of a new class of members
  • SH12 - Give notice of particulars of variation of class rights
  • SH13 - Give notice of name or other designation of class of members
  • SH19 - Statement of capital when reducing capital in a company
  • PSC01 - Give notice of individual person with significant control
  • PSC02 - Give notice of relevant legal entity with significant control
  • PSC03 - Give notice of other registrable person with significant control
  • PSC04 - Give notice of change of details for person with significant control
  • PSC05 - Give notice of change of details for relevant legal entity with significant control
  • PSC06 - Give notice of change of details of other registrable person with significant control
  • PSC07 - Give notice ceasing to be an individual person with significant control
  • PSC08 - Give notice of PSC statements
  • PSC09 - Give notice of update to PSC statements
  • MR01 - Particulars of a charge (register a newly created charge)
  • MR02 - Particulars of a charge subject to which property or undertaking has been acquired
  • MR04 - Statement of satisfaction in full or in part of a charge
  • MR05 - Statement that part or the whole of the property charged (a) has been released from the charge (b) no longer forms part of the company's property or undertaking
  • DS01 - Striking off application by a company
  • DS02 - Withdraw a striking off application by a company

Inform Direct supports each of the following forms for LLPs:

  • LL AA01 - Change of accounting reference date of an LLP
  • LL AR01 - Annual Return of an LLP
  • LL AD01 - Change of registered office address of an LLP
  • LL NM01 - Notice of change of name of an LLP
  • LL DE01 - Notice of change of status of an LLP
  • LL AD02 - Notification of Single Alternative Inspection Location (SAIL) of an LLP
  • LL AD03 - Change of location of the records to the SAIL of an LLP
  • LL AD04 - Change of location of the records to the registered office of an LLP
  • LL AP01 - Appointment of member of an LLP
  • LL AP02 - Appointment of corporate member of an LLP
  • LL CH01 - Change of details of a member of an LLP
  • LL CH02 - Change of details of a corporate member of an LLP
  • LL TM01 - Termination of appointment of member of an LLP
  • LL MR01 - Particulars of a charge created by an LLP
  • LL MR02 - Particulars of a charge subject to which property or undertaking has been acquired by an LLP
  • LL MR04 - Statement of satisfaction in full or in part of a charge of an LLP
  • LL MR05 - Statement that part or the whole of the property charged (a) has been released from the charge (b) no longer forms part of the LLP's property
  • LL DS01 - Striking off application by an LLP
  • LL DS02 - Withdrawal of striking off application by an LLP
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Which types of companies can use Inform Direct?

Inform Direct currently supports private companies limited by shares; public limited companies; private companies limited by guarantee; limited liability partnerships (LLPs); unlimited companies with share capital and community interest companies.  It supports companies that have been incorporated in England and Wales, Wales only, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

With regards to share capital, the current version of Inform Direct supports companies that have:

  • Share class currencies denominated in £ sterling, euros or US dollars.
  • Share classes that are fully paid, fully unpaid or partly paid.

Future versions of Inform Direct will also support other company types including:

  • Unincorporated associations
  • Charitable companies
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Is Inform Direct secure?

Yes. We store your data securely in a third party hosted UK data centre. Access to the data halls is restricted to employees and agents of the third party that need access to provide the data centre to us.

Any data you enter into your Inform Direct account is protected with SSL Encryption Certificates (secure socket layer technology) issued by leading certificate authority Verisign. This ensures all data you enter is encrypted when it is transmitted to the Inform Direct data centre.

If you are a subscriber you can further enhance the security of your Inform Direct account by using two-step verification. Adding a second verification step makes your account far less vulnerable to attack by a hacker. Knowing your password alone is not enough. In addition, they need access to your smartphone in order to provide the unique, randomly generated six-digit verification code.

Read more about our commitment to security.

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Is Inform Direct GDPR compliant?

We have made changes to be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

You can read more about what changes have been made here.

For more information about GDPR, please see the Information Commissioner’s website.

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How do I get started?

Simply click here to access Inform Direct and use the simple software to manage your company statutory records or submit your Companies House confirmation statement with ease.

Inform Direct is an online service and you do not need to download any software. You can access it online 24/7 using your browser.

All you will need to get started is your Companies House authentication code. If you don't have your authentication code, it is easy to get a reminder sent out to your company's registered office address. When you start using Inform Direct and we ask for your authentication code, select the 'What's this?' link. We will ensure a reminder code is sent out to you and you should receive this at your company's registered office address within a day or two.

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Can I get approval before a submissions are sent to Companies House

Yes - as an Inform Direct subscriber you are able to save a process and generate documents prior to submitting to Companies House. Then following approval (from your client, or internally) you can simply pick the process back up, and submit it to Companies House.

This is currently available for confirmation statements and dormant company accounts, and is being rolled out across the system over the coming months.

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Can I use two-step verification to protect the data I hold in Inform Direct?

Yes – if you are a subscriber you can use two-step verification to add an additional layer of security to your Inform Direct account.

Two-step verification requires you to provide two ways of proving your identity when you try to log in to your account. The first step of the login process requires you to enter your email address and password. The second additional step requires you to enter the verification code that you will receive from the authenticator app installed on your phone. This second step means that your account with Inform Direct is both more difficult to attack and a less attractive target, as to gain access a rogue individual would need to know not only your password but also have access to your phone.

The ability to apply two-step verification to your account is just one of a range of benefits available to users paying a subscription and is not available to users operating Inform Direct on a Pay as You Go basis.

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Can I generate a report of my company's shareholders?

Yes, Inform Direct allows subscribers to generate a report of their company's current shareholders among a suite of 25 reports that you can generate as .xls spreadsheets, including shareholder contact addresses, share transactions and dividends paid as well as officers, PSCs, registered office addresses and company details.

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Can I use an address service for my company?

Yes - If you are wanting to form a company via Inform Direct you will be able to add address services, there are different options available:

  • Registered office address – Official mail only is either forwarded to, or scanned and emailed, to an address of your choice.
  • Registered office & officer(s) service addresses - Official mail only is either forwarded to, or scanned and emailed to, an address of your choice.
  • Full trading office – All mail is either forwarded to, or scanned and emailed to, an address of your choice.

The addresses are prestigious London and Edinburgh addresses. This service is currently available for companies registered in England and Wales, and Scotland.

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Why is the anti-money laundering check restricted to UK residents?

To be able to offer the online service that we do for company formations, we require the checks to be run ‘in-process’ and electronically. Our anti-money laundering check provider is currently only able to provide a sufficient enough reliability of checks for residents of the UK.

If we opened the checks up to residents of other countries, the percentage of persons verifiable electronically (on average) is sufficiently low (largely less than 40%) that the service would be ineffective for those customers, whom would still be charged for the checks, which more often than not, would fail.

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What is an anti-money laundering check?

From July 2017 to form a UK company through an agent, an anti-money laundering check must be completed on the person/entity forming the company.

The checks that must be completed by a company will vary as they are risk based, but mostly they consist of verifying the identity of the person(s) or directors of an entity and confirming if they are at a high risk of money laundering or terrorist financing i.e. they are a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) or from a high-risk country.

For more information please see our blog – What checks must be done to set up a company?

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Which company registers are maintained by Inform Direct?

Inform Direct automatically creates your statutory registers based on the data it imports from Companies House. It will then automatically update the registers as you make changes to your company data.

The following company registers can be produced at any time for a private company limited by shares or unlisted plc:

  • Register of Directors
  • Register of Secretaries
  • Register of Directors' Residential Addresses
  • Register of Members (Shareholders)
  • Register of People with Significant Control (required from 6 April 2016)
  • Register of Allotments of Shares
  • Register of Transfers of Shares
  • Register of Mortgages and Charges
  • Register of Share Classes
  • Register of Capital Reorganisations
  • Register of Company Name Changes
  • Register of Company Details

Inform Direct supports all the registers required by a company limited by guarantee:

  • Register of Directors
  • Register of Directors’ Residential Addresses
  • Register of Secretaries
  • Register of Members *
  • Register of People with Significant Control (required from 6 April 2016)
  • Register of Membership Transfers
  • Register of Mortgages & Charges

All of the following statutory registers for LLPs are fully supported:

  • Register of Members
  • Register of Members’ Residential Addresses
  • Register of People with Significant Control (required from 6 April 2016)
  • Register of Mortgages & Charges

* Companies House to not provide information relating to members of a company limited by guarantee so this will need to be entered manually into Inform Direct.

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How does Inform Direct make managing company details really easy?

Our intelligent software has been designed to ask you straightforward questions, turning your answers into the correct format before electronically filing your submission with Companies House. Features designed to help you easily manage changes to your company details include:

  • simultaneous updating of your statutory registers if required when you file a change;
  • automatic inclusion of changes in your next confirmation statement;
  • pre-populated template minutes and resolutions to support your changes;
  • automatic saving of documents to your Document Library; and
  • company name checking facility that allows you to verify with Companies House that your proposed company name is available.

Using Inform Direct to manage your company details, including changes to your registered office address; implementation of a SAIL address; change of accounting reference date; filing of dormant accounts and changes of company name, will enable you to process any update swiftly.

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How does Inform Direct help me manage PSC reporting requirements?

Companies are required to report PSC changes to Companies House as and when they happen. Our intelligent software makes this easy for you.

Easy to process PSC changes

By clicking on the PSC tab you can view a summary of the company's current PSCs or swiftly process any updates required. Using Inform Direct you can:

  • Add the details of individual PSCs, even if you have not yet confirmed their details.
  • Add the details of any registrable relevant legal entities (RLEs) that must be included in the register.
  • Record updates on the progress of your investigations.
  • Make ongoing updates as you get further in the process of identifying PSCs.
  • Remove persons or entities that are no longer registrable for PSC reporting.

Our software asks you straightforward questions and converts your answers into the correct form. Any changes you record are automatically submitted to Companies House, as required by legislation, and we also provide you with a suite of professional looking and compliant templates, including:

  • Notices and proforma reply letters.
  • Board minutes that evidence the reasonable steps taken by the company to obtain the details of every PSC or registrable RLE.
  • Board minutes that document any PSC changes and authorise the reporting of these to Companies House.

Inform Direct makes it easy for companies with straightforward PSC requirements to be compliant. However, our software also supports all the different possibilities prescribed by law and is suitable for the most complex PSC arrangements.

Compliant PSC register

When you add the details of any PSCs, Inform Direct automatically produces a PSC register that contains statements compliant with the prescribed wording required by legislation. Similarly, when you use Inform Direct to process any changes, your PSC register will be automatically updated for the changes ensuring that it is always fully compliant. You can view and print your PSC register at any time.

 

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Can I brand the statutory registers with my client's company logo?

Yes. Using Inform Direct it is simple for you to brand statutory registers and other documents. If chosen, your client's company logo can appear in the top left corner of both statutory registers and template documents, including minutes and resolutions.

Subscribers to Inform Direct can also choose to insert their own branding, with their company name and logo appearing at the bottom of each page of the registers. This functionality is not available to PAYG users, for whom the Inform Direct logo will appear discreetly at the bottom of each page. You can read more about the advantages of a subscription account here.

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Can I use Inform Direct to store and organise my documents?

Yes. Inform Direct offers each account a sophisticated and secure online document storage area - that we call your Document Library. It is easy to upload and store all your company's documents in your Document Library, and if you tag your files, using either the tag lists we have created for you or or your own bespoke tags, it will be simplicity itself to retrieve any document.

