Set up a private limited company

4. Appoint directors and a company secretary

Your company must have at least one director. Directors are legally responsible for running the company and making sure company accounts and reports are properly prepared.

A director must be 16 or over and not be disqualified from being a director.

Another company can be a director, but at least one of your company’s directors must be a person.

Directors don’t have to live in the UK but companies must have a UK registered office address.

Directors’ names and addresses are publicly available from Companies House. You can stop your home address from appearing on the register if you or your family are at risk of abuse or harm because of your company’s work.

Company secretaries

You don’t need a company secretary for a private limited company. Some companies use them to take on some of the director’s responsibilities.

The company secretary can be a director but can’t be:

  • the company’s auditor
  • an ‘undischarged bankrupt’ - unless they have permission from the court

The restrictions placed on a person when they’re made bankrupt usually end when they’re free from their debts (known as ‘discharged’). You can check if someone has been discharged using the Insolvency Register.

Even if you have a company secretary, the directors are legally responsible for the company.