UK company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN THE UK

Since 2003, Healy Consultants PLC has assisted Clients with business registration in the United Kingdom. Our services include i) UK company registration ii) corporate bank account opening iii) employee recruitment iv) employee visa strategies and v) office space rental solutions.

An English limited company is an ideal, flexible corporate vehicle through which European and international business can be conducted in the UK.

SummaryTax resident LLCFast solutionTax resident PLCCompany Limited by Guarantee LLPRepresentative officeBranch officeTrust
Best use of company?All products and servicesInvoice customer nowLSE listingNon for profit businessProfessional servicesMarketing & researchConsolidate lossesTax planning
How soon can you invoice Clients / sign sales contracts?2 weeks1 week2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks3 weeks
How soon to have active bank account numbers?6 weeks1 week6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks8 weeks
How soon can you hire staff?2 weeks1 week2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks3 weeks
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?2 weeks1 week2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks3 weeks
Travel required for bank account opening?NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?19%19%19%19%0%0%19%0%
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?YesYesNoNoYesYesYesYes
Government grants available?YesYesYesYesNoNoYesNo
UK holding company income legally tax exempt?YesYesYesYesNoNoNoYes
Resident director/partner/manager required?NoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
standard VAT?20%20%20%20%20%0%20%20%
Can bid for Government contracts?YesYesYesYesYesNoYesNo
Corporate bank account location?HSBC londonRBS GroupStandard Chartered BankBarclays PLCSantander BankBarclays PLCHSBC londonStandard Chartered Bank
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesYesYesNoYesNo
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesYesNoNoYes
Average total engagement costs?£5,790£13,540£8,890£6,040£5,990£6,970£6,720£13,850
Average total engagement period?10 weeks10 weeks10 weeks10 weeks10 weeks10 weeks10 weeks12 weeks

See full table

Accounting and tax considerationsTax resident LLCFast solutionTax resident PLCCompany Limited by Guarantee LLPRepresentative officeBranch officeTrust
Must file an annual tax return?YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Access to double taxation treaties?YesYesYesYesNoYesYesNo
This entity enjoys Government incentives?YesYesYesYesNoNoYesNo
Company registrationTax resident LLCFast solutionTax resident PLCCompany Limited by Guarantee LLPRepresentative officeBranch officeTrust
Minimum number of shareholders/partners?11212Parent companyParent company1
Maximum shareholding for foreigners?NoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Minimum number of directors/managers?1121111None
Minimum statutory paid up share capital? (£)£1£1£50,000None£2£0£0£0
Shelf companies available?YesYesYesNoNoNoNoNo
Time to incorporate a new entity?1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week2 weeks
Can easily convert to a PLC?YesYesYesNoNoNoNoNo
Public register of shareholders and directors?YesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Can have preference shareholders?YesYesYesYesYesNoNoYes
Business ConsiderationsTax resident LLCFast solutionTax resident PLCCompany Limited by Guarantee LLPRepresentative officeBranch officeTrust
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesYesYesNoYesNo
Can secure an import and export license?YesYesYesYesYesNoYesNo

Other useful information 
What will be included in my customer sales invoice?(click link)
This country has signed free trade agreements?Yes
This country is a member of WIPO/TRIPS?Yes
This country is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average customs duties suffered?0%
Government foreign investment approval required?No
Average monthly office rental? (£ per sq m)£40
Minimum statutory monthly salary?£1,382
Average monthly £ salary for local skilled employees?£2320
UK £ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)1%
Overseas remittance currency controls?No
Maximum number of staff allowed?No limit
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platform?Excellent
Crowd funding available in this country?Yes
Can be wholly foreign owned?Yes
Government approval required for foreign owners?No
Temporary physical office solutions available?Yes
You need a local resident as bank signatory?No
VAT payable on sales to local customers?20%
Withholding tax on payments to foreign shareholders?20%, but lower tax rates can apply due to tax treaties
Group HQ tax incentives?Yes
Must file annual financial statements?Yes
Must appoint an auditor?small company exemption available
Withholding tax on payments to parent company?20%, but lower tax rates can apply due to tax treaties
Quarterly VAT reporting to the Government?Yes
Dividends received are legally tax exempt?Yes
must sign an office lease agreement?No
Shareholders and directors documents to be attested?Yes
Foreign director needs a tax number?No
Foreign director needs a residence visa?No
Shareholders & directors documents to be English translated?Yes
The entity will likely be regulated by?Companies House
Sponsorship by a local citizen required?No
Expatriate to local staff ratio?None
Company can rent local office space?Yes
Can secure residence visa for business owner?Yes

Tell us what you need - we’ll send you a customised proposal in 5 hours!

