When a company is formed, it is required to have at least one director alongside at least one shareholder, although they can be the same person. Once the company is created, new directors can then be appointed either in their place or in addition to the existing ones. Companies can have as many directors as they want but each must be approved by any members unless specific listed in the articles otherwise.
The process of appointing a new director involves ensuring that the person is a suitable candidate and they meet all the necessary requirements for the position. Once you are certain you have the right person, you can begin the process of appointing a new director.
To register a new director for the business, you must notify Companies House. This can be done with a specific form, called AP01 and this can either be printed off and posted to them or completed online via their website through the WebFiling system. You can also use the services of a company formation service to do the job for you and avoid having to complete the forms by yourself. This is very useful if you don’t feel very confident about completing the forms or are unsure about what information you need to supply.
Restrictions on who can be a director
There are a few basic rules for someone to become a company director. They must be at least aged 16 years old. They must also not be a disqualified director from another company or an undischarged bankrupt, which a person who is still going through the bankruptcy system and is waiting for an order of discharge from the court. The director may not be someone who is also an auditor of the company or anyone who is excluded under the Articles of Association in any way. Directors can also be shareholders although there is no obligation for a director to hold shares in the company.
What information is required?
The process of appointing a new director will require that they submit some information that will be listed with Companies House in connection with the company. The information required includes:
- Date of their appointment
- Full name and any former names used within the last two decades
- Date of birth
- Occupation if any held
- Service address
- Residential address
The full name of the new director is required for the form but there are some situations where this does include the middle name. Banks and lenders, for example, require a full name including any middle names so to ensure data matches that held by Companies House, it may be worth adding the middle name to the application process just so there will be less risk of a mix-up with someone else of the same name. You can change personal details after adding the person as a director but this may be simpler to do as a single process.
There are a number of options for the occupation question on the form, depending on the person’s preference. The section can be left blank or their occupation can be listed simply as Company Director if they don’t have any other roles. Their profession can also be listed if they have one. The nature of the person’s occupation may have relevance on the future activities of the company, so for example someone who is a graphic designer by profession when the company seeks to move into web design.
If the director prefers, their service address can be listed using a director’s address service that prevents their home address from being displayed on the public register held at Companies House. This is especially useful for company directors who run their business from home. Their residential address isn’t entered onto the public record, only the service address will be recorded for anyone to view.
The director will also confirm that they give ‘consent to act’ via the checking of a box on the online or postal form. This agrees that the person is willing to become a director of the company and replaces the former requirement for a signature or a digital authentication.
Whatever the case with the address supplied, neither the new directors service or residential address needs to be within the UK. This means if someone lives outside of the UK and wants to become a director of the company, then this is allowed.
Removing a director
You can remove an existing director from your company as long as they are not the only director that is currently listed with Companies House. If you are seeking to replace a single director with another one, you would need to add the new director first before removing the old one to ensure that there is always at least one serving director listed for the company at all times. The sole director must also be a person, not a corporate entity such as another company or a firm.
Adding a new director to your company records is a relatively simple process that can help bring new life into a business and expand the skills within the company. The process can be done online, via the post, or you could allow an agent to do the work for you and to ensure all information is submitted correctly.