If you have decided to set up your business as a limited company, you will have to register with Companies House. If you're a sole trader or a simple partnership, then registration is not required. Exactly how you register depends on the legal structure of your business - you may only be able to register using a paper form or you may be able to register online.
If you decide to set up a private company limited by shares and use the model articles of association, you can use the incorporation tool on our website.
Our tutorial How to register your business with Companies House highlights how and when each type of business must register with Companies House.
Don't forget that, if you register with Companies House as a limited company, you must tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that you are liable for Corporation Tax. You'll also have to register with HMRC as an employer as you will have to operate PAYE on the earnings of company directors and any other employees.
If you'd like to find out more about Corporation Tax you can check out the video What is Corporation Tax.
Register for free business start-up support
Access free start-up business support through Invest Northern Ireland’s (NI) Regional Start Initiative, the programme includes one-to-one mentoring, business workshops and business plan development. Register for the Regional Start Initiative through our online form.