Rated #1 Best UK Company Formation Agent
Ease Of Use = 9.0
Value For Money = 9.3
Customer Support = 9.6
Services Offered = 9.5
- Excellent user reviews
- Formations completed in as little as 3 hours
- Good value non-resident packages
- Prestigious registered office address available in London’s Covent Garden (WC2 Postcode)
- Can feel like information overload at times
- Prices exclude VAT
Hours Of Research:
1st Formations Review [Updated 2023] – Billed as one of the leading online formation companies in the UK, 1st Formations register new limited companies online for clients from the UK and overseas.
They proclaim to offer a quick and easy service, so let’s use our 1st Formations review to find out if they live up to the hype.
At a Glance
A companies House registered eFilling agent and member of the Association of Company Registration Agents (ACRA), 1st Formations offer various packages depending on the type of limited company you want to set up.
The company offers a simple online application form and claim the majority of registration applications are processed within three hours. 1st Formations also boast transparent fees which cover the cost of registering your business in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Island. There are lots of optional extras too, such as address services.
They’re also a great option for non-residents needing a UK company. That’s because their non-residents package includes a business bank bank account and a prestigious London office address in Covent Garden.
Which Company Formation Package Is Right For You?
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1st Formations Review – Our Personal Experience
Having formed plenty of companies in our time, the team here at Business4Beginners have one company formation agent they prefer above all others – 1st Formations.
In fact, we continue to use 1st Formations to this day, both for forming new companies and managing the legal registration of our existing companies.
As far as the formation process goes, we’ve always found it to be relatively simple. In fact, it’s similar to some of the other formation agents out there as it’s based on the same core formation software.
However, where 1st Formations stand out is the amount of information and help they give you at each step. Forming a company can be a little confusing at times, and so it’s reassuring that so much help is on hand.
On the few occasions we have had to contact their support team, we’ve found them to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Better yet, they’ve always explained things to us in plain English, so you don’t get bombarded with technical terms.
When we have formed our companies with 1st Formations, they have always got them registered really quickly.
Ongoing Company Management
We don’t just use 1st Formations for forming new companies. We also use it to manage existing companies too. In fact, we’ve actually imported companies we formed elsewhere into 1st Formations so we can manage them from one place.
That means we can download our share certificates at any time, buy new services such as a virtual office address, and file essential legal documents like the annual confirmation statement.
Naturally, there is a cost to some of these but we’ve always found services at 1st Formations to be fairly priced for the peace of mind they give you. Plus, they’re usually much much cheaper than hiring an accountant to do them for you!
Overall, our experience with 1st Formations has been first class and that’s why we proudly recommend them as the best company formation agent in the UK.
How Does The 1st Formation Process Work?
Our 1st Formations review suggests the process is relatively straight forward. If you’re not sure where to start you can have an informal chat with one of the many agents, they can talk you through the company formation process, your options, and how to complete the online form. As a brief overview you will need to:
Choose a Company Name
First impressions count, choose a company name that resonates with your company image and then search to see if it’s available for registration
Select a Suitable Registration Package
We discovered that there are eight packages to choose from in total (lots of info to digest so prepare yourself)!
If you’re looking to register a Private Limited Company there are five packages to choose from. You get a set of digital documents (with some packages you also get hardcopy documents). A couple of the packages also offer address services such as registered office address, and the all-inclusive package offers added extras.
There’s also a package aimed at those looking to register a Limited by Guarantee Company, a package for those wanting to register a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), and a Non-Residents package for overseas residents keen to set up a UK company.
Plus, in 2021 they launched an eSeller package. This is designed for businesses selling via their own e-commerce website or through a platform such as Amazon or eBay. It provides a company registration, online banking options, and a registered office address service.
Check Out the Optional Extras and Head to The Checkout
From conducting our 1st Formations review, we were able to look over the optional extras offered. There’s are quite a few to choose from! The business address services could prove useful, as could the business telephone number and call answering service.
Input Your Details
Finally, you need to input the details of your company. We’ve given the application form a quick once over and it seems relatively quick and painless.