For subscribers, all of the features of the Document Library are available free of charge, and the total data storage allowance available is calculated by applying an allocation of 250MB for each company included in your Inform Direct account.

PAYG users also have free access to the Document Library, but to a more narrow offering. Documents that have been generated using Inform Direct will be automatically stored in your Document Library, and you can tag and manage these files as you require.

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Do you provide template minutes and resolutions pre-populated with my details?

Yes. Inform Direct provides a suite of over 300 different template documents, including board minutes, resolutions, company letters, certificates and forms. Moreover, when you submit a filing using Inform Direct, our clever software knows the documents you may wish to produce to support your transaction and offers you these. Our documents are:

  • compliant with the Companies Act 2006;
  • pre-populated with the details of your transaction;
  • created as Word documents so it is easy to make changes if required;
  • automatically saved to your Document Library; and
  • professional in design - you can even add your company or client's logo.

The documents are available on completion of a transaction, in which case they will be pre-populated with the details you entered during the process, or in the Template Library, where they are available as standalone templates for you to complete yourself.

Subscription users can produce as many documents as they like free of charge, whilst PAYG users can purchases individual documents for a charge of £5 each.

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How does Inform Direct make changing my company name really simple?

Our intelligent software will largely complete the process of changing your company name for you. The starting point is to see whether your proposed new company name is available. The Inform Direct name checker will allow you to do this in real time by communicating directly with Companies House. Once you have established that your new company name is both available and complies with current naming rules – the final step is simply to indicate how the change will be authorised.

This last point is easier than it sounds. You simply tick a box to confirm whether the change of name is either being authorised by the passing of a special resolution or by a provision in your articles of association. If, like most, you are approving the change by passing a special resolution, you will simply need to confirm that you have held a shareholder meeting or sent the written resolution to all shareholders and give the date the resolution was approved. One point to note is that if you require shareholder approval of the name change you should obtain this before completing your application with Inform Direct. We provide a free template special resolution on change of name for you to complete and use at a shareholder meeting. We also provide a free template written special resolution for change of name which you can complete and circulate to all members eligible to vote.

Lastly, before your change of name request is electronically submitted to Companies House you will have the opportunity to check the details you have entered. Once sent, you will receive immediate confirmation of safe delivery to Companies House and as soon as your application has been approved, Inform Direct will email your new Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name. We will also automatically update your company records within Inform Direct, including your complete suite of electronic statutory registers.

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Can I use Inform Direct to apply to strike off a company?

Yes. Inform Direct makes the process of creating the populated Companies House forms very quick and simple.

First you must check that your company is eligible to apply to be struck off the register. Details can be found in the 2006 Companies Act sections 1003 to 1005. Among other requirements the company must have been inactive for 3 months and not be going through any insolvency proceedings.

If your company is eligible, and a majority of the directors agree to dissolve the company, then by following the process in Inform Direct a completed DS01 (or a LL DS01 for LLPs) will be created, you just need to get it signed and then sent to Companies House with a cheque for £10 (with the company number recorded on the back).

If your company is not eligible it is either possible to wait until you are eligible, or wind up the company through such proceedings as voluntary liquidation.

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Can I use Inform Direct to manage company mortgages and charges?

Yes. Inform Direct makes it really quick and simple to register new mortgages and charges with Companies House. Our intuitive software also allows you to easily update Companies House when a mortgage or charge has been satisfied or released.

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What types of mortgage transaction can I process using Inform Direct?

Using Inform Direct you can process the following mortgage transactions:

  • Register a new charge created by the company (Form MR01 and Form LLMR01).
  • Register an existing charge attached to property acquired by the company (Form MR02 and Form LLMR02).
  • Satisfaction in full or in part of the mortgage or charge (Form MR04 and Form LLMR04).
  • Release in full or in part of the mortgage or charge (Form MR05 and Form LLMR05).
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How does Inform Direct make it simple to register a mortgage?

We have designed an effective process which enables you to quickly and confidently register a mortgage or charge with Companies House. Features designed to help you include:

Simple 4 step process

Straightforward questions supported by comprehensive help texts help you to easily provide all the details required for your mortgage registration application. We also provide proforma wording for the statement of certification of deed, whilst allowing you the flexibility to use your own wording if this is required. Once you have entered all your details, you can to choose to download and print a summary of your mortgage registration application, for presentation to your client, or for your own records, before submitting the application electronically to Companies House.

Avoid errors and ensure your mortgage registration application is accepted first time

Our clever software has been designed to ensure that you avoid the most common errors and omissions, such as:

  • failure to attach a supporting certified deed document;
  • submission of the registration application after the Companies House deadline has expired;
  • omission of the statement of certification of the deed;
  • omission of the details of the person or company authenticating the certification statement.

If you complete your mortgage registration application using Inform Direct then you will benefit from the checks we have built into the software that prevent the above errors.

Electronic submission

At the end of the process you will be able to submit your mortgage registration application electronically. You will be informed by email as soon as Companies House has accepted your application, and your charge registration certificate will be both attached to the email and automatically saved to your Document Library.

Documents are automatically saved to your Document Library

Inform Direct will automatically save all the documents connected to your mortgage registration application to your Document Library. These include:

  • certified deed document you upload to support your mortgage registration;
  • a printable summary of all the details of your mortgage registration application;
  • any prepopulated template minutes and resolutions you select; and
  • the mortgage registration certificate you will receive from Companies House.

All the documents will be tagged so that it is easy to retrieve them for future reference.

Automatic update of statutory registers

Once your registration application has been accepted by Companies House, Inform Direct automatically updates your ‘Register of mortgages and charges’.

Produce a professional board minute or resolution to document the transaction

Inform Direct provides you with a template board minute and resolution, populated with the details of your mortgage registration application, and which can be professionally branded with a company or client logo. Both documents are compliant with the Companies Act 2006 and will be automatically tagged and saved to your personal Document Library.

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How does Inform Direct help me to manage mortgages and charges?

Our software has been specially designed with the following features to help you quickly and confidently register new charges or update existing charges:

Comprehensive range of mortgage transactions supported

Inform Direct allows you to register a new mortgage, or an existing charge newly acquired, with Companies House, and to inform Companies House of updates, including full or partial satisfaction, and full or partial release of a mortgage or charge.

Automatic update of statutory registers

Once your registration application, or your statement of satisfaction or release, has been accepted by Companies House, Inform Direct automatically updates your ‘Register of mortgages and charges’ to reflect the successful transaction.

Professional board minutes and resolutions

To support each of our mortgage transactions, Inform Direct provides a template board minute and resolution prepopulated with the details of your transaction. They can be professionally branded with a company or client logo and are compliant with the Companies Act 2006. Once created, the documents are automatically saved to your Document Library, so they are quick to retrieve, view and print.

Documents automatically saved to your Document Library

Inform Direct will automatically save all the documents connected to your mortgage transaction to your Document Library. These include:

  • certified deed document you upload to support your mortgage registration;
  • a printable summary of all the details of your mortgage transaction;
  • any prepopulated template minutes and resolutions you select; and
  • any mortgage registration certificate received from Companies House.

The documents are automatically tagged so they are quick to retrieve, view and print.

Support at every step

Our processes have been designed to ask you simple questions that make it easy for you to provide all the necessary details to complete your mortgage transaction. Whenever you are asked to provide details, a help text will explain to you in straightforward language, exactly what information you should enter. Checks ensure that the data you provide is both complete and in the correct format, providing you with confidence that Companies House will accept your mortgage filing first time.

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Can I download a copy of the details of my mortgage transaction?

Yes. You can download a PDF document of all the information to be included in your mortgage registration application or your statement of mortgage satisfaction or release. A copy is also automatically saved to your Document Library, from where it is easy to maintain it for your own records, to print, or to send a copy to your client.

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Can I update my ‘Register of mortgages and charges’ for historic mortgages?

Yes. Whilst Inform Direct will automatically update your 'Register of mortgages and charges' for all details held on the public record, Companies House do not return details of charges created and satisfied or released before 1st January 1987. However, our flexible software enables you to manually add these historic details, ensuring that your 'Register of mortgages and charges' is a complete record.

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Will Inform Direct charge me to process a mortgage transaction?

No. The ability to file a mortgage transaction is available to Subscription accounts that are using their own presenter code for no additional charge. However, Companies House charge a fee of £15 to software file a mortgage registration application. This will be settled directly from your presenter account.

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Can I generate reports of the information held in Inform Direct

If you are a subscriber to Inform Direct you can generate 25 reports (as .xls Excel spreadsheets) across your clients covering the following:

  • Companies House filing dates
  • company details and registered office addresses
  • officers and PSCs
  • addresses
  • shareholders and their shareholdings
  • share transactions and dividends paid
  • mortgages and charges
  • your users
  • invoices raised by Inform Direct
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What formation documents will Inform Direct provide me with?

Once your company has been formed, we'll immediately email your company formation documents, including:

  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Memorandum of association
  • Articles of association
  • First board meeting minute

These documents are also automatically saved in your Document Library.

Some of our formation packages also include printed copies of your formation documents, or if not, you can choose to receive printed copies for an additional charge.

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Can I store my company documents in Inform Direct?

Yes. Inform Direct offers each account a sophisticated and secure online document storage area – that we call your Document Library. It is easy to upload and store all your company’s documents in your Document Library, and if you tag your files, using either the tag lists we have created for you or your own bespoke tags, it will be simplicity itself to retrieve any document.

For subscribers, all of the features of the Document Library are available free of charge, and the total data storage allowance available is calculated by applying an allocation of 250MB for each company included in your Inform Direct account.

PAYG users also have free access to the Document Library, but to a more narrow offering. Documents that have been generated using Inform Direct will be automatically stored in your Document Library, and you can tag and manage these files as you require.

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How will the Document Library help me to manage all my documents?

Our feature rich online document storage area will allow you to easily manage all your company's vital documents.

Upload documents quickly

There are 3 ways to upload company documents:

  1. Upload a single file
  2. Drag and drop one or many files
  3. Automatic upload of documents you create in Inform Direct

If you have many documents to add to your Document Library, you can do this quickly by dragging and dropping multiple files simultaneously.

Organise your document storage effectively

We have created a flexible system of document tagging that allows you to find any of your documents quickly. You can choose to tag a document to indicate its type, what it’s about and/or link it to the company it relates to. Choose tags from the lists we have provided for you, or create your own bespoke tags. You can also tag multiple documents simultaneously, helping you save time if you have uploaded lots of files.

The ability to search by company, document type, tag or filename means it is always quick and easy to find a document, no matter how many files you have stored in your library.

Control access to your documents

If multiple people have access to your Inform Direct account, you can control the access different user roles have to the Document Library. Tailor who can see which files for which companies and set the permissions (add files, edit them or remove documents) each user role has. If you have particularly sensitive files stored in your library, you can further restrict access to these.

Store your documents securely

All your data is safely stored and backed up in the cloud in our database held in our high security data centre. This means that important company documents are not held on your PC, laptop or office server – all of which are vulnerable to data loss or theft. Your data is regularly backed up and all data backups are held in the UK.

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Can I control access to my Document Library?

If you have a Subscription Account you will be able to add multiple users to your account with Inform Direct and control the level of access each user has to your companies, to transactions and to the files contained in your Document Library. You can select to give a user role full access to the Document Library (with the ability to add, manage, view and remove files), more restricted access (perhaps some user roles can add and view files but not remove them), view only access or restrict the access of other users entirely. Further flexibility allows you to ensure that users only see files in their Document Library relating to companies to which you have given them specific access. If you have given a client access to your Inform Direct account you can ensure that they only see files relating to their company in the Document Library.

