A new service designed to streamline UK company registrations has already been used more than 200,000 times since it launched in late December, according to Companies House and HMRC (Revenue & Customs).
The service, named Streamlined Company Registration Service, was created by UK company registrar Companies House and HMRC to make it easier for entrepreneurs and business owners to start new companies. When registering the company with Companies House, entrepreneurs can also register for tax purposes with the HMRC, plus sign up for HMRC's digital services, making it easier to start a new business, and letting entrepreneurs get on with building a viable business.
This is part of the UK government's "Industrial Strategy," aimed at reducing the administrative workload on small businesses and cementing the UK as one of the best places to found a business.
With company and tax registration now one and the same, entrepreneurs can focus on what they do best: changing the world. (Image: Wikimedia)
Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst commented: "British small businesses, and the entrepreneurial spirit behind them, are the backbone of the UK economy employing over 16 million people up and down the country.
"Through our modern Industrial Strategy we are making it easier for small businesses to grow and flourish by investing in modern industries, infrastructure and skills, and making it easier to access finance. Anyone thinking of starting a new business in 2019 should check out the huge wealth of Government advice and support available, and go for it," Tolhurst added.
But does this really make things much easier for startups? Responding to questions from techX365, lawyer Campbell Unsworth and small business accountant Chris Vickers both noted that while the change isn't that big in and of itself -- it eliminates filling in a secondary form, "a relatively small administrative burden," said Unsworth -- the impact it has is much greater.
When registering with Companies House, entrepreneurs, especially those starting a business for the first time, would often not realize, or forget, that they needed to register with HMRC and submit, in Vickers' words, "quite literally the same information" to Revenue and Customs as well as Companies House, which led to fines for non-compliance. This new service eliminates that risk and makes everyone's lives easier.
The streamlining of this process also shows the ongoing commitment of Companies House to digitizing company records, Unsworth said, and hopefully signals a tighter relationship with HMRC to sharing more relevant data when necessary.
Unsworth added that while the UK "remains dramatically more digital business friendly, by comparison to other EU countries," many filings still haven't been digitized, which causes duplication of data and inefficient processes that can lead to the creation of "dirty" data at Companies House.
— Phil Oakley, Site Editor, TechX365