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Can anyone become a limited company director?

Are there any restrictions on who can become a limited company director, and do you need any qualifications?

The UK is one of the easiest places to incorporate a new company. The formation process is even simpler now, following the implementation of the Companies Act 2006.

You can form a limited company online within a matter of minutes, and have the entire incorporation validated by Companies House in a matter of hours during the working week.

Alongside various naming restrictions, and rules governing the running of UK companies, there are some legal restrictions on the appointment of company directors.

Who can be appointed as a company director?

Broadly speaking, unless told otherwise by the courts, you can become a company director unless you are:

  • Disqualified from being a company director
  • An ‘undischarged bankrupt’ (unless allowed by a court).
  • Under the age of 16

All limited companies must have at least one director, and may also decide to appoint a company secretary (although this is an optional appointment).

Importantly, at least one director of all companies must be a real person (it is possible for a company to act as a director).

You do not have to have any specific qualifications to be appointed as a company director or company secretary, although you should be aware of your responsibilities as a company director before taking the position on.

Appointing or removing a director

You initially appoint director(s) at the time of formation, although you can easily terminate an appointment, or appoint a new director by submitting the appropriate form to Companies House.

If you are not using the Companies House Webfiling service, you should use Form AP01 to appoint a new director, Form CH01 to change a director’s details, and Form TM01 to terminate a director’s appointment.

Our site is aimed at small limited companies – typically with one or two directors, so the appointment / termination process for directors will typically be simple. For larger enterprises, the process which governs how directors are appointed is likely to be more complex. In all cases, all appointments must be made with reference to the company’s articles of association.

Further Information

You can find out more in our guide to setting up a limited company for contracting.

It is also worthwhile reading the Companies House incorporation and naming rules.

In most cases, your accountant will deal with all Companies House related tasks on your behalf, so if you have any concerns or questions, ask them directly.

Last updated: 17th September 2019