To Form a Company

There are three ways to form your company:

♦ Get a solicitor/attorney/notary to set it up for you.

♦ Buy a ready-made entity. Ready-mades are firms that set up companies in advance. They specialize in corporate registration.

♦ Do it yourself. (Again, depending on the national view of companies, this restricts your options.)

In many European countries where the local law dictates that you have to go the legal route the cost increases considerably, especially if the articles are hand drafted.

Note In The Netherlands they reissue dissolved companies that have been cleaned up—

a novel form of recycling.

Some countries, including the United States and United Kingdom, make it very easy to download the paperwork and forms from their registration body via the Internet so you can set up your firm by yourself.

If you are having a problem drafting suitable articles of association, go down to the offices of your state or country's business governing body and consult some of your rivals' information (remember, these are publicly available).

The registration body is not there to give you legal or corporate advice but to make sure you have the right forms and to answer questions in that regard.

Whichever way you decide to go about setting up your firm, you will need to choose and agree on the following:

♦ Corporate administrator/company secretary

♦ Registered office

♦ Memoranda and articles of association

Details required on the forms include full names, addresses, dates of birth, occupations, and details of other directorships held within the last five years. They also require those companies' registered offices. Although some of these details are held in the memoranda of association, the official forms are the ones entered into the databases, so you must complete the forms as well.

If you subsequently elect a new director, or they change their name (in getting married or divorced), retire, die, switch their nationality, or alter their primary address, you must notify the registration body, within 14 days. It goes without saying that the same requirements apply to changes of the corporate administrator/company secretary.

The company's articles delivered to the registrar must be signed by the initial subscribers and witnessed by independent persons to verify the signatures.

Note It is best to fill out company paperwork using black ink, as blue ink (especially light blue) can photocopy badly due to the light frequencies used in many photocopiers and microfiche cameras. If your documents can't be legibly copied correctly, they will be rejected. The registration authority must always receive originals. Make copies of everything you send, and use recorded delivery for all important documents.

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