When you make the decision to form a limited company in the UK, you have a number of options to handle the paperwork. One option that seems to be becoming quite popular is the use of online company formation agents. Unfortunately, not all online formation agents are legitimately going to help you to register your company. Recent studies have shown that many of these agents are fraudulent in their business dealings, leaving businesses with more trouble than they care to handle.
Some agents charge such a low fee that it should instantly throw up a red flag about the legitimacy of their dealings. If a deal looks too good to be true, it likely is. If you have chosen to enlist the services of an online formation agent then it is imperative that you do your homework. Spend some time researching that particular agency to ensure that they are legitimate.
The Fraud Advisory Panel that was set up by the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales says that this is a growing problem and that there are nearly as many fraudulent online company formation agents as there are legitimate ones. Due diligence is crucial in finding one that is actually operating as a company formation agent. This means checking the reputation of the agent in question and looking to see if others have used them in the past.
The internet offers a world of resources and information. Using the internet to check on the legitimacy of a company formation agent is simple. One simply has to search for that agent online and then look to see if there are reviews about them from others who have used their services. Using a search engine and choosing the first agent to pop up is not recommended as some of these search engine returns are paid advertisements. If you do choose an advertised agent, make sure to take the time to do further research on that particular agent and see if he or she has other clients that they have assisted who may offer some helpful reviews of their services.
Formation agents in general are regulated by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs as well as the UK tax collector. The tax collector keeps a list of agents who are approved to offer their services in this realm. While the list from the HMRC is not published, you can find more information by contacting the UK tax collector to inquire about a particular online company formation agent.
Using a company formation agent to help you to set up your company offers a number of benefits, but only if the agent in question is a legitimately operating and approved agent in the UK. If you are unsure of whether or not an agent is approved, take the time to research the company. There are a number of highly reputable agents that can help you to get your company set up quickly and effectively. Taking the time to ensure that your chosen agent is legitimate will save you loads of trouble down the road.