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Do you provide template minutes and resolutions pre-populated with my details?

Yes. Inform Direct provides a suite of over 300 different template documents, including board minutes, resolutions, company letters, certificates and forms. Moreover, when you submit a filing using Inform Direct, our clever software knows the documents you may wish to produce to support your transaction and offers you these. Our documents are:

  • compliant with the Companies Act 2006;
  • pre-populated with the details of your transaction;
  • created as Word documents so it is easy to make changes if required;
  • automatically saved to your Document Library; and
  • professional in design - you can even add your company or client's logo.

The documents are available on completion of a transaction, in which case they will be pre-populated with the details you entered during the process, or in the Template Library, where they are available as standalone templates for you to complete yourself.

Subscription users can produce as many documents as they like free of charge, whilst PAYG users can purchase individual documents for a charge of £5 each.

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Does Inform Direct enable me to create professional documents branded with a client logo?

Yes. Inform Direct provides you with over 300 different document templates, covering a full range of company secretarial transactions, many of which can be branded with a company or client logo. When you complete a transaction using Inform Direct, our intelligent software suggests documents that may be required to support the transaction. Simply choose the templates you want, and the system will automatically produce editable Word documents, pre-populated with the details you have already entered. The documents are compliant with the Companies Act 2006 and have been carefully designed to look stylish and professional, and every document that you produce in Inform Direct is automatically tagged and saved to your personal Document Library.

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What template documents do you offer?

Inform Direct provides a suite of over 300 different company secretarial related documents. The documents are produced in an editable Word format and are compliant with the Companies Act 2006. They have been carefully designed to look professional and you can choose to brand them with a company logo. The full range includes board minutes to record changes to company or officer/PSC details; board resolutions to authorise a Companies House filing; share certificates; dividend vouchers; stock transfer forms; company letters; shareholder resolutions and a suite of company registers. You can find a full list of the template documents we offer on our website here.

When you have completed a transaction using Inform Direct, our clever software will offer you the correct templates, pre-populated with the details you entered and it will automatically save the created documents to your Document Library. However, in your Template Library you will also find that the templates are available as standalone documents, ready for you to complete with the details of a transaction.

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How does Inform Direct make updating shareholder records really simple?

Our software has been specially designed with the following features to help you quickly and confidently process even the most complicated share transactions:

Full suite of share transactions and scenarios supported

Inform Direct allows you to process a full range of share transactions, from straightforward share transfers and allotments to complex  share reorganisations. Our software can also support multiple share classes, share issues at different prices in each class, joint shareholdings, corporate shareholders and designations.

Professional share certificates and dividend vouchers

Inform Direct allows you to easily create stylish share certificates and dividend vouchers, and you can even brand these with a company logo if required. Once created the documents are automatically saved to your Document Library, so they are quick to retrieve, view and print.

Automatic population of your confirmation statement

Our intelligent software retains the details of all the changes you make to shares and shareholders during the year and automatically populates your next confirmation statement with them, saving you the bother of having to remember and re-enter the details.

Save time, make changes only once

Inform Direct has been cleverly designed to link together all the shareholdings and appointments a person has. Whether a person has multiple shareholdings and holds shares in more than one class, or is a director of the company as well as a shareholder, you'll only need to make a change in one place and the system will automatically make the update for all other appointments and/or shareholdings for you.

Automatic update of statutory registers

When you issue shares or transfer shares between shareholders Inform Direct automatically updates your company statutory registers.

Comprehensive support at every step

Our processes have been specially designed to ask you simple questions that make it easy for you to provide all the necessary details to support any change you are making. Whenever you are prompted for details, a help text will explain to you in straightforward terms exactly what information you should enter.

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What types of share transaction can I process using Inform Direct?

Using Inform Direct you can process the following types of share reorganisation:

  • Share transfers
  • Share allotments
  • Share conversions
  • Share name changes
  • Changes to prescribed particulars
  • Share splits
  • Share consolidations
  • Share redemptions
  • Purchase of own shares
  • Share capital reductions
  • Share cancellations

 

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Can I choose any name for my company?

There are a number of rules that cover company names including the characters that can be included, words or phrases that can only be used in certain circumstances or with certain supporting evidence, words or phrases that cannot be used, names that are too similar to an existing company and names that can only be used with supporting evidence from a company with a similar name.

The main rules are covered by The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business Names (Sensitive Words and Expressions) Regulations 2014 and The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015. Certain specific words or phrases are covered by other legislation which prevents or restricts their use in company names.

Inform Direct’s incorporation process will help you choose a name that should be acceptable.

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How does Inform Direct make company formation really easy?

Simple 5 step process

The Inform Direct company formation process is highly automated and has been designed as a series of very simple steps. There is clear guidance at each step so you will always understand what details you need to provide. You will find that the information required for your new company can be entered very quickly and you will not be asked to re-enter the same information again and again. So if someone is going to be a director, a secretary, a shareholder and a PSC you will only have to enter their details once. Similarly if the same address is being used for the registered office and the service address you will only need to provide it once.

Customise your formation package

It is very easy to tailor your formation package to include all the elements that you want, but without paying for items that you don't need.

Immediate confirmation of your application

At the end of the process you will be able to review and check all the details you have entered are correct before submitting your company registration application electronically. You will receive immediate confirmation that your application has been safely delivered to Companies House.

Incorporation documents

As soon as your company has been successfully registered we will alert you by email as well as sending you all your incorporation documents.

Access to Inform Direct

Once your company has been registered by Companies House you will also have FREE access to our company secretarial software. This will enable you to print any share or member certificates that have been automatically produced for you during the incorporation process. Similarly, your company statutory registers will have been completed for you and these will also be available to view and print.

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Is Inform Direct authorised by Companies House?

Yes, Inform Direct is a Companies House authorised service. This authorisation enables Inform Direct to electronically exchange data direct with Companies House.

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How quickly can I register a company?

This is dependent upon the volume of applications received by Companies House at any one time. However, although we cannot guarantee that your company will be registered within one day, company formation applications are usually accepted within one business day of submission.

If you submit your application to form a company before 2:30 pm on a UK business day, you can request that Companies House process the application on the same day. Companies House will charge an additional fee for this service.

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What type of company can I form using Inform Direct?

You can form any of the following:

  • a private company limited by shares
  • a private company limited by guarantee
  • a limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • an unlisted public limited company (PLC)

with a registered office address in England and Wales, Wales only, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

You can, for all company types other than LLPs, choose to adopt model articles of association or upload your own bespoke articles. In addition for private companies limited by shares you can choose to use Inform Direct’s enhanced model articles.

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Can I form a company with more than one share class using Inform Direct?

With Inform Direct you can form your company limited by shares with one or more share classes, and issue subscriber shares that are fully paid, fully unpaid or partly paid. Inform Direct supports various currencies, including British pounds, euros and US dollars.  If a currency you want is not available you can ask us to add it.

For unlisted public limited companies the subscriber shares must have any share premium fully paid and have at least 25% of the nominal value paid.

For private companies limited by guarantee only one membership class is allowed for subscribers.

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Why do I have a choice of company name endings?

When you form a company you must include a specific ending depending on the type of company that helps ensure that the public know what type of company they are dealing with.

For private companies, whether limited by shares or by guarantee, the name must end in “LIMITED” or “LTD”.  In law “LIMITED” and “LTD” carry the same meaning, so the decision is usually no more important than deciding how you would like your company name displayed on Companies House documents.  Once your company has been registered it is common practise to use “LIMITED” or “LTD” interchangeably (on your business correspondence and website for example).  Courts have not always been consistent in rulings regarding use of the abbreviated term “LTD” by companies incorporated with the ending “LIMITED”, although in practise this is unlikely to cause a problem.

For limited liability partnerships the name must end if either “LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIP” or “LLP”.

For public companies the name must end in either “PLC” or “PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY”.

Whilst the terms are equivalent once your company has been registered, you must choose between them to start the company formation process.  You can select either term by using the dropdown box attached to our name check field.  We ensure the company name ending you have selected is applied consistently as Companies House will reject your application if it is not clear which version should be included on the Certificate of Incorporation.

For companies having their registered office situated in Wales only can use the Welsh equivalent name endings or approved abbreviations.

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Do all private limited companies need to include the limited ending?

There are a few limited times when a private company limited by guarantee does not need to include the company ending.  These are:

  • The aims (objects) of the company must be the promotion or regulation of commerce, art, science, education, religion, charity or any profession.
  • The articles of association must:
    • require that any profits or other income are to be applied to the promotion of the company’s objects.
    • ban the payment of dividends or any return of capital to members.
    • require each member to pay the guarantee to the company if it is wound up during the time that a member or within 1 year of ceasing to be a member.
    • require that on the company being wound up all of the company’s assets will be transferred to another body with similar aims.
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How will Inform Direct deliver my formation documents?

As soon as your company has been registered by Companies House we will deliver all your documents of incorporation via email. You will also have free access to our company records management software which will enable you to print branded share certificates for these first shareholders. The certificates will have been automatically generated for you. You will also be able to view or print your company statutory registers.

All of your formation documents are automatically saved in your Document Library, ready for you to view or print as you wish at a future date.

Some of our formation packages include the provision of printed formation documents, or you can choose to add this option, or select additional printed copies for an extra charge.

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What Articles of association do Inform Direct provide?

For private companies limited by shares, private companies limited by guarantee and unlisted PLCs, Inform Direct provides the model articles as part of the process.

In addition for private companies limited by shares Inform Direct provides three bespoke articles of association depending on the number of share classes to be issued (one, two or three).

These are all based on the model articles but with enhancements which provide the following additional features:

  • The ability to allot nil paid, partly paid or fully paid shares.
  • The possibility of multiple share classes.
  • The ability to include pre-emption rights on the allotment of new shares.
  • The ability to include pre-emption rights on the transfer of shares.
  • To give directors the power to appoint alternate directors.
  • The ability to issue notices and hold meetings by electronic means.
  • To give directors power to refuse to register any proposed transfer of shares.

The provision of bespoke articles of association is subject to a charge in addition to the package fee.

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Does Inform Direct provide a template first board meeting minute

Once your company has been successfully formed, a meeting of the board of directors will normally be required. At this meeting a number of important decisions regarding the administration and operation of the newly formed company will be made. A minute should be produced to document the decisions reached at this meeting and any actions arising.

As part of your formation package, Inform Direct will provide you with a template first board meeting minute. This fully editable Word document is pre-populated with all available details and includes important first board resolutions.

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Will I have to sign documents in the presence of solicitors if I form a company?

No, your application to set up a company is completed entirely online. Companies House will require confirmation that each officer (directors and secretaries for companies and members for limited liability partnerships (LLPs)) has consented to act and that each PSC has confirmed that they are a PSC and that the information about them is correct.

Companies House will also require an electronic signature for each shareholder of companies limited by shares, each member for companies limited by guarantee or one of the designated members for LLPs.  This consists of answers to three security questions (refer to our guide entitled Your company formation checklist for further details) - but the individual to which the electronic signature relates does not have to be present for our online process to be completed.

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What happens once my company has been registered?

