Setting up business in the UK is straightforward.
If you are expanding your business into the UK or setting up business in the UK, you have several options about how your company operates.
If you want to create a separate legal entity in the UK ('incorporate a company'), forming a private limited company is the most popular option. You can also incorporate a business as a sole trader (in which you have all liability for company debts) or a partnership (where you share the liability with other partners in the business).
The process to register (incorporate) a private limited company in the UK typically takes less than 24 hours.
Setting up your company in the UK
Before you start the incorporation process, you’ll need:
- a name for the company
- an address for the company - this can be any UK address
- at least one director - this person does not need to be a UK resident
- at least one shareholder - this can an individual or another company
A UK company must have documents called a 'memorandum and articles of association', which must be in place at the time of incorporation. You can use standard template documents, or professional advisers can prepare and file tailored documents on your company’s behalf.
It is not a legal requirement to have a UK resident director or shareholder to set up a UK company. However, many banks will prefer that you have UK resident directors or shareholders before they will open a UK business bank account for your business.