Opening a UK company is no longer the prerogative of only a few foreign entrepreneurs. If you take the process of UK company registration seriously and find your niche in the highly competitive British market, you will get not only a stable source of income but also a chance to settle in the UK and get a British passport.
It is not a walk in the park and not cheap either to establish your own business in one of the world’s financial hubs – the United Kingdom, but the money and effort you invest will pay off in the long run. You want to know why?
The above benefits combined with centuries of entrepreneurial traditions, a unique geographical position at the crossroads of trade routes and colossal markets for the sale of goods and services, create a business environment that attracts entrepreneurs from all over the world.
Here is a table where we included the four business structures on the left and their key benefits on the right.
Great solution for small and medium businesses
Shareholders’ liability for company’s debts is limited to their share in its share capital
Share capital can be as little as £1
A shareholder can be also a director of that company
No restrictions on nationality, residency and tax status of shareholders and directors
A more prestigious legal entity
Shares can be traded on stock markets
Shareholders’ liability is limited to the amount they contributed to the company’s share capital
A PLC must have at least 2 shareholders and 2 directors one of which must be a natural person
No corporation tax as profit belongs to partners who must pay income tax
Partners’ liability is limited by the amount they paid on registration
No stamp duty on properties sold or purchased by an LLP
No corporation tax, like LLP
Only general partners are responsible for management and liable for any debts and obligations of the partnership
SLPs are not required to file annual accounts when there is no activity in the UK
Irrespective of the company structure, you will need professional support to operate and run your business in a most efficient manner. You will need expert advice at every stage of setting up and running a business – from incorporation to first annual accounts and beyond.
We can offer you three package solutions for start-up businessmen coming to the UK to realise their entrepreneurial dream.
It includes a bare minimum to start a business.
Imperial & Legal team will help you prepare all paperwork to open a UK company. You will get a certificate of incorporation and articles of association once your company is set up.
We will also provide you a 1-year registered address where you will receive post from the Companies House and HMRC related to corporation tax.
If your company’s shareholding structure or any details change, a company secretary will be able to make all necessary changes in the company’s registers and duly notify the Companies House (additional fee may apply).
Apart from the above services, Standard Plus package includes a correspondence address for general post and an English-speaking secretary who will generate daily reports and email them to you at the end of each day.
Add-on services include a landline and a meeting room (fees apply).
This is a turnkey solution for a UK business including anything your company might need. Apart from what is covered by two other packages, Imperial includes:
To run a business in a foreign country, you must be there at least; for that, you need a permit that would give you right to live in the UK for a few years – it is called a visa or a residence permit.
Foreign entrepreneurs can apply for three main business visas: Start-up, Innovator and Representative of an Overseas Business.
Each of the visas has its own limitations. Start-up and innovators must have a clear, future-proof business plan that will inspire one of the government-approved bodies to issue them an endorsement letter.
A sole representative visa is available to a top manager of a parent company outside the UK who is not a majority shareholder. Work experience, qualifications and relevant education are what the Home Office will be especially interested in. A good level ofEnglish is a must.
All three visa categories require from entrepreneurs to dedicate all their working time to the development of business at hand. More information about these visas can be found in this article about business visas for entrepreneurs.
If you have money and ambitions to invest millions of pounds in a UK business, it is only natural that you would ask for more freedom and flexibility in return. Fortunately, there is a visa that gives such freedom – a UK investor visa.
UK Investor visa does not take a lot of time to get, there is no need to take a language test or have any work experience and business education.
Investors have almost no limitations as to what they can do in Great Britain – they and their family can leave the country for as long as they need and come back any time. You don’t have to work only on one project – you can work anywhere, study or enjoy your time in a developed country.
Minimum investment is £2 million and it goes up all the way to £10M and higher. You must invest in a UK-registered business or businesses, your own or otherwise. There are restrictions on activities of these businesses as the government wants foreigners to invest only in the real sector of the economy.
Depending on how much you have invested, after 2 to 5 years of living in the country, you can apply for an indefinite leave to remain, or settlement, and then obtain British citizenship. If you are not keen on doing business after getting settled status, you can sell it and have your money back.
Want to know more about registering your company in the United Kingdom? Get in touch with business experts at Imperial & Legal. Immigration is only one aspect where we excel; we also offer a comprehensive range of services for any personal and business needs. Our specialists will not only help you set up a business in the UK and get a visa, but also ensure a smooth relocation to Great Britain (including search of accommodation and schools) and advise on tax optimisation and running a business.
Foreign businessmen prefer one of the four incorporation structures to register their UK business:
They have one thing in common – limited liability, when shareholders, guarantors, partners and limited partners are liable for the company’s debts only up to the amount of their contribution in a share capital, their guarantee, nominal or actual value of purchased shares.
It is a type of a limited company used to register not-for-profit and charity organisations.
In a company limited by shares, shareholders are liable within the amount of their nominal shareholding.
In a company limited by guarantee, people liable for company’s debts are called guarantors; they are owners and their liability is limited to the amount of guarantee fixed in incorporation documents.
Unlike a private limited company, a public company can trade its shares on stock exchange markets and belong 100% to individuals. Therefore, if a PLC does not succeed, shareholders will be liable for its debts only with the value of shares they paid and not nominal value like in a limited company.
Share capital of an active public company must not be less than £50,000 where at least 25% is paid. Unlike Ltd, a PLC must have at least 2 shareholders and 2 directors one of whom must be an individual over 16. Both shareholders and hired personnel can serve as company directors.
Like in the companies above, a limited liability partnership is independent of its members who are liable for partnership’s debts within the amount of contribution they made on registration.
However, at least two shareholders in an LLP must become designated partners who are legally liable for incorrectly prepared or late accounts.
All SLP partners are divided into two categories:
Most UK-registered businesses are not required to have a company secretary. However, we strongly recommend using their services especially if you do not have knowledge of UK legislation and how to deal with regulatory bodies.
London office of Imperial & Legal offers company secretary services to foreign businessmen both as part of package solutions and as an add-on. We will help you:
A company secretary will take care of all admin-related matters. This will give you peace of mind that the company will not be shut down in an inopportune moment because you forgot to file this statement or submit that report.
We will work with you to find a customised solution for your immigration, second citizenship, business, tax and other needs.
Start a business in UK
Worldwide business support
British citizenship by investment
Representative of an Overseas Business visa
Visas to the UK
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