Inform Direct will email you as soon as your company has been registered by Companies House. The email will include all your documents of incorporation (your certificate of incorporation, Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association and first board meeting minute). It will also include details of how to access our company records management software. Access to this software is free and will enable you to update your company details in future, to generate share certificates and to submit your confirmation statement (which replaces the annual return) using our easy online process.

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Do I need to issue share certificates to the initial shareholders?

You should issue share certificates to the initial shareholders (often called subscribers) once the company has been formed.  Inform Direct will generate these for you.

For companies limited by guarantee these will be membership certificates.

Our basic certificates are free but you can opt for different template certificates for a one off payment if you want.  You can also opt to have the initial certificates printed if you opt for printed documents.

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What is a limited liability partnership (LLP)?

A limited liability partnership (or LLP) is a legal structure for business that is a blend of a limited company and a partnership.  LLPs are partnerships for tax purposes but unlike normal partnerships the liability of the members of the LLP is limited to the capital introduced.

Limited liability partnerships were introduced on 6 April 2001 by the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000.

More information on what is a limited liability partnership is detailed in our What is a company limited liability partnership? article.

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What do I need to form a limited liability partnership?

In order to incorporate a LLP or limited liability partnership you will need:

  • A UK registered office address.
  • At least two designated members.
  • Details of any persons with significant control or relevant legal entities.

Our guide entitled Your company formation checklist details all the information you will need to have available in order to be able to complete your company incorporation request.

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Do LLPs have directors?

No. LLPs do not have directors or secretaries, instead they have designated members. It is the designated members that make the decisions for the LLP.  Not all LLP members are necessarily designated members but a LLP must have at least two designated members.

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What company formation packages do you offer?

For each of the four different company types that Inform Direct supports, five different formation packages are available. Each package provides all you need to get your new company started, but our wide range of packages enables us to accommodate all your formation requirements. You can find full details of all the packages we offer, together with a clear comparison of features included, here.

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What optional extras do you offer to support your formation packages?

Inform Direct offers an extensive list of extras and features. Dependent upon the package selected, some of these features may be available at no additional charge, while others are available as optional extras for a further fee, when you customise a package to precisely meet your requirements.  You can find full details of all the extras and additional features that we offer, together with the details any additional fees that may apply here.

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Do you discount optional extras added to a formation package?

Yes. Where extras and additional features are included as part of a package, these are charged at a lower price than you would incur if you added them all separately to the basic package.

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What fees do you charge for company formations?

The fees we charge depend on your requirements ranging from £19.99 plus VAT for a basic electronic incorporation to £229.99 for an incorporation including printing documents, using our partner’s trading address for a year and much more. You can find full details of all the packages we offer, together with a clear comparison of features included, here. Subscription users benefit from a £10 reduction in the fee charged for each formation. This discount is applicable for all formation packages.

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Do you refund if I change my mind after submitting a formation request?

Unfortunately we are unable to make a refund once an application has been submitted to Companies House. Your application to register a company will be submitted as soon as your payment completes and we must also settle the Companies House fee directly the moment your application is submitted.

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Will all companies have PSCs or RLEs?

No, not all companies will have PSCs or RLEs.  This can occur where there are four or more shareholders, where shareholdings are equal, and there are no arrangements between the shareholders to exercise their rights together.

It is worth noting that even if your company will not have any PSCs or RLEs, you will still need to maintain a PSC register. On this register you should include the following statement:

“The company knows or has reasonable cause to believe that there is no registrable person or registrable relevant legal entity in relation to the company."

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Why do I need to include PSCs and RLEs?

All companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs), other than some exceptions, are from 6 April 2016 required by the Companies Act 2006 to identify if they have any persons with significant control (PSCs) or relevant legal entities (RLEs). This also applies to companies being formed.  If any PSCs or RLEs are identified then the company/LLP needs confirmation from the individual PSCs that the details are correct.

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Who are persons with significant control (PSCs)?

PSCs can be:

  • Individuals
  • Governments or government departments (local or national);
  • International organisations whose members include two or more countries, territories or their governments; or
  • Corporations sole (legal entities consisting of a single incorporated office occupied by a single person)

Any of the above will be a PSC where that person meets one or more of the following:

  • holds, directly or indirectly, more than 25% of the shares;
  • holds, directly or indirectly, more than 25% of the voting rights;
  • has the right, directly or indirectly, to appoint or remove the majority of the directors;
  • has the right to exercise, or actually exercises, significant influence or control over the company;
  • has the right to exercise, or actually exercises, significant influence or control over the activities of a trust or firm which is not a legal entity and which meets any of the above conditions.
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What information do I need for individual PSCs?

You will need the following information for each individual PSC:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Country of residence
  • Usual residential address, which must be in the same country as the PSC’s country of residence
  • Service address, this the address that appears on the public register for the director and to which formal address for the PSC is to be sent. This will often be the company’s registered office address but can be the PSC’s residential address or any other address
  • Conformation from the individual that a PSC
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What are relevant legal entities (RLEs)?

A company or similar legal entity is relevant (it is an RLE), and must be recorded in your company’s PSC register if it meets each of the following conditions:

Condition A: It meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • It holds more than 25% of the company’s shares.
  • It holds more than 25% of the company’s voting rights.
  • It has the power to appoint or remove a majority of the company’s board.
  • It has the right to exercise or actually exercises significant influence or control over the company.
  • It has the right to exercise or actually exercises significant influence or control over a trust or a firm that is not a legal entity which itself satisfies any of the first four conditions.

Condition B: It meets one of the following criteria:

  • It is required to keep its own PSC register;
  • It is subject to Chapter 5 of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Disclosure and Transparency Rules (DTRs); or
  • It has voting shares admitted to trading on a regulated market in the UK or another EEA state or on specified markets in Switzerland, the USA, Japan and Israel.

Condition C: It is the first relevant legal entity in the company’s ownership chain that satisfies both conditions A and B.

This is a complicated area, and we have written a comprehensive guide, including worked examples, which you may wish to refer to.

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What type of company can I form using Inform Direct?

You can form:

  • a private company limited by shares (the most common type of company);
  • a private company limited by guarantee;
  • a limited liability partnership (LLP); or
  • an unlisted public limited company (PLC)

with a registered office address in England and Wales, Wales only, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

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What is a private company limited by shares?

A private company limited by shares has a corporate personality and hence can trade and enter into transactions in its own right.  The shareholders are the owners but their liability is limited to any amount unpaid on the shares they own.

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What do I need to form a private company limited by shares?

In order to incorporate a private company limited by shares you will need:

  • A UK registered office address.
  • At least one director, an individual who is at least 16 years old.
  • At least one shareholder, who can also be the director.
  • Appropriate articles of association.
  • You do not have to appoint a company secretary but you may do so if you wish.
  • Details of any persons with significant control or relevant legal entities.

Our guide entitled Your company formation checklist details all the information you will need to have available in order to be able to complete your company incorporation request.

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What information do I need for directors?

You will need the following information for each individual director:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Business occupation
  • Country of residence
  • Usual residential address, which must be in the same country as the director’s country of residence
  • Service address, this the address that appears on the public register for the director and to which formal address for the director is to be sent. This will often be the company’s registered office address but can be the director’s residential address or any other address
  • Consent from the individual that they are willing to act as a director of the company

You will need the following information for each corporate director:

  • Full name
  • Registered number (if the corporate has one)
  • Registered office address for the corporate, or if no registered office, the corporate’s principal place of business
  • Country where the corporate director is registered
  • If the company is a company registered in the European Economic Area (this is the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
  • If not an EEA company the legal form of the corporate and the law that it is governed by
  • Name of individual authorised to act for the corporate director
  • Consent from the authorised individual that the corporate person is willing to act as a director of the company
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What are subscribers to the company?

The first shareholders or members of a company are often called subscribers.  Subscribers are the members that have decided to form the company and are named in the memorandum of association. This means that the name of the subscribers remain on the public register for ever.

Once a company has been formed subscribers are called shareholders or members as are any new people that own shares.  They may also be persons with significant control (PSCs).

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What are the benefits of using Inform Direct’s company secretarial software?

Using Inform Direct’s software it is easy to update your company secretarial records for changes to your company; perhaps a new director appointment, change to existing officer details or a move of registered office address. Our software will ask you to confirm the update before submitting it electronically to Companies House if this is required. You can also use it to manage shareholder records, make share allotments and transfers, print out share certificates for each of your subscribers, or create additional share classes.

When the time comes to file your first Companies House confirmation statement, our system will automatically populate the return with the required company details. If you have kept your company information up to date, all you need do is review the details and confirm to electronically submit your confirmation statement.

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What if my application to form a company is rejected by Companies House?

If this happens Companies House will provide the reason. It could be that one or more of the directors was disqualified from holding office or that the company name contained a word or phrase that is not acceptable to Companies House or one or more of the directors were not entitled to claim the exemption to keep their residential address private. In such cases the fees paid to Inform Direct and Companies House are still payable and there will be no refund.

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What is a private company limited by guarantee?

A private company limited by guarantee is a company just like a private company limited by shares.  The main difference is that the members of such companies give a guarantee to pay a set amount to the company should the company be wound up rather than the members subscribing for shares.  This guarantee is usually £1 per member.

Private companies limited by guarantee are often used by non-profit organisations, clubs, co-operatives, social enterprises, community projects, membership organisations and charities. As such, guarantee companies typically retain any surplus income for reinvestment or use it to promote the non-profit objectives of the business rather than distribute profits to members.

More information on what is a private company limited by guarantee is detailed in our What is a company limited by guarantee? article.

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What do I need to form a private company limited by guarantee?

In order to incorporate a private company limited by guarantee you will need:

  • A UK registered office address.
  • At least one director, an individual who is at least 16 years old.
  • At least one member, who can also be the director.
  • Appropriate articles of association.
  • You do not have to appoint a company secretary but you may do so if you wish.
  • Details of any persons with significant control or relevant legal entities.

Our guide entitled Your company formation checklist details all the information you will need to have available in order to be able to complete your company incorporation request.

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What is a public limited company?

A public limited company or PLC is a company whose shares can be transferred to a third party without the approval of the directors or other shareholders.  Such companies will often have their shares listed on a stock market such as the London Stock Exchange.  This is not necessary and there are a lot of unlisted PLCs in existence.

Unlisted PLCs have access to the public to raise funds without all of the costs and other requirements of being listed on a stock exchange. Unlisted PLCs still need to take care when raising funds by issuing new shares as this is, in effect, promoting investments. This is covered by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and the regulatory requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority.

A downside to being an unlisted PLC is that there is then no ready market for the shares should a shareholder want to sell some shares.

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What do I need to form an unlisted public limited company?

In order to incorporate an unlisted public limited company you will need:

  • A UK registered office address.
  • At least two directors, one of which must be an individual who is at least 16 years old.
  • At least one shareholder, who can also be a director.
  • Appropriate articles of association.
  • A company secretary with the appropriate qualifications.
  • Details of any persons with significant control or relevant legal entities.

Our guide entitled Your company formation checklist details all the information you will need to have available in order to be able to complete your company incorporation request.

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What formal documents do I need to form a company?

To form a company, other than a limited liability partnership (LLP) you will need the following:

  • Memorandum of association appropriate to the type of company being formed
  • Articles of association appropriate to the type of company being formed

Inform Direct will generate the necessary memorandum of association during the incorporation process.  You will also be able to either select a set of articles of association or upload your own.

To form a LLP you do not need any specific documents but it is preferable that there is a LLP agreement in place to set out the terms of the partnership.

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What information do I need for RLEs and corporate PSCs?

