How to register a company in UK in 2021
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with their UK company business registration. Our services include i) registering a business in the UK; 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 business can be conducted within as well as outside the UK.
About UK company set up
Popular business entities in UK
|LLC||PLC||Limited by guarantee||LLP||Rep. Office||Branch|
|How long to set the company up?||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks|
|How long to open company bank account?||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks|
|Wholly Foreign owned?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum paid-up share capital?||£1||£50,000||None||None||None||None|
|Must file annual corporation tax return?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Tax Registration Certificate required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Corporate Bank Account recommendation||HSBC UK||RBS Group||SCB||Barclays PLC||Santander Bank||HSBC UK|
|Does our Client need to travel?||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Resident director/representative required?||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|UK shareholder required?||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Minimum directors/representatives allowed?||1||2||1||1||1||1|
|British resident company secretary required?||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Corporate shareholders/members allowed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Public register of shareholders and directors?||Click link||Click link||Click link||Click link||Click link||Click link|
|UK Corporate Tax Rate?||19%||19%||19%||0%||0%||19%|
|Annual financial statements required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Statutory audit always required?||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Allowed to issue sales invoices?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Allowed to sign contracts?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Allowed to import and export goods?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Can rent an office in UK?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can buy UK property?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Can own equity in other UK companies?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Estimate of total business setup costs in Yr. 1||£7,890||£9,890||£7,140||£8,090||£7,970||£8,720|
|Estimate of total annual costs thereafter||£3,640||£4,275||£3,640||£3,640||£4,220||£4,220|
|Sample Engagement fee Invoice||View invoice||View invoice||View invoice||View invoice||View invoice||View invoice|
Advantages of doing business in the UK
- Quick and simple registration process
Foreigners are allowed to register a new company online, thereby reducing the travel expenses. The requirements for company incorporation are straightforward and the process is fast.
- A globally reputable jurisdiction
UK has been recognised as one of the top 10 most competitive economies of the world, by the World Economic Forum. The evaluation is based on different factors that support the country’s economy such as infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, financial system, market size, and human capital component.
- Attractive tax regime
The corporate tax rate in UK is one of the lowest amongst all the European nations. In addition, UK imposes no withholding tax on dividends and offers tax relief schemes.
Disadvantages of doing business in the UK
- Compulsory value added tax (VAT) regime
VAT is chargeable on goods and services that are both produced in the country and imported from outside of the European Union.
- Limited scope for cryptocurrency businesses
In general, UK banks do not prefer to onboard corporate account applications for cryptocurrency-related businesses. As a solution, we recommend these jurisdictions for setting up a cryptocurrency-related business.
- Complex banking application process for foreigners
Even though it is not mandatory to have a UK citizen as the company director and shareholder, it is recommended for the majority of the directors and shareholders to be resident in the UK for optimising the probability of securing an approval for corporate bank account application.
Incorporate a company in the UK in 10 steps
UK private limited company can be incorporated within 1 week with 1 director and 1 shareholder.
- Complete incorporation form IN01;
- File company incorporation application with the Companies House;
- Register for VAT and PAYE with the UK tax office HMRC;
- Apply for a corporate bank account;
Time required to start a new company in the UK is 10 weeks
Open a corporate bank account in the UK
UK is compliant with Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Healy Consultants Group PLC will assist our Clients to prepare a quality bank account application along with the necessary documents to satisfy the requirements of the UK banks.
Accounting and tax considerations
corporate tax in 2019
corporate tax starting 1 April 2020
VAT rate in the UK
withholding tax on dividend payments
UK visa requirements
Innovator visa or start-up visa
This type of visa is for non EEA citizens and non-Swiss nationals who want to set up a business that has been approved by an authorised organisation in the UK;
Representative of an Overseas Business visa
This visa type is for non-EEA citizens and non-Swiss nationals who are the sole representative of a branch office of an overseas parent company;
Investor visa (Tier 1)
Foreigners can apply for this visa if they invest at least £2,000,000 in the UK;
Intra-company Transfer visa (Tier 2)
This type of visa is for employees who are offered a role in the UK branch of the organisation. This visa is divided into 2 categories i) for long term staff; and ii) for graduate trainee;
General work visa (Tier 2)
Similar to Intra-company Transfer visa, this visa is for anyone who has been offered a skilled job in the UK.
Frequently asked questions
Why register a company in the UK?
The UK’s internationally-renowned legal system, low 20% tax rate and highly-skilled labour force all make the UK a fantastic investment destination. The UK’s EU membership also increases its attractiveness for foreign direct investment and Healy Consultants supports keeping the country within the European Union.
What is the name of the UK companies registry?
Companies House manages company registration in each of the UK’s three company law jurisdictions: i) England & Wales; ii) Scotland and iii) Northern Ireland. All UK companies are incorporated through this method.
I want to know how to start a company in the UK. How do I register my business?
To incorporate an English private company limited by shares, the shareholders must file information on i) the company directors, at least one of whom must be an individual (additional directors may be companies); ii) the shareholders; iii) the memorandum and articles of association; iv) the company’s registered address and v) the share capital and number of shares to be issued. The shareholders sign the company’s memorandum and articles of association and submit the package to Companies House. The entire process of establishing a business in the UK can be completed within a week.
Do you have a guide to UK company registration?
Yes – our “Incorporation Steps” page has a useful guide on setting up a company in the UK.
Does a private company require a company secretary?
English companies may appoint a company secretary, although there is no requirement to do so, nor are there any prescribed qualifications. Public limited companies do need a company secretary, whose qualification requirements are set out by the Companies Act.
Can foreigners register a company in the UK?
Yes, although companies with any foreign-resident directors or shareholders must used a paper-based application. Such applications take more time to complete than the online applications and attract slightly higher government fees. Even so, setting up an English company remains a quick and inexpensive option for registering a UK company.
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