Forming Your Company

Forming Your Company… For the Lean Startup

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, the formation of your lean start-up can be completed in a matter of hours.  Using an online service such as Companies Made Simple makes forming and registering your business even easier by walking you through the steps.

The first stage of forming a company is to choose a name for it. When deciding upon a company name there are a number of factors to consider, such as picking a name your target customers will respond to and that will align with what you want your brand to be. For instance, as you want your branding to be consistent across all areas of marketing and advertising, your name will need to make the same impact both online and offline; in social media and in traditional media. Ideally, the name you choose will describe or explain your brand and what it stands for.

With the tech industry being inherently fast-moving, you’d do well to avoid names that will soon look dated. Stay clear of names that rely on cultural or topical references, as people may struggle to recall the context or significance of such references in a few years’ time.  The sector is also hugely international so make sure any name you choose doesn’t mean something inappropriate in another language.

Once you’ve decided upon a name, you can search the database of Companies Made Simple to see if the name is available. Simply type the would-be company name into the search field on the website’s front page, click the ‘Go’ button and the site will tell you whether the name is available for you to use. Other websites where you can register your domain name include One.com and Go Daddy, both of which allow you to check if your desired company name is available in combination with a particular domain name extension.

Another factor to take into account when choosing your name is whether or not the name is easy to spell and say. You must also consider how the name will look aesthetically—on your signs, letterheads, adverts, press releases, pens, mouse mats and anywhere else it’ll appear.  Think ahead to the type of logo you’ll want for the company. What name would fit well with the logo?

Speaking of logos, there are several websites that can help you create your logo or allow you to buy a logo design. These include Brandstack, DesignCrowd, 99designs, crowdSPRING, Choosa, LogoTournament, and ShopForDesigns. You can also hire freelancers to design your logo through online outsourcing companies such as eLance and oDesk.

Whenever you form a company, you choose what type of company it will be. For instance, the most common type of privately held company in the UK is the Limited Company, where the organization’s liability is limited by shares.  In other words, the business’ owners or shareholders are protected from the liabilities of the enterprise.  However, a lean start up is more suited to the Sole Trader structure, as this is the simplest and least expensive form of company to set up. You don’t have to pay any registration fees, records management and bookkeeping are straightforward processes and you keep all the profits. That said, it can be difficult for a new tech business to grow if you have to fund it out of your own pocket or rely on banks for loans.

Many tech start-ups were launched as business partnerships. This company structure features two or more parties who share the risks, costs and responsibilities of their part in the venture. Each partner takes an equal share of the profits.  Although the partners have to fund the business from their own assets or by sourcing loans, this is potentially easier than it is for a sole trader. This is because the parties in a partnership can be businesses, which may already have substantial capital to invest in the new venture.

If you decide to start up as a Limited Company you can choose from one of the Company Formation Packages offered by Companies Made Simple.  There is a choice of two specific packages tailored towards those who want to set up their start-ups as Sole Traders. Apart from Companies Made Simple, other websites where you can register your company include The Formations Company, Companies Made Simple, The Company Warehouse and Blue Sky Company Formations.

You can currently purchase The Formations Company’s most basic package for the special offer price of £14.99. The equivalent package at Companies Made Simple is £16.99. The Company Warehouse offers free company formation complete with a business bank account and also offers free sole trader business registration. Alternatively, the website has a company formation package specifically for online entrepreneurs, which starts from £4.99. The cheapest package that Blue Sky Company Formations offers is £14.99.

LIST OF COMPANIES

Companies Made Simple

www.companiesmadesimple.com

One.com

www.one.com

Go Daddy

www.godaddy.com

Brandstack

www.brandstack.com

Design Crowd

www.designcrowd.com

99 Designs

www.99designs.com

crowdSPRING

www.crowdspring.com

Choosa

www.choosa.net

LogoTournament

www.logotournament.com

Shop For Designs

www.shopfordesigns.com

eLance

www.elance.com

oDesk

www.odesk.com

The Formations Company

www.theformationscompany.com

The Company Warehouse

www.thecompanywarehouse.co.uk

Blue Sky Company Formations

www.blueskyformations.co.uk
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