Press the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information.

  • Benefits and problems

    Benefits of UK company registration

    Guides to register new company in UK

    1. UK company formation has an excellent reputation worldwide, with English law forming the basis for company law in many countries worldwide. Incorporating in the UK couples legal flexibility with clear governance rules in one of the world’s largest and most reputable trading economies;
    2. Another reason to register a company in the UK is that over 100 countries have double taxation treaties with the UK, including the US, Japan, China, Germany, France, Singapore, and Canada. These treaties provide several advantages to support businesses with UK headquarters, particularly the reduction of withholding tax on dividends;
    3. UK companies are simple to manage, as only i) one director and ii) one shareholder are required to form a private company;
    4. Foreign entrepreneurs wishing to register a UK company can easily handle the administration remotely, as Companies House allows many filings to be made online;
    5. The corporate tax rate is 20%, which is one of the lowest rates in Europe after Ireland and Bulgaria. For companies that receive profits from ring fence activities (oil extraction activities in the UK/UK Continental Shelf) the rates of corporation tax are 19% and 30%, respectively;
    6. Dividends paid to UK companies are generally tax exempt, and the UK levies no withholding tax on dividends paid to foreign residents;
    7. Capital gains for companies selling subsidiaries (with at least a 10% holding) are tax exempt if the subsidiary was owned for at least 1 year;
    8. Being part of the EU, the UK enjoys low barriers to trade with 27 other European states and a single cross-border VAT administration known as VIES;
    9. The UK’s EU membership gives local financial firms access to European markets without additional regulatory burdens thanks to directives including MiFID and AIFMD;
    10. In the Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, the UK ranks highly as having the world’s 13th freest economy, and scores 90% for investment freedom and capital flows;
    11. The United Kingdom is perceived as the 14th least corrupt country in the world, according to the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International;
    12. The United Kingdom is ranked 9th by the World Economic Forum in their Global Competitiveness Report 2014 – 2015, one of the world’s most comprehensive and well-respected assessments of countries’ competitiveness. The report offers invaluable insights into the policies, institutions, and factors driving productivity that benefit entrepreneurs interested in UK company registration;
    13. A foreign company can open a London corporate bank account and not be subject to UK tax if i) it has no sales in the UK ii) no office in the UK and iii) its beneficial owners reside outside UK. However, using this structure will mean that the company is tax resident elsewhere, where additional liabilities will arise. This structure also removes access to the UK’s network of tax treaties.

    Problems of UK company registration

    1. UK companies may only appoint individuals as directors from October 2015. This change is being implemented by the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act, which amends the Companies Act 2006 to remove the ability to appoint corporate directors. Previously, corporate directors were permitted as long as there was at least one individual director on the board. All existing corporate directors must be removed from boards of UK companies by October 2016;
    2. Companies registered in the UK are required to keep a list of “people with significant control” (PSCs), which effectively makes beneficial ownership information public. The threshold for being considered a PSC is 25% beneficial ownership, and the obligation to maintain this register of PSCs starts in January 2016 (to be filed with Companies House by April 2016);
    3. Annual accounts must be prepared and submitted to the Inland Revenue and Companies House. The accounts submitted to Companies House are available for public inspection. However, for dormant companies and “small companies” as defined in the Companies Act only need to submit abbreviated accounts. This means that only the company’s balance sheet and notes are made public, rather than the company’s income or cash flow statements;
    4. There is a public register of directors and shareholders;
    5. Value added tax (VAT) is charged on the value of supplies of taxable goods and services made in the UK, including some exports to European Union (EU) countries. It is also chargeable on imports of goods from outside the EU. The main rates are 0% and 20%, but a few supplies are charged at 5%;
    6. The UK is a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). OECD members strive to implement internationally transparent policies for the exchange of information related to income and taxation in an effort to stamp out tax evasion practices. More information can be found on the UK section of the OECD website.
  • Best uses for a UK company

    1. Due to the positive image of UK companies, a UK company is an ideal corporate vehicle to promote to customers, suppliers, investors, venture capitalists, etc.;
    2. Dividends received from an EU resident underlying company will be free of withholding tax under the EU parent/subsidiary directive;
    3. The UK’s developed workforce means that highly-skilled workers are available, and it is easy to do international business in the country since the population is fluent in English.

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in UK, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Petar Chakarov, directly:
client relationship officer - Petar