The UK has deserved a reputation as a favourable country for business. That is why many entrepreneurs want to open or register a company here. This decision has many advantages and it is prestigious and profitable.
What does it mean to open a business in the UK? It means a representative office registered in one of UK jurisdictions. There are three legal jurisdictions in the UK: England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. England or Scotland are the most popular and well-established jurisdictions for company incorporations. In Northern Ireland, legal support is available upon request.
Registering a UK company has a number of undeniable advantages and great opportunities.
Prestige and reputation
The level of importance and business credibility for investors and partners are immediately increased for a UK trading company. A UK company inspires confidence and a desire to cooperate. It plays a significant role in a competitive environment.
Tax and financial benefits
Although the UK is not an offshore, registering a company here is a good way to get a number of tax benefits. Your business gets more favourable tax treatment. Registering a company in the UK (if you are not a UK resident, do business and have income abroad) gives you a real opportunity to do business without paying taxes or at the lowest corporation tax rate in Europe.
The UK legal and regulatory framework is very transparent and accessible. Some recent amendments and changes to legislation expand the opportunities for non-resident entrepreneurs to register their business in the UK.
Highly skilled employees and professionals
This is important when you start a new business. Yes, it is common to recruit low-skilled labour from outside of Europe. However, the UK market is flourishing and occupies a leading position in the construction industry, banking and financial services.
Benefiting from market advantages
You also get easy access to business and academic circles, government support and a developed infrastructure. There are no deliberate obstacles to business. You will get new partners, suppliers, and clients.
The process of opening and registering a company is quick, clear and simple. It is also important that everything can be done online.
Often, businesspeople, especially start-up entrepreneurs, fooled by how easy it is to register a company in the UK, make mistakes due to misunderstanding of legal terms or a lack of detailed information. And it is possible to suffer losses as a result. That is why it is better to be on the safe side and to seek professional advice.
Today, Imperial & Legal is at the top of the UK legal services market. It has simplified the process of registering a company in the UK for hundreds of clients. We asked our experts to answer questions about opening a company in the UK.
How Do Non-Residents Start and Register a Company in the UK?
At first glance, the registration procedure is extremely simple. It is based not even on three pillars, but just on two. The following documents have to be prepared and agreed for a company:
- A memorandum of association (contains all the rules that govern management of a company for directors and shareholders; it is possible to use a standard template or create your own)
- Articles of association (a document which defines the purpose and the share capital, this document confirms the intentions of the shareholders to establish the company and become shareholders).
In addition, you must pay a £20 registration fee.
Is a UK Bank Account Required for Non-Resident Company Owners?
It is not necessary but advisable to have a bank account in the UK to run a business. Doing business with an existing corporate or personal bank account in the UK guarantees that transactions will be handled more easily and without extortionate fees. As an alternative, various account services are available in international banks (Barclays, TSB, HSBC). In this matter, it makes sense to consult specialists.
Do I Have to Live in the UK and Have a Residential Address?
Although it is not compulsory to live permanently in the UK, but a registered office address and a home address in the UK will be required to register a company in the UK and open a bank account for business purposes (a registered trading office address is not always sufficient).
Can a UK Company Be Run by an Agent on Behalf of a Non-Resident?
It is possible for non-residents to set up and run a UK company entirely or partly via a UK business agent. This entails a commercial agreement with a number of rules.
Nuances of Starting a Company in the UK
At this stage, you realise that registration of a company in the UK is not an easy process… Yes, it is a real task, but you have to remember both a lot of legal details and nuances (beyond the basics). That’s why it’s worth delegating tasks to improve efficiency. This principle has never failed: work should be done by professionals. An entrepreneur should run their business and advisors should provide legal support.
After analysing the UK legal services market wins a place at the top. Why are specialists of this company so good? It’s all about the comprehensive approach: a package of accounting reports, assistance with opening a bank account, a set of perfect articles of association, mediation and company secretarial services, etc.
As an incorporation agent with headquarters in London, I will provide all services to start and maintain any type of company and incorporation form. Initial consultation on the terms and incorporation documents is free of charge.
As a rule, the main obstacle to registering a company in the UK is the accounting and financial nuances. Businesses registered in the UK are required to report to the Companies House and the HM Revenues and Customs each year. Competent professionals can prepare and submit all types of financial and tax reports for your company: VAT, payroll and others. They can also help you open and manage bank accounts.
In addition to accounting support, advisors provide additional services regarding statements from the Companies House, or reporting amendments about your company. They can also arrange for all kinds of certificates to be issued and your company’s documents for incorporation in the UK to be legalised. They offer intermediary services as company secretary or nominee entities, etc.
Packages and Additional Services to Register and Support UK Business
Standard Package (from £285) is the basic minimum. It is suitable if your purpose is to register a company in the UK. The package includes such services as:
- Preparing all documents
- Checking company name for availability
- Submitting an application to the Companies House, obtaining a certificate of incorporation
- Providing a registered address for one year from the date of incorporation
- Company secretary services for 1 year.
Standard Plus Package (from £1,950) offers a wider range of services:
- All Standard package services
- Correspondence address in the UK (including mail forwarding service) and an accessible office with a registered address in London
- Business telephone number
- English-speaking secretary taking calls, messages and emailing summaries to you
- Meeting room.
The costs £3,800 in the first year and £2,500 in subsequent years. It is suitable for Innovator, Start-up, Sole Representative visas:
- All Standard Plus package services
- Visa support (business visitor visas for 2 people)
- Business address for bank purposes
- A bank account in the UK
- Business advice on all issues
- VAT registration.