UK company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN UK IN 2018

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.

Summary table of UK company registration

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?£7,790£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

UK business setup summary

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 companies are simple to set up since:
      • Only i) one director and ii) one shareholder are required to form a private company;
      • Foreign entrepreneurs wishing to register a UK company can easily handle the administration remotely, as Companies House allows many filings to be made online;
    2. UK entities have an excellent reputation worldwide, with English law forming the basis for company law in many countries worldwide. Incorporating in the UK ensures legal flexibility with clear governance rules in one of the world’s largest and most reputable trading economies;
    3. Company registration in the UK enables our Client to benefit from an attractive tax regime because:
      • The UK corporate tax rate is 20%, which is one of the lowest rates in Europe after Ireland and Bulgaria;
      • Dividends paid to UK companies are generally tax exempt, and the UK levies no withholding tax on dividends paid to foreign residents;
      • Tax credits are available for companies involved in R&D. These companies pay a lower rate of Corporation Tax. Companies may get a 100% deduction of Corporation Tax on work related to R&D. Large companies can get a further deduction from their taxable income which is 30% of their current spending on qualifying R&D;
      • 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.
    4. 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.
    5. The global rankings of UK in the various indexes are quite impressive for doing business:
      • In the Heritage Foundation’s 2018 Index of Economic Freedom, the UK ranks highly as having the world’s 8th freest economy, and scores 90% for investment freedom and capital flows;
      • The United Kingdom is perceived as the 8th least corrupt country in the world, according to the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International;
      • The United Kingdom is ranked 8th by the World Economic Forum in their Global Competitiveness Report 2017–2018, 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.
    6. The UK has a workforce of over 30 million people which is the 2nd largest in the EU. It has a workforce with strong skills, a flexible labor market and regulations designed to protect employees;
    7. The United Kingdom has a robust infrastructure which is an essential aid for new businesses to grow.
      • There have been massive improvements in the transportation system of the UK through the government’s £120 billion investment program;
      • The UK is highly reputable in terms of its world-class infrastructural facilities since it has the: i) 2nd largest port industry in the Europe, ii) largest air transport network in the Europe, and iii) enhanced railway systems in the entire EU;
      • UK’s pro-business friendly nature towards entrepreneurs and graduates through its programs like the Global entrepreneur program and the Sirius program, along with its robust infrastructural facilities makes it an ideal place for business incorporation.

    Problems of UK company registration

    1. As part of the Government’s drive to encourage transparency, a ban on the use of corporate directors is due to come into force as part of The Small Business, Enterprise, and Employment Act 2015. The government has not yet defined the scope of such exceptions, but this action is expected soon;
    2. UK incorporated companies trading on the AIM market of London Stock Exchange and other prescribed markets are now required to make reasonable investigations about their beneficial ownership and need to produce, and make public, beneficial ownership registers. New deadlines for filing relevant information regarding PSCs are more onerous;
    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, 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. In a historic referendum on June 23rd, 2016, Britain voted to leave the European Union. After which, the pound fell to its lowest since 1985, immediately after the result was declared. The UK is considered one of the best countries to start a business, but that could change due to the unknown effects Brexit could bring:
      • This could take a major hit on export businesses in the UK, as their costs will hike up with the increased tariffs. Even if the businesses choose to maintain a competitive edge by decreasing prices, it would mean lower profits for them;
      • The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) was formed in 1960, which the UK was a founding member. If the EU decides to change policies after Brexit, it could mean that the UK will lose its access to the single market.
    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 still recovering from its financial crisis. The economy holds 68th rank for its competitiveness in terms of its macroeconomic environment on the 2017-18 Global Competitiveness Index. This can be one of the major hindrances for the economy of UK which can discourage new entrepreneurs to invest in the UK;
    7. No UK banks onboard cryptocurrency-related business due to increased compliance costs and direct competition with the traditional financial system.
  • Best uses for a UK company

    1. Companies based in the UK can reach more than 500 million consumers across Europe, offering great potential for foreign entrepreneurs and investors with business support, tax incentives, and visa flexibility;
    2. Companies and limited liability partnerships registered in the UK can also be used as asset management Firms for funds registered in British Overseas Territories including i) Jersey ii) Guernsey iii) Isle of Man and iv) the British Virgin Islands

Select corporate structure
Business set up guide
Visa and migration options
Business set up strategy
Trademark registration
Compare similar North European countries
Client case studies

Frequently asked questions

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?

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: