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Companies - an introduction

If you are getting started in business there is plenty to learn. This range of resources is designed to provide some insight into companies - including directors, shareholders, addresses, name protection.


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What is a company?

When you incorporate a company, you are creating a separate legal entity to carry on business. Learn more about the basic elements of a limited liability company structure.

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Why start up a company?

There are a number of reasons why people choose to incorporate a company rather than one of the other business types.

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Choosing your company name

Find out how to search for possible name clashes. Once your chosen company name has been reserved and approved by the Registrar of Companies, no other company can register an identical name.

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What is a constitution?

A constitution essentially sets out the rights, powers and duties of the company, the board, each director and each shareholder.

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Company directors

Find out what role directors play in a company. Can anyone be a director?

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Shares and shareholders

Shareholders are investors in the company. They pay money into the company in return for shares. The number of shares they own determines the level of control they have over the company.

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Company addresses

You need to tell the Companies Office how to get in contact with you, where you keep your company records and where legal documents can be served on your company.

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Maintaining and keeping records

The Companies Act 1993 requires every company to keep and maintain certain records.

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Last updated 15 January 2015