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Who can be a director in a UK company?

Directors are important figures in any company. The have specific duties to the owners of the company, the shareholders and to wider society. Directors are also obliged to promote the success of the company as a whole, and as such it is essential you choose the right person for the job – and ensure those you have in mind are legally permitted to stand as a director on your board.

If you are looking to register a company in the UK, you will be required to appoint directors to manage your company. You may wish to become a director of the company yourself, and wonder if you might be eligible. This post looks at the restrictions on who can be a director in the UK to provide you with guidance as to who you may wish to appoint as a director.

Can I be a director in the UK?

Under UK company law, there are no requirements to have any qualifications to be a director, with the exception of certain industries (including for investment companies). In the UK, almost any legal person can be a director: this includes individuals and also other corporate bodies (although the government are working to abolish this), who are UK based or not. There are very limited exceptions to who may be appointed as a director in the UK, specifically:

– The auditor of the company
– Those who have been disqualified as acting as a director in the UK
– Those who have been disqualified as acting as a director elsewhere
– Those who are under the age of 16
– Those with undischarged bankruptcies may only act as a director with the permission of the court.

All companies must have at least one director who is a ‘natural person’ ie. not a corporate body. The rule which allows a limited company to be a director in another company is at present under scrutiny from government, and as such if you plan to have a limited company as a director in your company, you should seek professional advice about the consequences of doing so. If you need further advice or assistance about choosing directors for your company, contact us today.