Business entities in UK

Business entities in UK

Healy Consultants will assist our Clients with incorporating the optimal British corporate structure. There are several ways of doing business in UK, the most common being the registration of a limited liability company.

The British limited liability company

  • Multinationals wishing to set up a subsidiary in UK will use the simple limited liability company requiring i) a paid up share capital of just £1 ii) and 1 shareholder and 1 director (no need for resident director). The Companies House is responsible for the registration and the process is straightforward and can be completed within 1 week;
  • After the company has been set up in UK, an annual return must be delivered to the Companies House at least once per annum. A LLC in UK is also subject to corporate income tax (standard rate of 20%) and must hence file financial statements to the tax authority.

The British public limited company

  • This business entity requires i) a minimum capital of £50,000, ii) 2 shareholders and 2 directors (no need for resident director) iii) a qualified company secretary and iv) registered at Companies House;
  • After the company has been set up in UK, a ‘confirmation statement’ must be delivered to Companies House at least once per annum. PLC in UK will be subjected to 20% corporation tax.

The British limited liability partnership

  • This business entity requires at least two partners but no minimum contribution is set by the UK Government;
  • The British LLP must submit a partnership Self-Assessment tax return to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) annually. All partners have to submit i) an annual personal self-assessment tax return ii) pay income tax on their share of the profits earned in the partnership and iii) pay National Insurance.

The British representative office

  • To establish this business entity, you will have to be registered with both the Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). A resident representative is required but, like most other UK business entities, there is no minimum capital requirement. Additionally, representative offices are not required to pay corporation tax.

The British branch office

  • Likewise, to set up a Branch office in UK, it requires i) a resident director ii) no minimum capital requirement and iii) registered with Companies House;
  • A branch office is subject to a 20% corporation tax. The United Kingdom does not levy any additional tax on branch remittances to their overseas head office;
  • A branch office is required to notify Companies House as and when the following changes occurs: i) company details ii) directors and iii) branch details.
 LLCPLCLLPRep OfficeBranch Office
How long to set the company up?1 week2 weeks1 week1 week2 weeks
How long to open company bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Legal Liability?LimitedLimitedLimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Wholly Foreign owned?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum paid-up share capital?£1£50,000NoneNoneNone
Must file annual corporation tax return?YesYesNoNoYes
Tax Registration Certificate required?YesYesNoNoYes
Corporate Bank Account recommendationCitbankLloyd’'sBarclaysCitbankHSBC
Does our Client need to travel?NoNoNoNoNo
Resident director/representative required?NoNoNoYesYes
UK shareholder required?NoNoNoNoNo
Minimum directors/representatives allowed?12211
Minimum shareholders/partners?122Parent companyParent company
British resident company secretary required?YesYesYesYesYes
Corporate shareholders allowed?YesYesYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders and directors?Yes, see their websiteYes, see their websiteYes, see their websiteYes, see their websiteYes, see their website
UK Corporate Tax Rate?20%20%0%0%20%
Annual financial statements required?YesYesYesYesYes
Statutory audit always required?NoYesNoNoNo
Allowed to issue sales invoices?YesYesYesNoYes
Allowed to sign contracts?YesYesYesNoYes
Allowed to import and export goods?YesYesYesNoYes
Can rent an office in UK?YesYesYesYesYes
Can buy UK property?YesYesYesNoYes
Can own equity in other UK companies?YesYesYesNoYes
Estimate of total business setup costs in Yr. 1£5,790£8,890£5,990Contact us£6,720
Estimate of total annual costs thereafter (excl. accounting and tax fees)£1,140£1,875£1,140Contact us£1,820
Sample Engagement fee InvoiceUK LLP invoiceContact us

Contact us

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