17 Best UK Company Formation Agent Reviews

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[Updated 2024] Starting a new business can be daunting, luckily there are now a number of services on hand to help. Company formation agents help you quickly and easily register your business and start trading.

Using our many years of experience forming many different companies, we have rated the best company formation agents in the UK to help you find the best one for your needs.

Brands Reviewed:

18

Hours Of Research:

81

Average Rating:

9.1

Best Overall Option

1st Formations

Read Full Review

Best UK Company Formation Agents – Top 5 Picks

Formation AgentCheapest PackageAdd On ServicesOur RatingReviewOfficial Site
1st Formations£52.99Excellent
9.4
Read ReviewVisit Website
qcf-logo£51.99Excellent
9.4
Read ReviewVisit Website
ANNA Review£50Average
9.4
Read ReviewVisit Website
Rapid Formations£52.99Excellent
9.3
Read ReviewVisit Website
Tide Company Registration Reviews£9.99Poor
9.3
Read ReviewVisit Website

What Is A Company Formation Agent?

In the UK, to start trading as any type of registered company (Ltd, LLP, PLC, etc) you must first register it with Companies House.

Companies House is an official Government agency that records the details of all companies currently registered in the UK. They handle both the creation and dissolution of companies, and you cannot start a UK business (apart from a sole trader business) without registering it with them.

Company Formation Agents in the UK handle the registration on your behalf. Each agent is authorised by Companies House to submit and change company details on the official register.

Why Should You Use One?

Quite simply, company formation agents make it easier to register your company at Companies House.

While it’s possible to register without using a formation agent, the application process is usually much quicker and easier when using a formation agent. You can also often add on essential extra services such as registered office address services to keep your private details off the public register.

Choosing A Company Formation Agent

Not sure how to decide which is the best agent for you? Check out the video below for a full run-through of what you need to look out for and the biggest mistake to avoid:

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Why Trust Our Company Formation Agent Reviews?

Business4Beginners was founded in 2013 by Paul, a serial entrepreneur who formed his first company in 2009.

Since then, he (and the rest of the Business4Beginners team) has formed multiple companies, using different company formation agents each time.

Over time, we’ve seen which formation agents are a pleasure to use, and which ones aren’t! We bring all of this personal experience together to help make our reviews some of the most comprehensive and honest you’ll find anywhere.

Put simply, many of the other sites you see out there will only review the companies they have a commercial relationship with or that they own themselves!

We are one of the few sites who provide full reviews of all types of company formation agents. That’s why we have reviewed more formation agents than almost any other site you’ll find.

How Our Ratings Work

We make it our business to remain up-to-date regarding developments in the company formation field. We regularly update our reviews, so you can rest assured you will be presented with current, accurate information.

For every UK formation agent we review, we draw on our own personal experiences with that agent (where possible). Often this means we have actually formed a company with that agent.

Where we cannot use the agent directly ourselves, we’ll talk to people who have used them and find out what their experiences were.

This all then informs our rating process, which is based on the following criteria:

  • Ease of Use – How simple the formation process is and whether we encountered any problems
  • Value for Money – How cost-effective the formation and relevant added services are compared to other brands
  • Customer Support – How many options there are for getting help, how good the help is, and how quickly they respond
  • Services Offered – What other added services they offer to make your life easier, and how fairly are they priced

For each of these areas, we score the company formation agent out of 10. These scores are then averaged to create a final company score.

Using these scores we can then create the table you see above to show our picks for the best company formation agents in the UK.

This allows you to compare and contrast the different agents to find the most suitable one for you.

While we may receive a small commission if you click the links on our site, this does not affect the price you pay and we do our utmost to ensure it doesn’t affect our opinion or rating, too!

We make information relating to the three readily available to you, but we also suggest you check the website of each company formation agent (just click on the tab to go directly to the website).

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At A Glance

Here’s how the company formation agents we have reviewed stack up at a glance…

#1 – 1st Formations (Our Rating = 9.4)

1st Formations

Billed as one of the leading online company formation agents in the UK, 1st Formations offers a number of company registration packages and additional extras (such as address services) for those looking to form a limited company.

There’s a simple online application form and the transparent fees outline all of the costs involved. Service is efficient and very speedy (1st Formations claim the majority of applications are processed within three hours).