You will need the following information for each RLE:

  • Full name
  • Registered number (if the RLE/PSC has one)
  • Registered office address for the RLE, or if no registered office, the RLE’s/PSC’s principal place of business
  • Country where the corporate director is registered
  • If the RLE/PSC is a company registered in the European Economic Area (this is the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)
  • The legal form of the RLE /PSC
  • The law that the RLE/PSC is governed by
  • The register that the RLE/PSC included on (eg for UK company or LLP ‘Register of companies)
  • Name of individual authorised to act for the RLE/PSC
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What is a confirmation statement?

A confirmation statement (which replaced the annual return from 30 June 2016) is a form which must be submitted to Companies House at least once every 12 months. Also known as form CS01, Companies House require a confirmation statement to be completed as this informs the Registrar and the public that the company is carrying on in business and it confirms that all information about the company on the public record is correct and complete as at the confirmation date.

If, when it comes to file the confirmation statement there are changes to the company’s details, officers, people with significant control, share capital or shareholders, these must be reported alongside the confirmation statement.

Failure to file your company confirmation statement within 14 days of the confirmation date is a criminal offence. Companies House may prosecute the company and its officers. Directors could face personal fines of up to £5,000 and may also be disqualified from acting as a director in the future. Companies House may also take steps to dissolve the company and strike it from the register.

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What is the difference between designated and non-designated members?

Alongside the rights, duties and responsibilities, set out by company legislation and the LLP partnership agreement, that apply to all members, designated members are assigned additional regulatory responsibilities. These duties are comparable to those that would be undertaken by a director or company secretary in a limited company, and designated members are similarly accountable in law if they fail to carry out these additional duties properly. Further responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining accounting records
  • Appointing an auditor
  • Preparing the annual accounts and confirmation statement and filing these with Companies House.
  • Maintaining statutory registers
  • Informing Companies House of any changes to the business – for example changes to member details or to the registered office address.
  • Acting on behalf of the LLP if it is dissolved.

In order to discharge these additional duties, designated members will usually be actively involved in the everyday operations of the LLP. In our article discussing who makes up the membership of an LLP, we discuss roles, rights and responsibilities in more depth.

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Who is a guarantor?

Guarantor is another name for a member of a company limited by guarantee.  The guarantor may also be a person of significant control depending on the person level of control over the company.

Members of companies limited by guarantee are called guarantors as they agree to pay a fixed amount to the company towards the company’s debts.

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Why is my company name shown in capitals?

When you type your chosen company name into the name check field you will notice that it is automatically capitalised.  This is a Companies House requirement and your company name will be presented in capital letters on all Companies House documents.  Once your company has been registered you may choose to present your company name with lower case text if you wish.

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Why am I being asked for supporting documentation to use a word in my chosen company name?

There are restrictions on the use of certain words or phrases – eg “ROYAL” or “BANK” – which to use you will need to get permission from a suitable body.  For “ROYAL” this will be the Cabinet Office (for English and Northern Irish incorporations), the Welsh Government (for Welsh incorporations) or the Scottish Government (for Scottish incorporations).  For “BANK” this will be the Financial Conduct Authority.

There are other words or phrases which can be used without supporting evidence but can only be used in specific circumstances – eg “ASSOCIATION” or “ARTISTIC TRUST”.  For “ASSOCIATION” the company should normally be limited by guarantee and the articles of association should include objects that reflect the specific purpose of the company, a one member one vote clause and a non-profit distribution clause, which provides that any profits should be used to further the objects of the company and not paid to the members as dividends.  For “ARTISTIC TRUST” the company should normally be limited by guarantee, include a non-profit distribution clause in the articles of association and the objects should normally include activities such as advancement and development of the arts, culture, heritage or science.

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Why am I being asked for supporting documentation from a company with a similar name?

If you choose a company name that is very similar to the name of an existing company, there is a risk that third parties may become confused about which company they are dealing with. To mitigate this risk, Companies House may ask for further evidence to support the formation of a company with a similar name. Even if the name chosen is acceptable to Companies House without supporting evidence, you may still at a later date be required to change the name if a company with a similar name complains.

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How do I pay?

We accept payment by credit or debit card.

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Can I use my own presenter code?

Yes. If you have upgraded to a Subscription account you can use your own presenter code. Using your own presenter code means that:

  • Companies House filing fees will be settled directly from your account; and
  • All filings will show you as the presenter.
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Am I committed to a long contract?

No. You can cancel your account at any time and no further fees will be payable.

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Is there an alternative to the Pay as You Go service?

Yes. We also offer a subscription service allowing you to pay a single monthly amount based on the number of companies you manage within Inform Direct. If you manage lots of companies, or need to process many transactions, our cost effective subscription service could offer you a significant saving. Take a look at our subscription pricing page for further details.

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What are the benefits of subscribing?

Rather than use Inform Direct on a Pay as You Go basis, so that every time you complete a chargeable transaction you receive a separate invoice, you may prefer a simple monthly subscription.

As well as offering the benefit of easier budgeting, if you manage lots of companies or need to process numerous transactions, a subscription could offer you a significant saving. You will not have to pay any Inform Direct transaction fees, meaning that you can complete all of the following free of any charge:

  • Dividend vouchers (usually £12 for a PAYG user)
  • Dormant company accounts (usually £24 for a PAYG user)
  • Share reorganisations - including splits, consolidations and redemptions (usually £48 for a PAYG user).
  • Template minutes and resolutions pre-populated with the details of your transaction (usually charged at £6 for each document for a PAYG user).
  • Create premium, branded share certificates (usually £6 for unlimited use of a single premium template for a PAYG user).

For the following transactions you simply reimburse Inform Direct the Companies House fee, or enter your Presenter Code to settle this directly with Companies House:

  • Forming a new company
  • Changing a company name
  • Submitting a confirmation statement (previously the annual return)

As well as these financial benefits, upgrading to our Subscription service gives you access to premium features not available to a Pay as You Go account. These include:

  • The ability to allow multiple users access to your account with Inform Direct.
  • The ability to use your own presenter code.
  • The ability to upload and email documents to your personal document library.

We are continually developing new functionality and subscription users have free use of new features as they are released.

Take a look at our subscription pricing page for further details of our subscription pricing.

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What is the cost of your subscription service?

The cost of our subscription service is very simply calculated and is based on the number of live companies you have imported into Inform Direct. The subscription pricing page contains further details of our subscription pricing. Enter the number of companies you would like to manage using Inform Direct into our simple calculator, to find the total cost per month of our subscription service.

Note: your subscription fee will be recalculated monthly and will vary to reflect the number of live companies in your Portfolio. The advantage of this is that you only pay for companies that you are actually operating in Inform Direct.

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How do I upgrade to your subscription service?

It is easy to upgrade your existing account to a subscription service. Once you have logged in, simply click on the grey button at the top of the screen marked “Account”. This will display your account details. From the blue buttons on the right hand side of this screen, select “Upgrade to subscription”.

The next screen displays clearly how much your monthly subscription fee will be. It shows you how the charge has been calculated (based on the number of live companies that you have imported into Inform Direct) and tells you on what date each month, payment for the subscription service will be taken. If you are happy with all these details, simply click on the green “Next” button at the bottom of the screen. This will take you to a payment screen. It is on this screen that you agree to start a subscription service. If you have already paid a fee to Inform Direct (for a confirmation statement for example), you will be able to settle any subscription fees using the card details you have already registered with us. You can also use a new card if preferred.

Once the upgrade has been completed successfully, you will also be offered the chance to enter your Presenter Code, should you have your own credit account with Companies House and wish to use this to settle any filing fees due.

Note: your subscription fee will be recalculated monthly and will vary to reflect the number of live companies in your Portfolio.

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Can I produce share certificates using Inform Direct?

Yes. Our software allows you to produce professional share certificates, branded with your company or client logo. Once created, share certificates are automatically saved to your Document Library, from where they can be easily retrieved, viewed and printed at any date in the future.

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How does Inform Direct make paying a dividend really simple?

We have designed a concise step by step flow that asks you to provide a few simple details and automatically completes all the tax calculations for you. At the end of the process our system automatically produces professionally branded dividend vouchers and offers you a template board minute recording the details of the dividend. Our system can even support full or partial dividend waivers. What's more, when using Inform Direct to process your dividends all the details of the transaction, including the tax calculations, are saved, providing a full history of dividends paid per shareholder. Dividend vouchers are automatically saved to your Document Library, from where they can be easily retrieved, viewed and printed at any time in the future.

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Will Inform Direct charge me to process a share transaction?

If you are a subscriber then all our features are covered by your monthly fee, including:

  • all share transactions, right up to most complex share reorganisations
  • production of professional branded share certificates and dividend vouchers
  • production of supporting board minutes and shareholder resolutions
  • automatic update of your company registers

If you are a PAYG user then there is no charge to allot new or transfer existing shares and you can create branded share certificates for free. A charge will apply when you create dividend vouchers, produce any board minutes or resolutions and for each share reorganisation processed for a share class. You will find full details of our charges on our pricing page.

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What do Inform Direct charge for dividend vouchers?

The production of dividend vouchers is included in the monthly fee paid by subscribers.

For other users we charge a fee of £10 plus VAT to generate the dividend vouchers for each dividend declared on a share class.  Therefore, if your company has one share class with 100 shareholders you pay one fee for each dividend declared (covering the generation of 100 dividend vouchers). However, if your company has ten share classes with one shareholder in each class and declares a dividend for each share class you pay ten fees to generate the ten dividend vouchers.

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When will Companies House update their records for a share transfer?

There is no need to inform Companies House of a share transfer at the time it takes place. Instead, details of any share transfers should be included in the company’s next confirmation statement (formerly the annual return), and it is not until this has been processed that the public record will be updated to reflect the new shareholder position.

However, if you wish the public record to reflect a share transfer without delay, this is easily achieved by filing your confirmation statement early. It is quite common for companies to file their confirmation statement early following a stock transfer and doing so can give both parties to the transfer (the seller and purchaser) comfort that the transaction has been “officially” recognised in the public records. This remains a decision for the company however, and there is no requirement to do this.

Using Inform Direct, you can complete share transfers with minimal time and effort. Our simple share transfer wizard ensures you provide the information you need to, in the format required. At the end of the process you have the option to produce share certificates, branded with your logo and prepopulated with all the transfer details. In addition the register of members and register of transfers are automatically updated to reflect the change in shareholders and when the time comes to file your confirmation statement you will find all the details of your share transfer are automatically included so you won’t need to enter these again.

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What are dividends?

A dividend is a payment made by a company to its shareholders.  It is usually paid in cash but may sometimes be paid in shares.  It is the directors who decide when (usually annually) a dividend will be paid. However a dividend can only be paid if the company has made sufficient profits or has sufficient reserves – see below.

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Can a company pay any dividend it wants?

No.  A company can only pay a dividend if it has sufficient distributable reserves to make the payment.  

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What is the holding date?

The holding date is the date at which each person’s shareholding and hence entitlement to a dividend is reconciled by the company.  The holding date will often be the date that the dividend is paid.  However, where a company has a number of shareholders and there are frequent share transfers, it is best to set a holding date before the payment date so that the share transactions can be processed and the holdings reconciled prior to making the payment.

It is the shareholders at the holding date that are entitled to receive the dividend.  Particularly in smaller companies the holding date will often be the date of the shareholders’ resolution (written or passed at a meeting) but it can be at a later date set by the resolution.  While the holding date can be the payment date for obvious reasons the holding date cannot be after the payment date.

