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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:01 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:54 pm
Posts: 241
I have an online project which I want to future proof by setting up a ltd company and transferring ownership to the company. Is this way if I drop dead tomorrow the project will continue under one of the other directors and won't fall into the domain leasehold / web hosting not paid trap.

The project is not-for-profit, there are minimal costs (£16x12 per annum) and no income.

I have no idea what costs are involved in setup, what the ongoing costs are and whether I am entering a world of hurt regarding HMRC, company returns, accountant etc.

Can anyone give some informal advice on this? I won't sue, promise!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:17 pm 
South East AEC
South East AEC
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:39 pm
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The HMRC is a good place to start, they run very good free half day cources on this very subject, what was businesslink is also a good place to look, and its worth a chat with a accountant they will help you stay on the straight and narrow.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:28 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:29 pm
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Location: London
Setting up the company is pretty easy. It costs around £60 (your mileage may vary) to register the company at Companies House, assign directors, allocate shares,get the company number and be official. Once you have this, you are required to submit a set of accounts once a year, pay corporation tax etc.

It's possible to do it without paying someone, but probably less hassle to pay up. I had mine done in 10 minutes, 9 of which was thinking of a name.

With the accounts, you can probably do yourself if you have the inclination (and in my case discipline - I didn't) or pay an accountant. I now pay an accountant and think it well worth it.

Finally, on the domain, if you want someone to register it and host for you, I can do that if you like, or if you just want to ask questions, drop me a PM.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:29 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:46 pm
Posts: 304
Talk to an accountant as soon as possible. That was the best advice I was given back last May. A good accountant will give you advice on keeping everything legit and help you set everything up.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:32 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:54 pm
Posts: 241
Thanks for the tip. Lots of useful info on HMRC, particularly this:

"Dormant is a term that HMRC and Companies House use for a company or organisation that is not active, trading or carrying on business activity. But HMRC and Companies House use the term dormant in slightly different ways.

For Corporation Tax purposes, HMRC views a dormant company as a company that's not active, not liable for Corporation Tax or not within the charge to Corporation Tax.

A dormant company can be, for example:
a new company that's not yet trading
an 'off-the-shelf' or 'shell' company held by a company formation agent intending to sell it on
a company that will never be trading because it has been formed to own an asset such as land or intellectual property
an existing company that has been - but is not currently - trading
a company that's no longer trading and destined to be removed from the Companies Register"

I have a colleague who I know has a company that does not trade - I suspect it is classed as dormant. I'll look into this further!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:47 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:54 pm
Posts: 241
Thanks for all the advice. Definitely going to speak to an accountant and get their advice.

Kestonian, the site is already in place, has been for 8 years - it's here:

http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/

I just want to place in within a legal framework that means it won't be pulled off the internet if I kark it and default on the web hosting costs.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:54 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:29 pm
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Location: London
There are two parts to maintaining ownership of the domain.

One is the hosting, but the more important part is the domain registration. Usually, you buy these as a package but they can be separated.

Typically, if your domain registration expires there is a grace period where only the previous owner can re-register it so it's worth checking that you are set up this way once you transfer the domain to the company.

This is worth a read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_name_scams


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:35 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:52 pm
Posts: 1904
Location: Trancecentral
I'm just doing the same by registering a Limited Co. with companies house online, £15.

I'm the director, the sole shareholder of the 1 declared share.

You could set up multiple subscribers to hold shares.
You can assign zero value to the shares.

As far as HMRC goes, Limited companies are liable for corporation tax on profits and if turning over >£68000 p/a then you must register for VAT too.

To be dormant you need to file a Non Trading Annual Return each year, and a Dormant Company Account form.

The Inland Revenue will write to you at the registered office address and ask you what you are going to be doing in business, simply reply to that with the words "Non trading company" written across the "Started Trading" box on the form.

a .co.uk domain name can be registered for 10 yrs.


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