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I registered directly with Companies House a few months ago, after consulting an accountant. It was completely straightforward. I don't see any need to use a third party.

I've done both in the past, and while Companies House is straight forward, using a third party is even easier, its usually a case of just filling out a page or two form and entering credit card details.

The companies I've registered through third parties email me annually with reminders of what needs to be filled when etc, and where I've left a company dormant I can get that filed for a nominal fee and a couple of clicks of a button.

Additionally they often have cash back deals with the banks, so after opening an account I actually ended up with a profit from registering the company (about £5)

How did you choose an accountant? That's the problem I'm currently facing. Actually, that would make a good swombat article...

I'm facing the same problem. I'm just out of education (in the UK) and primarily doing contract work under my own name, I don't know whether getting an accountant would be beneficial, and if so, how to find one that is best for someone in my situation (and aiming to start up).

This sort of information about the basics is surprisingly hard to find, so this article is particularly refreshing.

Makes me think, I'm sure many people (including me) would be happy to pay to talk (IM) to someone who knows something about this sort of thing. Does this exist as a web service anywhere?

If you're in Scotland, Business Gateway are meant to help new (small) companies. They've been pretty useless with me so far though. I'll give them another go later. Scottish Enterprise are supposed to help "ambitious" (larger) companies.

I did find the following from them on finding an accountant: http://www.business.scotland.gov.uk/bdotg/action/layer?r.i=1...

I went to a friend of a friend who specialises in small businesses. I suppose asking for recommendations on HN might also work.

If anyone knows a good (well, more cheap than good) accountant, I would love a reference. My company only makes a few thousand pounds a year, so it shouldn't be too much work...

I use Wellwood Hoyle associates, as do a few UK tech companies you've probably heard of (but it's not my info to post)... I've never met the guy, but I send him 90 quid a month, and he takes care of my somewhat complicated Ltd company expenses. Highly recommended.

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