For example in July 2014 a company declares a final dividend for the year ended 30 June 2014.  Payment will be made on 31 July 2014 based on the shareholders recorded in the company’s share register on 16 July 2014.  The date at which the shareholders are entitled to the dividend is 16 July 2014 and this is the holding date but payment will not then be made until 31 July 2014.

The holding date is for listed companies often referred to as the xd (or ex dividend) date and is the date on which the shareholdings are used to set the shareholders’ dividend entitlement.  This date for larger companies is often several days before the payment date and shares transferred between these dates will be sold xd (that is without the right to the dividend already declared).  Sometimes the shares are sold cum div (that is with the right to the dividend already declared) but the company will often still pay the dividend to the old shareholder. The old shareholder then needs to forward the dividend to the new shareholder.

The holding or xd date for smaller companies will normally be the same date as the payment date as they often pay the dividends on the date they are declared.

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Can different rates of dividend be paid to different shareholders of the same share class?

No. Each share in any particular share class is entitled to receive the same dividend as every other share of that class.  A shareholder can, however elect to waive receipt of future dividends for a set period of up to one year. Careful attention to detail will be needed to ensure the waiver is not challenged by HMRC.

If, however, a company has more than one class of share then different dividends can be paid in respect of the different classes.  If this is the case then again care is needed to ensure that the different dividends being paid are not challenged by HMRC.

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What are distributable reserves?

Distributable reserves are basically the net accumulated realised profits and losses as shown in the company’s latest accounts drawn up in accordance with UK law andapplicable accounting standards. 

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What is a share split or a share consolidation?

A share split is where the nominal value of a share class is reduced and the number of shares increased accordingly. For example, a company with 10 ordinary shares with nominal value per share of £1.00 could choose to split them into 1,000 ordinary shares with nominal value per share of £0.01.

Eg a company currently has 10 ordinary shares with a nominal value of £1.00 and the current sole shareholder wants to raise funds from ten other parties whilst retaining an interest of 80% without buying any new shares. To help do this the company splits each existing ordinary £1.00 share into 100 new ordinary £0.01 shares. Therefore the existing shareholder now has 1,000 ordinary £0.01 shares and issues 25 ordinary £0.01 shares to each of the new investors.

A share consolidation is the opposite of a share split in that the number of shares is reduced and the nominal value of the share class is increased accordingly.  For example, a company with 10,000 ordinary shares with a nominal value per share of £1.00 consolidates this into 100 ordinary shares with a nominal value per share of £100.

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What is the difference between a share redemption and a share cancellation?

The end result is the same in that the shares redeemed or cancelled no longer exist. The main difference is that only redeemable shares can be redeemed. All other shares are cancelled.

Redeemable shares will have set rights for their redemption as stated in the company’s articles of association and the shares prescribed particulars. A company’s ordinary shares or sole share class cannot be redeemable.

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How will Inform Direct support me as I complete my confirmation statement?

Inform Direct has been designed to help you manage your company records, even if you have no previous experience.  The Inform Direct confirmation statement  wizard is a straightforward step by step process.  You simply review and confirm your company details.  If you need to make any changes then Inform Direct provides you with comprehensive help at every stage.  The software also has built-in checks which will highlight errors and omissions and help you get your confirmation statement right first time.

Should you need further guidance then simply contact the Inform Direct support team. Our support is provided free of charge to those who have an Inform Direct account. Please be aware that our support service is provided to assist you in using Inform Direct. We are unable to provide professional advice relating to your company or statutory records.

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Can I download a copy of the confirmation statement for client approval?

Yes. As a subscriber you can download a PDF document of all the information to be included in the confirmation statement. A copy of the download is automatically saved to your Document Library, from where it is easy to print the document or to send a copy to your client and ask that they confirm that all the information is correct before you submit the confirmation statement to Companies House on their behalf.

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Does Inform Direct allow express completion of confirmation statements?

Yes. If you know that the information for the confirmation statement for a particular company is correct and ready to be submitted to Companies House, perhaps because your client has already confirmed that all the details are correct, then you can use the Inform Direct express completion option.

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Can I use Inform Direct to file my overdue confirmation statement?

Yes.  Inform Direct can support overdue confirmation statements.  If the confirmation date of your confirmation statement has passed, Companies House will still require that you complete your confirmation statement to this date.  The Inform Direct confirmation statement wizard will automatically work out the date to which your return should be completed. Our step by step process will guide you as you review the information that Companies House are holding on your company.  You simply click to confirm if your company details are correct and your confirmation statement is submitted electronically in an instant.

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How does Inform Direct ensure I don't miss my confirmation statement deadline?

Once you have submitted your confirmation statement using Inform Direct we will alert you as your next confirmation statement approaches.   Your personalised company dashboard highlights important filing deadlines and Inform Direct will also email you to alert you to take action as your next confirmation statement deadline approaches.

You will also have free access to our company records management software. This will guide you through any changes you need to make during the year and ensure that your company details are automatically up to date ready for your next easy confirmation statement submission.

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Can I change confirmation date or file my confirmation statement early using Inform Direct?

Yes. Inform Direct has been specifically designed to help you manage your company filing requirements and it is easy to change the confirmation date. There is no restriction to the number of times you may change the confirmation date but the new date must not be more than 12 months after your last confirmation statement submission.

You may wish to change your confirmation date so that it coincides with your accounting reference date or any other important date in your company’s calendar.

You can also file your confirmation statement earlier than the statutory due date using Inform Direct.  Remember that if you bring your confirmation statement submission forward then you must file your next confirmation statement within 12 months of this earlier date.

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Can I store my company documents in Inform Direct?

Yes. Inform Direct offers each account a sophisticated and secure online document storage area - that we call your Document Library. It is easy to upload and store all your company's documents in your Document Library, and if you tag your files,using either the tag lists we have created for your or your own bespoke tags, it will be simplicity itself to retrieve any document.

For subscribers, all of the features of the Document Library are available free of charge, and the total data storage allowance available is calculated by applying an allocation of 250MB for each company included in your Inform Direct account.

PAYG users also have free access to the Document Library, but to a more narrow offering. Documents that have been generated using Inform Direct will be automatically stored in your Document Library, and you can tag and manage these files as you require.

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Do you provide template minutes and resolutions pre-populated with my details?

Yes. Inform Direct provides a suite of over 300 different template documents, including board minutes, resolutions, company letters, certificates and forms. Moreover, when you submit a filing using Inform Direct, our clever software knows the documents you may wish to produce to support your transactions and offers you these. Our documents are:

  • compliant with the Companies Act 2006;
  • pre-populated with the details of your transaction;
  • created as Word documents so it is easy to make changes if required;
  • automatically saved to your Document Library; and
  • professional in design - you can even add your company or client's logo.

The documents are available on completion of a transaction, in which case they will be pre-populated with the details you entered during the process, or in the Template Library, where they are available as standalone templates for you to complete yourself.

Subscription users can produce as many documents as they like free of charge, whilst PAYG users can purchase individual documents for a charge of £5 each.

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What support does Inform Direct provide?

Inform Direct has been specifically designed to help you manage your company records, even if you have no previous experience. Inform Direct guides you step-by-step through each important company record change providing comprehensive help at every stage.

Should you need further guidance then simply contact the Inform Direct support team. Our support is provided free of charge to those who have an Inform Direct account. Free telephone support is available Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm excluding UK bank holidays. Contact our support team on 0844 409 9494.

Please be aware that our support service is provided to assist you in using Inform Direct. We are unable to provide professional advice relating to your company or your statutory records.

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How can Inform Direct help me manage multiple companies?

Specific design elements within Inform Direct help you easily manage the statutory records requirements of multiple companies and time-saving features mean you can complete company secretarial tasks quickly and accurately.

Your Portfolio

"Your Portfolio” page has been created to enable easy navigation.  It lists alphabetically all the companies you have registered with Inform Direct and displays key dates and deadlines for each.  It advises if there are unread notifications relating to any company, alerting you to actions that may be required.  If you need to change any details, view statutory registers or complete a confirmation statement, for any of your companies, you can do so from "Your Portfolio” screen.  You can also import additional companies and access our streamlined company formation process, happy in the knowledge that your newly formed company will be automatically added to "Your Portfolio” allowing efficient records management from the start.

Email reminders

Email reminders help you to manage your work load. You can tailor the email reminders you receive.

Template documents

Access to over 300 template documents. The templates are fully editable; compliant with the Companies Act 2006; pre-populated with the details of your transaction and can be professionally branded with a client logo.

Multiple user access

You can give an unlimited number of users access to your account, and tailor each user's permissions, controlling the information they can see and the transactions they can complete.

Document storage

Every document that you produce using Inform Direct is automatically saved to your Document Library. You can also upload and store all your other company documents, safe in the knowledge that all your data has been backed up in the cloud and is always easily accessed and managed from this one location.

Reports

You can generate 25 reports (as .xls Excel spreadsheets) to help you meet Companies House filing dates and ensure that the companies' company records are correct.

Account management

Your accounts area within Inform Direct has also been specially created to offer the flexibility required to manage multiple companies.  For example, you can input an invoice address, or credit card details to be used across all companies, or, tailor the details for each company as required.

Whether you register 1 or 1000 (or more) companies with Inform Direct, clever design features save you time and make company records management straightforward and stress free.

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Can I register multiple companies using one email address and login name?

Yes.  You can register as many companies as you like.

If you are already using Inform Direct, it is easy to register additional companies with your existing email address and login details. Go to the dashboard of the company you have already registered and press the “Import a company” button at the top of the page.

If you are new to Inform Direct simply click here for free access to our online company secretarial software.  You can then add multiple companies as described above.

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Is there a maximum number of companies I can register with Inform Direct?

No.  You can register as many companies as you like, using your existing email address and login details.  Use "Your Portfolio” page to manage multiple companies with ease.

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Can I invite other users to access my account with Inform Direct?

Yes – provided you are a subscriber you can give multiple users access to your account with Inform Direct. If you are a firm of accountants for example, you will be able to set up your team, assigning to each user the role that best fits the tasks they would like to complete, and controlling both the information they can see and the transactions they can complete. Our Third Party user role has been designed to allow you to give clients or outside agents access to particular companies.

The ability to give multiple users access to your account is just one of a range of benefits available to users paying a subscription, and is not available to users operating Inform Direct on a Pay as You Go basis.

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Is there a limit to the number of users that I can invite to access my account?

No. There is no overall limit to the number of users that you can invite to access your account and no limit to the number of users that you can assign to each type of user role. However, you must appoint at least one user to the role of Administrator, ensuring that the access rights of the other users can always be managed effectively.

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Can I update company details using the Inform Direct confirmation statement wizard?

Yes.  Because Inform Direct software has been specifically designed to allow you to administer your company statutory records simply and efficiently, the confirmation statement wizard allows you to make updates at any stage.  Once you have confirmed the changes, any which require notification to Companies House are automatically submitted electronically.  For instance, while you review your company details you may notice that one of your directors is not listed and realise that Companies House have not been informed of the appointment.  The Inform Direct confirmation statement process will guide you step by step through the changes you need to make to reflect the appointment and will automatically advise Companies House for you.  Once done you simply continue the wizard process, completing your confirmation statement online. The update has been made instantly and electronically. You haven’t lost time completing paper forms and there is no need to wait for Companies House to receive their post and process the changes before you complete your confirmation statement.

