Registering a Company the Traditional Way
Using nominees used to be commonplace when setting up a UK company. Most submissions were sent to Companies House with the incorporation agent's nominees in place. It was only after the company has been set-up and was complete that the purchaser’s directors, secretary and shareholders were appointed.
This made the initial stages of registering a company for the purchaser very simple indeed. All that was required from them was its intended name.
The Long Company Formation Process
The subsequent stages for the company formation process were relatively laborious and very time consuming. Form AP01 (or Form 288a) had to be completed by the purchaser and Form TM01 (previously Form 288b had to be filed by the company registration agent.
These forms were not electronic and therefore had be posted both to the purchaser and then sent to Companies House. This part of the process could take weeks or even months if the registrar returned an incorrectly filed form.
Electronic Company Formations
Whilst the above practice is less common among today’s electronic company formations, some registration agents are still setting up limited companies in this way.
You should be aware of the time these types of incorporations take. In addition, because the set-up agent has to complete and file the form TM01 (formerly forms 288b) and will have to sign and probably check the AP01 or 288a forms, their charges may well be higher, even for the slower and more error prone service.