If you want to give your new business extra clout when it comes to perceived reputation, they also offer a registered office address that is based in London’s prestigious Covent Garden (WC2).

1st Formations is our favourite place for registering companies, and we also use it to manage all of our existing companies, including the company that owns this website, Cubed Media Ltd.

We have showcased our own experiences in our full review and even have a video walking you through the application process. This way, you can see first-hand how it all works.

What else is there to know? Read our full 1st Formations review to find out.

#2 – Quality Company Formations (Our Rating = 9.4)

With an excellent reputation across multiple review sites, Quality Company Formations is one of the leading UK company formation agents.

They achieve this by achieving a very high standard across multiple areas. They’re cost-effective, offer good customer support, an easy formation process, and plenty of extra services to choose from.

That makes them one of our favourite services for forming new limited companies, and we have used it to form companies in the past.

You can read more in our Quality Company Formations review.

#3 – ANNA Formations (Our Rating = 9.4)

ANNA Formations Review

They might be best known as an online bank, but ANNA Money are now expanding their offering to small businesses with their company formation agent, ANNA Formations.

It might not be the full-on formation agent like most of the other brands on this page, but they still offer a fantastic simple process and all of the essential add-ons like a registered office address. Plus, it’s possible to form your company and get a business bank account for free.

While they advertise their company registration services for free, there is the Companies House fee of £50 to pay, so it’s not actually free. However, if you were to do it yourself directly with Companies House, you would have to pay this as well and spend your time too.

Using ANNA Money to form your company is quick and easy and takes away the hassle.

The downside is that you can only form limited companies with them, and you can only add a sole director and shareholder during the formation, though more can be added later.

We didn’t find this too much of an issue since most of the companies we create tend to start off as sole director & shareholder businesses. As the company grows, we then add more directors and shareholders as needed.

Read more in our ANNA Formations review.

#4 – Rapid Formations (Our Rating = 9.3)

Rapid Formations

As one of the best reviewed company formation agents in the UK, Rapid Formations have an excellent reputation.

That’s partly driven by the excellent customer service they offer alongside a good range of services, making them ideal for those based overseas.

The package options are well-priced. Not the cheapest but certainly not the most expensive either.

You can read more in our Rapid Formations review.

#5 – Tide (Our Rating = 9.3)

tide company registration

Technically, Tide are an online bank that targets businesses, however, they’ve made it onto our best company formation agents list with their £9.99 company registration service.

That’s right, we said £9.99. They even pay the £50 Companies House registration fee for you.

The catch? You have to open one of their business bank accounts at the same time. There are also a few other limitations, such as it only being open to UK residents.

However, for many people it will give them everything they need with one of the quickest and easiest setup processes we have ever seen.

With that in mind, you don’t get better than free, so it’s worth a try if you just need a basic company formed as cheaply as possible.

You can read more in our Tide Company Registration review.

#6 – Mint Formations (Our Rating = 9.3)

Mint formations

What’s impressive about Mint Formations is that they deliver on three key aspects.

Firstly, they offer some of the best prices around, particularly for entry level packages. Secondly, they have a great range of additional services to choose from. Finally, they have a very simple company formation process.

The only place they’re let down a bit is that the price for their all-inclusive package is quite high. That’s a relatively minor point overall though.

You can read more in our Mint Formations review.

#7 – Company Formations 247 (Our Rating = 9.2)

Company Formations 247 Review

With one of the most varied offerings around, it’s no surprise that Company Formations 247 are one of the most popular UK formation agents.

Whether they’re the best company formation agent for you is down to what you need. Since they offer so many services, you may find they are perfect if you need more than the standard formation.

However, they are priced a little on the higher side so, if you’re looking for a bargain, they’re probably not the best choice.

You can read more in our Company Formations 247 review.

#8 – Companies Made Simple (Our Rating = 9.2)

Companies Made Simple

Considered the largest and most well-known company formation agent in the UK, Companies Made Simple boast they have formed over 1 million companies since 2002.

Companies Made Simple claim to offer a “one-stop-shop” for new companies. They provide five comprehensive formation packages plus a wide-range of services.

Alongside the customary additional extras, you will also find other options such as Certificates of good standing. With close links to an accountancy firm you can get help with tax returns and the like too.

