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

 LLCPLCLimited by guaranteeLLPRep. OfficeBranch
How long to set the company up?2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks
How long to open company bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Legal Liability?LimitedLimitedLimitedLimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Wholly Foreign owned?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Minimum paid-up share capital?£1£50,000NoneNoneNoneNone
Must file annual corporation tax return?YesYesYesNoNoYes
Tax Registration Certificate required?YesYesYesNoNoYes
Corporate Bank Account recommendationHSBC UKRBS GroupSCBBarclays PLCSantander BankHSBC UK
Does our Client need to travel?NoNoNoNoNoNo
Resident director/representative required?NoNoNoNoYesYes
UK shareholder required?NoNoNoNoNoNo
Minimum directors/representatives allowed?121111
Minimum shareholders/partners?121211
British resident company secretary required?NoYesNoNoNoNo
Corporate shareholders/members allowed?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders and directors?Click linkClick linkClick linkClick linkClick linkClick link
UK Corporate Tax Rate?19%19%19%0%0%19%
Annual financial statements required?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Statutory audit always required?NoYesNoNoNoNo
Allowed to issue sales invoices?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Allowed to sign contracts?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Allowed to import and export goods?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Can rent an office in UK?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Can buy UK property?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Can own equity in other UK companies?YesYesYesYesNoYes
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 InvoiceView invoiceView invoiceView invoiceView invoiceView invoiceView invoice

Choose your UK business entity


Advantages of doing business in the UK

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

See more benefits

Disadvantages of doing business in the UK

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

See more challenges


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;

View all steps

Time required to start a new company in the UK is 10 weeks

Engagement Planning

1 week

Company incorporation

1 week

Corporate bank account approval

4 weeks

Corporate internet banking approval

3 weeks

Engagement completion

1 week

10 weeks

Compare timelines with other type of businesses in the UK


Open a corporate bank account in the UK

Healy Consultants Group PLC recommends these 7 banks to our clients i) HSBC; ii) Citibank; iii) Barclays; iv) Lloyds Bank; v) ANZ and vi) Bank of China;

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.

Learn more

Accounting and tax considerations

corporate tax in 2019

corporate tax starting 1 April 2020

VAT rate in the UK

withholding tax on dividend payments

Learn more

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.

Learn more


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.

Register your company in the UK now!Healy Consultants Group PLC has the solution to help you grow.
Corporate bank account questionnaire?

Thank you for your recent business inquiry, however I need a little more information from you.

To recommend the optimum non-travel banking strategy for your business, kindly complete the 5-minute questionnaire below.

Within 2 hours thereafter, a senior Consultant will ring you to discuss the specific results you need from Healy Consultants PLC:

  • Corporate bank account qualities

    In order of preference, list the countries where you want a corporate bank account?*
    What are your preferred currencies?
    Do you need corporate visa debit cards?

    Do you need to have a local currency cheque book?

    What daily funds transfer limits do you wish to have in place?
    Do you need secure phone banking?

    Do you need the bank to act on fax instructions from you?

    Do you prefer monthly paper bank statements or weekly e-statements?

    Do you need phone sms alerts when funds transfers happen?
  • Your preferences

    For now, do you prefer Healy Consultants PLC staff to phone you, or just email reply some corporate solutions?
    If a phone call, on what number can our senior Consultant call you?*
    If an email, what email address can our Consultant email you at?*
    What is your preferred date and time for a phone call?
    In what language do you prefer Healy Consultants Group PLC to communicate with you?
    What is your budget for the service you need from Healy Consultants Group PLC?*
    During the engagement, how often do you require an email from us; advising engagement progress?
    During the engagement, how often do you wish to speak with our senior staff; discussing problems and solutions?
    What does quality customer service mean to you?
  • Tell us about your existing business?

    Name of your company?
    In what country are your resident?

    What products and services does your company supply?
    How many years are you operating this business?
    In what country are the majority of your customers?

    In what country are the majority of your suppliers?

    What is the name of the company that will own the new corporate bank account?
    Who will be the bank signatory?
    What are the expected US$ monthly incoming transactions?
    What are the expected US$ monthly outgoing transactions?
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