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Can I use Inform Direct to stop a company being struck off the register?

Yes. If you have applied to strike off a company and you would like to withdraw that request, Inform Direct will create the populated DS02 (or LL DS02 for LLPs) by taking you through a very simple process.

Once created the form just needs to be signed and sent to Companies House.

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What do I do if a company begins trading again after applying to be struck off?

The company must file a withdrawal of the strike off by completing a DS02 (or a LL DS02 for LLPs) immediately. If this is within 2 months of Companies House receiving the original strike off request, the strike off should be successfully withdrawn.

Inform Direct has a very simple process to do this for you, it will create the populated Companies House forms that will just need to be signed and sent to Companies House.

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How do I restore a dissolved company?

This depends on the circumstances, who is applying and when it was dissolved. You may need a Court Order to restore the company or you may be able to have it restored via Administrative Restoration, which is often a simpler and less expensive process.

When the company is restored, be aware that any prior penalties / overdue filings will become due.

More information can be found in our blog on how to apply for administrative restoration.

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What types of company can use Inform Direct to file a change of name request?

Inform Direct supports change of company name requests for private limited companies limited by shares and registered in England and Wales, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It also supports change of company name requests for public limited companies that can be fully imported into Inform Direct; companies limited by guarantee and community interest companies. Unfortunately we cannot support companies that are currently in liquidation or any other insolvency proceedings.

 

Please note that company names that require additional supporting evidence cannot be software filed. This includes names that are deemed to be the ‘same as’ an existing company name or that include ‘sensitive’ words or phrases.

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Will I receive any documents certifying the change of my company name?

Once Companies House has accepted the application to change your company name, they will enter the new name on the register and issue a Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name. We will email you this certificate as soon as we have received it. This will replace your original Certificate of Incorporation, but you should ensure the safekeeping of both documents as they may be required for the set-up of company bank accounts, etc.

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Do you provide a proforma special resolution on change of name?

Yes. Inform Direct provide a template special resolution on change of name for use when approving a change of company name via a shareholder meeting. We also provide a free template written special resolution for change of name for circulation to eligible members if you do not wish to arrange a meeting. Both resolutions must be approved by a majority of not less than 75% of members eligible to vote.

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How long will it take to process my change of company name request?

This is dependent upon the volume of applications received by Companies House at any one time, but change of company name requests are often approved within 3-5 hours after your application is submitted.

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Do you refund if I change my mind after submitting a change of name request?

Unfortunately we are unable to make a refund once an application has been submitted to Companies House. Your application to change your company name will be submitted as soon as your payment completes and we must also settle the Companies House fee directly the moment your application is submitted.

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Do you refund if I change my mind after submitting a formation request?

Unfortunately we are unable to make a refund once an application has been submitted to Companies House. Your application to register a company will be submitted as soon as your payment completes and we must also settle the Companies House fee directly the moment your application is submitted.

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Can I file more than one confirmation statement per year?

Yes. There are no restrictions to the number of confirmation statements that you may file each year for a company, other than that you cannot file more than one confirmation statement for a particular company per day.

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Does Inform Direct's fee cover the Companies House confirmation statement fee?

No. When you submit a confirmation statement (which replaces the annual return), a fee will usually need to be paid to Companies House at the time of submission.  It is currently £13, charged once in every 12 month period, no matter how many confirmation statements you submit in that time.

If required, you will need to pay this fee to Inform Direct when submitting your confirmation statement and Inform Direct will settle this with Companies House on your behalf.

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How does Inform Direct help me get my dormant accounts right first time?

Inform Direct allows you to complete your dormant company accounts in just three straightforward steps, and provides you with the following benefits:

Simple process

Our software calculates the balance sheet date; completes the balance sheet values for you and provides the statutory balance sheet statements. All you have to do is check that the information disclosed is correct and tick to confirm that the statements apply, before entering the date the accounts were approved, and selecting from a list the name of the director that is authorising the accounts. Your dormant company accounts are submitted electronically to Companies House, and you will receive immediate confirmation of safe delivery to Companies House and an email notifying you of their approval as soon as this is received. You can also print a copy of your dormant company accounts.

Avoid errors

Each year Companies House reject almost 100,000 sets of accounts, often due to simple errors and omissions such as:

  • incorrect or absent company name or number;
  • authorising signatory missing from the balance sheet;
  • incorrect or absent balance sheet date;
  • omission of balance sheet approval date;
  • incorrect statements on the balance sheet; or
  • missing figures on the balance sheet.

If you complete your dormant company accounts using Inform Direct then you will benefit from the checks we have built into our software that prevent the above errors.

Never miss the filing deadline

Inform Direct will send you reminders as your filing deadline approaches, helping you to submit your accounts on time and avoid automatic fines for late delivery.

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Will you supply me with a copy of the dormant company accounts submitted?

Yes. Once you have confirmed and submitted your dormant company accounts they will be available to you as a pdf document, ready to print or file. As soon as Companies House has approved your accounts we will confirm this and also attach a copy of the approved accounts to this email.

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What type of dormant company accounts can I file using Inform Direct

Companies House provides a standardised template (Form AA02) for the simplest dormant companies and you can file this online using Inform Direct. Our intelligent software will guide you step by step through completion of Form AA02 before submitting it electronically to Companies House for you.

Your company will only be eligible to file dormant company accounts using Form AA02 if it is a private company limited by shares and meets all of the following criteria:

  • it has never traded (since incorporation);
  • the only transaction entered into the accounting records of the company relates to the issue of subscriber shares (that is the shares issued when the company was first formed);
  • it is not a subsidiary; and
  • it does not prepare accounts using International Accounting Standards (IAS).
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What is a dormant company and how does it differ from a non-trading company?

Companies House guidance advises that a dormant company is ‘one that has had no significant accounting transactions during the accounting period’. They define a ‘significant accounting transaction’ as one that the company must record in its accounting records. In practise most day to day transactions must be reported but the following very specific transactions may be ignored when determining whether a company qualifies as dormant: 

  • payment for company shares issued on incorporation;
  • fees paid to the Registrar of Companies for the following specified transactions: change of company name, the re-registration of a company and filing annual returns; or
  • payment of a civil penalty for late filing of accounts.

If the company undertakes transactions other than those specified above, it will no longer be considered dormant. To avoid this you may wish to cover incidental expenses such as bank charges, formation costs or the cost of preparing accounts yourself – rather than put them through the company. A company that is non-trading (i.e. not carrying out any business) may nevertheless be involved in other accounting transactions that render it non-dormant. For example, with the exception of  the very few specific expenses outlined above, if the company meets others costs (such as rent, legal fees or bank charges) it will not be granted dormant status.

A private company that qualifies for dormant status need only submit an abbreviated balance sheet and notes and is not required to file a profit and loss account or directors report. Companies House have produced Form AA02 (also known as Form DCA) - a highly simplified dormant company accounts template. This is suitable for dormant companies that have not traded since incorporation and where the only transaction recorded is the issue of subscriber shares. To qualify for this simplified submission, fees, such as the Companies House confirmation statement filing fee or our own fees, must have been paid by a third party without right to reimbursement from the company. You can submit Form AA02 dormant company accounts using Inform Direct.

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My company has become dormant - can I file accounts using Inform Direct?

No. Companies that have been active in previous financial periods will have entered into transactions resulting in amounts on the balance sheet for which there is no provision for disclosure on Companies House Form AA02. You can only file Form AA02 if your company has been dormant since the day of incorporation.

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What penalties will I face if I miss my dormant accounts filing deadline?

If you deliver your dormant company accounts to Companies House after the filing deadline, an automatic late filing penalty will be imposed on the company. The level of the penalties is dependent upon how late the accounts are delivered to Companies House. Companies House provide an on-line guide giving full details of the late filing penalties that may be imposed on a company. Note that late filing of the accounts for two years in a row will result in a doubling of the penalties imposed.

In addition to the automatic civil penalties imposed on the company, late filing of the annual accounts is a criminal offence and can result in the directors facing personal prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000 each. Continual failure to file accounts may also result in the company being struck off the register and dissolved.

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What is the deadline for filing dormant accounts with Companies House?

This is dependent upon whether you are filing your company’s first accounts or subsequent accounts.

If you are filing the first accounts for your company then you must deliver your dormant company accounts to Companies House:

  • within 21 months of the date of incorporation for private companies; or
  • within 18 months of the date of incorporation for public companies; or
  • within 3 months of the accounting reference date.

You may take whichever deadline is longer.

If these are not your company’s first set of accounts then the following deadlines would normally apply:

  • within 9 months after the accounting reference date for private companies; or
  • within 6 months after the accounting reference date for public companies.

Remember that if you fail to deliver your dormant company accounts to Companies House within the time allowed then the company will be subject to an automatic late filing penalty.

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What information must I file with Companies House for my dormant company?

Every company, including dormant companies, must file a confirmation statement with Companies House at least once a year. Inform Direct provide a simple step by step process that allows you to quickly and easily submit your Companies House confirmation statement online, removing the need to complete any paperwork.

You must also submit dormant company accounts every year. Again, Inform Direct provide you with a process that allows you to complete your dormant company accounts in just three simple steps, and our intelligent software calculates the balance sheet values for you and presents them in the correct format.

If there have been changes to important company details – including the registered office address; the company officers or shareholders; where the statutory registers are held or changes to your articles of association – you must also inform Companies House of these changes. If you use Inform Direct to help you keep your company details up to date, then our software will automatically file electronically the correct forms with Companies House.

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How long will Companies House take to approve my dormant accounts?

This is dependent upon the volume of applications received by Companies House at any one time, but dormant company accounts are usually processed within 24-48 hours of submission. 

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Who can act as the authorising signatory to dormant company accounts?

A director must sign to authorise the balance sheet and accompanying statements. When dormant company accounts are submitted electronically this is simple. Inform Direct will provide you with a list of all the current directors of the company. Simply select the director that will act as the authorising signatory. 

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How does Inform Direct make company formation really easy?

The Inform Direct company formation process is highly automated and has been designed as a series of very simple steps. There is clear guidance at each step so you will always understand what details you need to provide. You will find that the information required for your new company can be entered very quickly and you will not be asked to re-enter the same information again and again: So if someone is going to be a director, a secretary and a shareholder you will only have to enter their details once; likewise if the same address is being used as the registered office and the service address you will only need to provide it once.

At the end of the process you will be able to review and check all the details you have entered are correct before submitting your company registration application electronically. You will receive immediate confirmation that your application has been safely delivered to Companies House. As soon as your company has been successfully registered we will alert you by email as well as sending you all your documents of incorporation.

Once your company has been registered by Companies House you will also have FREE access to our company records management software. This will enable you to print any share certificates that have been automatically produced for you during the incorporation process. Similarly, your company statutory registers will have been completed for you and these will also be available to view and print.

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How quickly can I register a company?

This is dependent upon the volume of applications received by Companies House at any one time. However, although we can't guarantee that your company will be registered on the same day, company formation applications are usually accepted within 3-4 hours of submission.

If you submit your application to form a company before 2:30 pm on a UK business day, you can request that Companies House process the application on the same day. Companies House will charge an additional fee for this service.

 

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How will Inform Direct deliver my incorporation documents?

As soon as your company has been registered by Companies House we will deliver all your documents of incorporation via email. You will also have free access to our company records management software which will enable you to print branded share certificates for these first shareholders. The certificates will have been automatically generated for you. You will also be able to view or print your company statutory registers.