Read more in our Companies Made Simple review.

#9 – The Company Warehouse (Our Rating = 9.2)

Companies Warehouse

Perhaps THE standout feature of The Company Warehouse is that they offer some company formation packages that are completely free of charge.

That’s all very good, and it instantly makes them an interesting proposition. That’s especially true when you consider the range of additional services they offer too.

However, if you do need extra services then the prices aren’t always the best around. It’s worth keeping an eye on this and shopping around if you need to.

Read more in our The Company Warehouse review.

#10 – The Formations Company (NO LONGER TRADING)

The Formations Company Review

THE FORMATIONS COMPANY HAS CEASED TRADING.

The Formations Company offer some of the lowest-priced initial company formation packages in the UK.

That makes them an obvious choice for many startups, especially as they are one of the more active companies when it comes to advertising their services.

They also offer excellent customer support and the formation process is as simple as you’ll find anywhere.

On the downside, The Formations Company make up for their low initial prices with some fairly expensive optional add-ons. If you don’t need these extra services, they are an excellent choice.

You can find out more in our The Formations Company review.

#11 – Set Up a Company (Our Rating = 9.0)

SetUpACompany review

Launched in 1994, SetupaCompany is no stranger to the company formation market. Backed by a firm of accountants, and offering a month of free accountancy, company bank account and cashback to boot, this is a professional firm offering a comprehensive service.

SetupaCompany claim they can help you to form your own limited company in just 48 hours. Simply input key details in the easy-to-complete application form, and they will provide the legal documentation required to get you started.

You can find out what else we had to say in our SetupaCompany review.

#12 – 1st Choice Formations (Our Rating = 9.0)

First Choice Formations

While the website may look a little dated, 1st Choice Formations actually offer some good value for money services.

They also have some good reviews across consumer review sites and a wide selection of services to choose from. That means they’re a pretty good choice provided you can put up with a slightly less ‘pleasing to the eye’ formation process.

You can find out what our experts thought in our 1st Choice Formations review.

#13 – Blue Sky Formations (Our Rating = 8.9)

Blue Sky Formations Review

There’s quite a bit to like about Blue Sky Formations as they offer a wide range of different services and have some of the best value prices out there.

Unfortunately, where they let themselves down a bit is transparency as there’s very little information available about the company or the formation process on their website.

Find out what we do know about them in our full Blue Sky Formations review.

#14 – CFS Formations (Our Rating = 8.9)

CFS Formations

If you’re looking for offshore company formations, CFS Formations has a great selection to choose from.

Some of the options can be quite pricey but the formations process has been simplified to a good degree.

Learn more in our CFS Formations review.

#15 – Company Wizard (Our Rating = 8.8)

Company Wizard

Billed as one of the best company formation agents in the UK, Company Wizard appear to offer pretty good value for money.

However, if we’re honest, their website is starting to look a little dated and their formation process isn’t quite as straightforward as some of their competitors. Add to that a somewhat limited range of services and while not a bad option, we feel there are better available.

Find out more about why we think that in our full Company Wizard review.

#16 – Simple Formations (Our Rating = 8.8)

Simple Formations

They may offer easy company formations, but Simple Formations have some of the highest basic setup packages in the industry.

This makes them difficult to recommend even though they have good customer support and some reasonably priced bigger formation packages.

Get our full opinion in our Simple Formations review.

#17 – Future Formations (NO LONGER TRADING)

Future Formations Review

FUTURE FORMATIONS HAS CEASED TRADING.

Billed as a company formation agent of the future, Future Formations had a lot of promise. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for them as they went out of business in August 2022.

With an excellent range of services and some of the lowest prices around, there was certainly a lot to like about this formation agent. In addition, they had relationships with several other service providers that allowed you to collect cashback on common services your business might need.

The only real drawback was that while the team behind the company were very experienced, Future Formations was a relatively new company. That means they were still building up their reputation and fine-tuning their offering when they ceased trading.

You can read more in our Future Formations review.

Advantages of Company Formation Agents

Using a reputable company formation agent to register your limited company comes with a number of advantages:

  • Benefit from the knowledge and experience of a professional team (a team well-versed in carrying out numerous company formations on a regular basis).
  • All of the legwork is done on your behalf, leaving you plenty of time to concentrate on getting your business up and running, and making a success of it!
  • Using a company formation agent will help you to register a limited company efficiently.

