Company is Incorporated, Now What?

It’s Official!! You new company registration formalities at the Registrar General of Companies in Sri Lanka is Done. Your new business adventure is on the road and you are now either a business owner, entrepreneur, director, shareholder or all of the above.

But what now? What else needs to be organised in those first few weeks after company formation. Chances are you are already busy refining your new product or service and getting the word out to potential new customers.

There are additional practical steps though you need to make sure are on your to-do list within the first few weeks of starting a business to ensure your venture if off to a sound start.

So here’s 6 important steps to take in the first few weeks after company formation.

1. Set up a business bank account

After setting up a limited company the ideal way to keep your business finances clearly separated from your personal ones is by opening a business bank account.

Have a search for the best deals for your situation and check what business support is available from the bank. To set up a business bank account you will need to complete an application (bank Provided Mandate), and also confirm who you are by providing proof of identification (ID) and address documents. You may also be asked for your company incorporation documents including your certificate of incorporation, Certified copy of Form 1 with the QR Code, Articles of Association. Don’t forget to get all of this certified from the company secretary.

2. Domain for the Website and Social Media Links

In the current expanding online appearance for the business, it is important that you protect your business name by way of a domain name, as this is the way to connect to the world. Your domain name could be obtain from various platform, but for sri lanka is the most appropriate one to obtain a .lk domain. You will need to provide your business registration to prove your business is a legitimate one.

It is also advisable to establish social media links if your planning to promote your business via social media specially LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc.

3. Make sure the taxman knows you are in business

As in your personal life you can’t avoid tax in relation to your new limited company.  Commissioner General of Inland Revenue, Sri Lanka provide you with unique Tax Identification Number (TIN)

This number is important as it is needed to file your company tax returns. Now, When you incorporate with the latest eROC System you will automatically send a letter with your tax number to your company’s registered office.

4. Get it in writing

Whatever your business type, the best practice for all things legal is clear and simple – get it writing.  When you formed your limited company you will already have started following this important principle by having the ‘internal rulebook for your limited company’ written down and documented in the articles of association.

It is crucial not to stop there though with writing things down. Although the full range of documents required will vary with each business here are a few of the key ones you should look put in place at an early stage.

  • Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) – these will protect both your business & the customer.
  • Website use policy – helps you comply with e-commerce regulations.
  • Shareholders agreement – for companies with multiple shareholders this will make it clear where everyone stands.

5. Tell your customers about practical things too

In the early days of setting up a company there will likely be lots of marketing activities going on getting the word out as far and as wide as possible about your new business. But getting the word out is more than sharing information on your products and services. There are practical things your customers need to know:

  • If you are a limited company you must display your company name, number, address, place of registration, and other relevant contact details, on your website, e-mails, business letters and order forms.
  • If you are sending any marketing e-mails or texts you need to give people the option to unsubscribe and identify the sender.
  • Make sure you are displaying your Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) where customers can find them. Online sales customers must be able to access your ‘website privacy and cookie policy’ for example so they know how you are protecting their personal data and using cookies.
  • You must also display the price of what you are selling and a description of the goods. When delivery will take place and the method of payment should be clear. Customers will need confirmation of their order sent to them too.

6. Know your company’s annual requirements

After you have incorporated your limited company you will need to have a clear idea of what documents you are required to send to Registrar General of Companies (ROC), Department of Inland Revenue (IRD) and other Government bodies every year. ROC filing requirements for example are compulsory and apply even if the company is dormant.

Failing to submit the required information on time is an offence and if Companies House does not receive the relevant documents the Registrar of Companies can potentially assume the company is no longer in business and remove it from the company register.

The Annual Return is a snapshot of the company info – name, number, address, directors, shareholders, stated capital, charges etc – and needs to be sent to ROC once a year. Annual accounts or the Audited financial accounts report on performance and activities during the financial year (from 01st April to 31st March) upon trading.

Every limited company must also submit documents to ROC to change any existing information about the company, such as Change of Directors, Name, New Share Issues, Change of Articles etc. If you are VAT registered remember VAT returns need to be sent to IRD at least every month or quarter depends on your registration. And if you are employing people you will need to make monthly PAYE and Provident and Trust fund contributions.

Please note the information on this website does not constitute legal advice.  If in doubt seek professional advice