Your guide to setting up an overseas business in the UK

The time to invest in the UK is now. If you’re ready to take the next step for your business, here’s how to do it.

  1. Set up a company in the UK

    You can set up a private limited UK company online in just 24 hours, or register a branch of your existing company in up to 4 weeks.

  2. Apply for a UK visa

    Anyone from outside of the European Economic Area and Switzerland may need to apply for a UK visa to work in the UK or visit for business reasons.

  3. Open a UK business bank account

    This will allow your business to make and receive payments in the UK without incurring foreign exchange fees. It is not a legal requirement. Yet, it will enable you to keep track of your transactions.

  4. Understand UK tax and incentives

    The UK has one of the most competitive tax systems in the world and the corporate tax rules are simple and clear.

  5. Establish a base for business in the UK

    The UK has straightforward processes and incentives to help businesses to set up and expand.

  6. Hire skilled workers for your UK operations

    The UK has a world-class pool of talent and business-friendly employment laws. You can also bring employees to the UK from other countries through a flexible visa system.

  7. Understand the UK’s legal framework

    The UK has simple, clear laws helping make it the seventh easiest place to do business in the world, according to the World Bank.

How we help

The Department for International Trade helps overseas companies locate and grow in the UK.

Based in British embassies, high commissions and consulates in cities around the world, our investment services team can:

  • Help you to build connections with businesses across your sector
  • Assist with visa applications and other immigration issues
  • Help you find grants and incentives to help your business to grow
  • Advise on hiring staff, from salary benchmarking through recruitment and training
  • Share insights into specific markets based on your needs