Yes, that’s right.
As of yesterday, HerTechConnect Limited, is an active company on Companies House. And I’ll be honest I really expected it to be a lot easier.
So what happened?
First I made the decision that I did not want to use my personal address for the registration address. There were a few reasons for this:
- I’m not the only person working for the company. The two other co-founders actually live in America.
- I move house a lot (which was one of the main issues) and I didn’t want to be updating the address every time
- It feels a bit unsafe to have my address just out there, in the public, though I know many businesses do it
Instead I decided to pay for a virtual office. This means that I will pay a monthly fee to be able to use this office address as my business registration address on Companies House. In addition to this, I can have all of my business mail sent there. There were also additional services offered such as a landline number, mail forwarding (or scanning and emailing), and a receptionist but I made the decision that we probably didn’t need those extra services right now.
In fact, the main decision around which virtual office I wanted to use was based on the location. All I knew was that I wanted an office with a Manchester address, despite there being far cheaper options in London.
Setting up that was interesting. Part of me had expected it to be a simple task of signing up and paying the money. But no, in fact the office has to run an Anti Money Laundering (AML) check for all of the directors in the company. And for this, I needed government issued ID along with a proof of address.
But I didn’t have that information for the other two co-founders and due to the time difference I wouldn’t be able to contact them.
I made the decision to go ahead and put myself down as the sole director, and update everything in the future with the other two co-founders once we were able to regroup and gather all the paperwork etc we needed for each person. This would also mean I could spend plenty of time getting things wrong with no-one else knowing about it, then look like a pro later on.
Thankfully the AML check was turned around in under a day and I was then able to use my fancy new virtual address to go ahead and form the company. Initially I thought this would be something I would just do on Companies House, but a few people who own their own businesses suggested various third party options. And while they did suggest different companies, they all said the same thing about which package I would need:
Go with the emailed copies of your documents, don’t upgrade for the hardcopies you won’t need them.
It’s reassuring when everyone has the same advice!
I went ahead and chose a company based on the pricing. Since I was going for the basic package they were all essentially the same offering but the prices varied between less than £10 and over £20.
That was where the next lot of fun started.
Like the virtual office, there needed to be more checks done to make sure I wasn’t laundering money. Thanks to the virtual office process I had copies of all of my documents already online and I thought “yay! This is easy!” that was a mistake. The next day an email came through saying I needed proof of move-in date.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t generally keep my contracts lying around once I don’t need them anymore. Oops.
Thankfully I found my Tenancy Deposit Certificate which had my move in date. I sent that back at lunchtime. At 5.10pm I received another email saying I needed three years worth of past addresses – which I should have realised, I’ve applied for enough credit cards etc to know better! But that caused me another issue, I had been lucky to find the proof of move in date for where I live now, there was no chance I’d have copies of my previous addresses; especially when I had spent a year or so living with a friend.
Unfortunately their customer services closed at 5.30pm so instead I sent off the proof of addresses that I had, and simply wrote the move in dates in the email and hoped for the best. When I hadn’t heard anything by lunchtime the next day, I rang them up just to make sure my application was still being processed (which they assured me it was), and then half an hour later I got the email:
I couldn’t believe it. I jumped straight on Companies House, not really expecting it to be updated, but there is was. My company. Registered and active. Along with my name listed under Director.
So that’s it.
Jade Kneen is officially a business owner.