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Should I end my company name with "LIMITED" or "LTD"?

When you form a private company the name that you choose must end in “LIMITED” or “LTD”.  This ruling ensures that the public know what type of company they are dealing with.  In law “LIMITED” and “LTD” carry the same meaning, so the decision is usually no more important than deciding how you would like your company name displayed on Companies House documents.  Once your company has been registered it is common practise to use “LIMITED” or “LTD” interchangeably (on your business correspondence and website for example).  Courts have not always been consistent in rulings regarding use of the abbreviated term “LTD” by companies incorporated with the ending “LIMITED”, although in practise this is unlikely to cause a problem.

Whilst they are equivalent once your company has been registered, you must choose between “LIMITED” and “LTD” to start the company formation process.  You can select either term by using the dropdown box attached to our name check field.  We ensure the company name ending you have selected is applied consistently as Companies House will reject your application if it is not clear which version should be included on the Certificate of Incorporation.

When you type your chosen company name into the name check field you will notice that it is automatically capitalised.  This is a Companies House requirement and your company name will be presented in capital letters on all Companies House documents.  Again, once your company has been registered you may choose to present your company name with lower case text if you wish.

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What are the benefits of using your company secretarial software?

Free access to our company secretarial software is a key benefit to company formations using Inform Direct. Using the software it is easy to update for changes to your company; perhaps a new director appointment, change to existing officer details or a move of registered office address. Our records management software will ask you to confirm the update before submitting it electronically to Companies House if this is required. You can also use it to manage shareholder records, make share allotments and transfers, print out share certificates for each of your subscribers, or create additional share classes. When the time comes to file your first Companies House confirmation statement, Inform Direct will automatically populate the return with the required company details. If you have kept your company information up to date, all you need do is review and confirm to electronically submit your confirmation statement.

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What do I need to register a private company limited by shares?

In order to incorporate a private company limited by shares you will need:

  •  A UK registered office address.
  •  At least one director, an individual who is at least 16 years old.
  •  At least one shareholder, who can also be the director.
  •  You do not have to appoint a company secretary but you may do so if you wish.

Our guide entitled Your company formation checklist details all the information you will need to have available in order to be able to complete your company incorporation request.

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What happens once my company has been registered?

Inform Direct will email you as soon as your company has been registered by Companies House. The email will include all your documents of incorporation (your Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association). It will also include details of how to access our company records management software. Access to this software is free and will enable you to update your company details in future, to generate share certificates and to submit your confirmation statement (which replaces the annual return) using our easy online process.

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What if my application to form a company is rejected by Companies House?

If this happens Companies House will provide the reason. It could be that one or more of the director's was disqualified from holding office or that the company name contained a word or phrase that was not acceptable to Companies House or one or more of the directors were not entitled to claim the exemption to keep their residential address private. In such cases the fees paid to Inform Direct and Companies House are still payable and there will be no refund.

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What information do I need to provide to incorporate a company?

Details of all the information you need to provide to form a new company are given in our simple company formation checklist.

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What type of company can I form using Inform Direct?

You can form a private company limited by shares with a registered office address in England and Wales, Wales only, Scotland or Northern Ireland.   You can choose to adopt model articles of association or upload your own bespoke articles. With regards to share capital, you can form your company with one or more share classes, and issue subscriber shares that are fully paid, fully unpaid or partly paid. Inform Direct supports share class currencies denominated in £ sterling, euros or US dollars.

 

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Can I appoint users to roles with different access rights and permissions?

Yes. When you are inviting a new user to access your account with Inform Direct, you can assign them one of five different user roles. These are outlined below:

Administrator

  • Full, unrestricted access to all functionality and areas of your account.
  • View and make changes to the details of all companies.
  • Import new companies into or remove companies from your account.
  • Manage users – add new users, remove existing users and change user rights.
  • Edit access to the ‘Account’ area (to make changes to payment details for example).

 

Manager

  • Highly tailorable, allowing you to create a user role that will fit your requirements.
  • Complete all Companies House filings.
  • Import new companies or remove existing companies (you can restrict these rights).
  • Edit access to the ‘Account’ area (you can give them view only access).
  • You can give them permission to manage other users if required.
  • Choose the companies this user can access.

 

Practitioner

  • Highly tailorable, allowing you to create a user role that will fit your requirements.
  • Select the chargeable Companies House transactions this user can complete (confirmation statements, dormant company accounts, company formations and change of name requests).
  • Import new companies or remove existing companies (you can restrict these rights).
  • Choose the companies this user can access.

 

View Only

  • View the details for companies to which they have access.
  • Cannot change any details or file any submissions with Companies House.
  • No access to the ‘Account’ area.
  • Choose the companies this user can access.

 

Third Party

  • Ideal if you wish to give a client or outside agent access to particular companies.
  • Allow edit or view only access.
  • Choose the actions you would like the user to be able to complete.
  • Cannot complete and submit chargeable Companies House filings.
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Can I give a client or third party adviser access to my account with Inform Direct?

Yes. Inform Direct is ideal if you wish to give a client or outside agent, such as a lawyer or accountant, access to your account. Our system has been designed with enough flexibility to enable you to give each third party user access at the level most suitable for them and to the companies they require. You can give permission to specific actions enabling them to complete individual tasks as required; to particular areas of the company’s details or restrict edit rights entirely allowing them read only access to a company. For example, you could give a third party user permission to carry out all transactions relating to shares and shareholders, or place restrictions such that they can process a share transfer but not allot new shares. You can give edit rights to some companies and read only access to others. In addition you can choose the companies in your portfolio that you would like to invite the third party user to access. You may wish to give them access to all your companies, or to specific companies as required.

A client or outside agent cannot use your account to complete and submit chargeable Companies House filings on your behalf (including the confirmation statement and dormant company accounts).

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Can I give a user access to some companies and not others in my portfolio?

Yes. The second step of our simple flow, designed to enable you to quickly add a new user, allows you choose the companies a new user should have edit access to, those they can view only and those to which they have no access.

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Does Inform Direct enable me to create professional documents branded with a client logo?

Yes. Inform Direct provides you with over 300 different document templates, covering a full range of company secretarial transactions, many of which can be branded with a company or client logo. When you complete a transaction using Inform Direct, our intelligent software suggests documents that may be required to support the transaction. Simply choose the templates you want, and the system will automatically produce editable Word documents, pre-populated with the details you have already entered. The documents are compliant with the Companies Act 2006 and have been carefully designed to look stylish and professional, and every document that you produce in Inform Direct is automatically tagged and saved to your personal Document Library.

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How does Inform Direct help me to safely store and organise documents?

Once you have registered with Inform Direct you will have access to our online document storage area, enabling you to easily manage all your company documents.

Easy upload of documents

Documents that you create using Inform Direct, including share certificates, dividend vouchers, share transfer forms, formation documents, board minutes and resolutions, are automatically uploaded into your Document Library.

Subscription users can also upload all their other company documents, and if you have many documents to add to your Document Library you can do so quickly by dragging and dropping multiple files simultaneously.

Effective organisation of documents

Tag your documents, linking them to a company, a transaction type and/or a document type. You can select tags from lists that we provide for you or create your own. Tagging documents is quick to do and allows you to easily find a document no matter how many you have filed in your Document Library.

Give other users access to your documents

If multiple users have access to your Inform Direct account then you can tailor the access that different user roles have to your documents. For example, you can choose to allow some users full access to the Document Library, giving them the ability to add new files, edit files or remove documents, whilst applying restrictions to other users as appropriate, perhaps allowing them read only access to some files or restricting their access to the Document Library entirely.

Secure storage

Your documents are safely stored and backed up in the cloud in our database held in our high security data centre. This safe, secure online storage means that your documents are always accessible and from anywhere in the world.

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Can I generate reports of the information held in Inform Direct?

Yes. If you are a subscriber you can generate 25 reports (as .xls Excel spreadsheets) covering the following:

  • Companies House filing dates
  • company details and registered office addresses
  • officers and PSCs
  • addresses
  • shareholders and their shareholdings
  • share transactions and dividends paid
  • mortgages and charges
  • your users
  • invoices raised by Inform Direct
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Do I need to enter credit/debit card details for each company I register?

No.  Simply enter details of the credit/debit card you wish to use in the Accounts area.  These primary card details will apply to all the companies you have registered with Inform Direct.  However, if you wish to use different card details for a particular company or transaction, Inform Direct is flexible enough to allow you to do so.  Simply add the new card details when you pay for a transaction.

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Can I control the types of email any users attached to my account receive?

Yes. You can set email preferences globally, to apply across a whole user role or allow individual users to set their own preferences. For most email categories you can select for a user role to have access to emails relating to all companies in their portfolio, just for transactions that they have completed, switch off the email entirely or allow individual users to set their own preferences.

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What is the confirmation date?

The confirmation date is a snapshot date at which all the company information on the public record must be up to date to successfully file a confirmation statement (or the updated information must be filed alongside the confirmation statement).  If you have never submitted a confirmation statement (or its predecessor, the annual return) then the confirmation date (or made up date) is usually one year on from the date of incorporation.  It cannot be later than this.  If it is not your company’s first return then the confirmation date should be within twelve months of your last confirmation date or annual return made up date.

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Can I produce dividend vouchers using Inform Direct?

Yes. We have designed a concise step by step flow that asks you to provide a few simple details and automatically completes all the tax calculations for you. At the end of the process our system automatically produces professionally branded dividend vouchers and offers you a template board minute recording the details of the dividend. Our system can even support full or partial dividend waivers. Dividend vouchers are automatically saved to your Document Library, from where they can be easily retrieved, viewed and printed at any time in the future.

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Will I have to pay a fee to store my company documents in Inform Direct?

No. If you are a subscriber then all the features of the Document Library are available to you for no additional charge.

If you are a PAYG user, you will also have free access, but to a more limited offering. Documents that you have generated using Inform Direct will be automatically stored in your Document Library, and you can tag and manage these files as you require.

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Is there a fee to use your template documents?

Subscribers have free access to all the functionality Inform Direct offers, including our suite of over 300 different company secretarial related template documents, and can produce as many documents as they like free of any charge. Pay as you go users can purchase individual template documents for a charge of £5 each.

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What is an Unlimited Company?

Unlimited companies are private companies that do not have any limit of liability, i.e. those behind the business accept complete liability for the company’s debts.

An unlimited company is, in many other ways, similar to a standard private limited company, for example it must be registered at Companies House.

There are 2 types of unlimited companies, those with shares, and those without shares which are very rare. Inform Direct supports company secretarial functions for unlimited companies with shares, these can be uploaded in the usual way to your portfolio.

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Why is my company name not included in the list when I try to register?

Each day Companies House issues an up to date list of company registrations, including any companies newly registered the previous day. Our system automatically updates every night, including all companies on the latest Companies House list of company registrations. If your company has been newly incorporated today it will not be included on the list of companies for you to select from until we have received the latest Companies House update. Please try again tomorrow, when you should find your newly registered company is included in our list. However, if you require immediate access to Inform Direct, please contact us with details of your company name and number and we will be able to manually add your company to our list.

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Will I have to sign documents in the presence of solicitors if I form a company?

No, your application to set up a company is completed entirely online. Companies House will require an electronic signature for each director, secretary and shareholder.  This consists of answers to three security questions (refer to our guide entitled Your company formation checklist for further details) - but the individual to which the electronic signature relates does not have to be present for our online process to be completed.

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