Application forms are straightforward and take little time to complete as a rule. So, you could register your limited company in a matter of hours.

  • The company formation agent will take care of the legalities. So, you can rest assured all the paperwork will be completed accurately.
  • Using a company formation agent can be as cost-effective as going straight to Companies House.
  • A company formation agent will provide plenty of guidance and could also provide lots of additional services.

Disadvantages of Company Formation Agents

Disadvantages of a company formation agent

The best company formation agents allow you to quickly and easily form your own limited company. However, there are a few aspects you should be aware of:

You might find yourself wading through a cluttered website from time to time, not all company formation websites seem to be designed with ease of use in mind.

Check what the formation company offer in the way of packages. Some only cater for a basic company limited by shares formation, and cannot assist if you want to form other types of companies (such as public limited or limited by guarantee companies).

Lots of agents offer a myriad of additional extras. Whilst this provides you with choice, and help with just about anything you can think of, it can also lead to information overload. This could cause confusion as you try to figure out which package is best for you.

You might end up going over budget! Adding lots of optional extras (at an extra cost) can soon mount up, plus not all companies list fees that include VAT – so you will need to take this into account too.

Company Formation Agents Vs Doing It Yourself

There are a few distinct advantages to opting for company formation agents over registering our own limited company. Doing it all yourself is an attractive option if you’re looking to save money.

However, setting up a company is no mean feat, and you could waste a lot of time making sure you’ve crossed all of the t’s and dotted the i’s. This is time which could be better spent organising other elements of your business start-up.

You could speed up the registration process by using an agent. If you make an application to Companies House via post you could be waiting for up to ten days for your registration to go through. Fill in an online application form in collaboration with a company formation agent and you could get your business up and running on the same day! 

It’s also wise to keep in mind that the formation process calls for precision – so you need to ensure the information provided to Companies House is correct (otherwise you will have to readmit information at a later date – slowing everything down).

Using the best company formation agent means you will have access to professional guidance throughout the process, and will continue to be able to access support following registration.

Weighing everything up, we don’t advocate going it alone, why run the risk of getting things wrong and wasting valuable time when you can engage a professional company to ensure all the legalities of registering your limited company are taken care of?

Should I use a Company Formation Agent?

The fact of the matter is that it isn’t necessary to use a company formation agent at all. If you prefer, you can simply go direct to Companies House and register it yourself.

However, as we have already discussed, doing it this way does mean you’ll need to be very confident in what you are doing. The formation process on Companies House isn’t always straightforward and making a mistake may cost you later.

Plus, a lot of the best company formation agents offer added incentives and extras such as free business banking (for a set period of time) to help sweeten the deal.

Therefore, for most people, the answer to whether you should use a company formation agent is yes, you probably should!

How to Choose the Best Company Formation Agent

There are a number of company formation agent reviews you can read to find the best for you. Most are reputable, have plenty of satisfied customers and seem to offer lots in the way of support. So how do you choose the best formation agent for you?

Each company brings something slightly different to the table, but their end game is the same – to help you easily and quickly register your fledgling business as a limited company.

Most company formation agents these days offer comprehensive packages that can be tailored to suit your business needs. We can’t definitively state which company formation agent is best for you – this depends upon your circumstances – what type of limited company you want to establish and the additional extras you require.

We can however suggest that you take the time to digest the information to hand. Revisit our comparison table, visit each of the company formation websites (save time by clicking on the company name directly from the table to visit the website) and look over the available packages and related fees.

We wish you well in your search for the best company formation agent and hope our company formation agent reviews have provided a little insight into what’s on offer.

Don’t forget to download our free guide to forming a UK company.

Top-Rated Company Formation Agents

Formation AgentCheapest PackageAdd On ServicesOur RatingReviewOfficial Site
1st Formations£52.99Excellent
9.4
Read ReviewVisit Website
qcf-logo£51.99Excellent
9.4
Read ReviewVisit Website
ANNA Review£50Average
9.4
Read ReviewVisit Website

View All

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Author
Business4Beginners has been advising new businesses owners since 2013. The founder, Paul Bryant, has created, grown and sold several successful businesses and remains the editor and fact-checker of all content published on the site.
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