You’ll need to enter your registered company address, and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code (relating to the activities of your business).
You can find your SIC code on the website so don’t worry if you don’t know it! You will also need to include personal details of your company directors and shareholders.
How Long Does It Take To Set Up A Limited Company?
This is something which doesn’t tend to vary much between the different company formation agents. That’s because they are all reliant on the speed at which Companies House approve requests.
However, our 1st Formations review has found that the company does have a direct link to Companies House which helps speed up the process. Most companies will be formed within 24 working hours.
1st Formations profess to keep their fees low and offer full transparency, which means there are no hidden costs to worry about. The fees certainly seem competitive and we have to agree that using a formation agent can be a cost-effective solution.
Prices range from a very reasonable £12.99 to £165.99 depending on the package that best suits your needs. VAT is excluded from the price, so you will need to take this into account too.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the fees do vary based upon the type of package you are interested in. Check to see what you get for your money – address services are not included in all of the packages.
There’s also a whole host of other optional extras, so be aware that the package price could increase quite significantly once you’ve finished loading your shopping basket!
Value for Money
Our 1st Formations review indicates that you do get markedly good value for money. We do like the clear pricing structure and a there are a few sweeteners thrown in for good measure, such as access to the free Online Company Manager which will enable you to easily maintain your company.
Certain packages also have added bonuses, these include a Free .com or .co.uk Domain Name, an Amazon Business account 25% Discount Voucher and VAT registration, to name but a handful of freebie features.
1st Formations Reviews From Customers:
1st Formations was the easiest way to register my company online – hassle free, and worry free. The customer support is fast to respond and very helpful.5-Star review from Robert Pop via Google Reviews
I found 1st Formations very easy and straight forward to deal with. I needed a quick no fuss company registration process and that’s exactly what I received. Excellent service at a very reasonable price.5-Star review from Martin Chenery via Google Reviews
Despite over-strict KYC (Know your customer) requirements, I would recommend and support 1st Formations Limited when it comes to anything in regards to the Companies House of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.5-Star review from Adib via Trustpilot
Good customer service
1st Formations state that 99% of customer calls answered within 7 seconds by senior and experienced team members. Aftercare is considered important too, and you continue to receive support throughout the life of your company.
Lots of packages and benefits
There are plenty of packages and features. Some benefits are included within the package price e.g. the online company manager feature that allows you to update company records etc. Others can be added on for a fee.
Full compliance and world-class partners
Our review reassures us that 1st Formations ensure all documentation is up-to-date, top-quality and fully compliant with all appropriate legislation and regulations. The company also has world class partners (including Lloyds Bank, Tide, Barclays Bank and Amazon Business).
Apply easily and start trading on the same day!
You can trade as a limited company within a matter of hours (the majority of requests are processed within three hours). The online process is straightforward and there’s plenty of support should you need it.
Let’s check out the disadvantages our 1st Formations review spotted:
Lots of information to process
There’s lots of information to digest regarding the packages available and the additional services. Everything is outlined on the website, but you will need to spend time reading through it all!
Some additional fees and VAT isn’t included
The package prices are competitive, but the cost of additional services can add up – so take that into account if you have a budget in mind. Note that VAT isn’t included so you will have to take that into account too.
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So, Is 1st Formations Legit?
As we reach the end of our 1st Formations review it’s fair to ask whether they are a legit business?
Well, as our review has shown, 1st Formations aren’t just legit, they are one of the best company formation agents in the UK.
That’s backed up by the thousands of positive customer reviews they have on the likes of Google and Trustpilot.
We like the transparency regarding fees (no-one likes to get caught out regarding hidden charges), but adding VAT and the optional extras can make the total cost mount up. However, we still feel 1st Formations offers value for money.
We would also like to point out that the company has a good reputation and offers a comprehensive service to its customers. We can certainly see why so many customers opt to use this agent when setting up their own limited company.
And that’s why we end our 1st Formations review with a full recommendation that if you’re looking to form a new company, this is one of the best company formation agents around.
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