Posted On: Thu, 01/10/2019 - 05:01

How to register a company in the UK from abroad

Even with all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the UK remains to be a hot destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Europe and it easy to see why. The country has a population of over 66 million, a soft tax regime, supports the development of intellectual property and so much more.

So, if you are looking to launch a start-up in the UK, here is a detailed step by step guide to get you off the ground.

Choose a unique name for the business

As obvious as it may seem, choosing a distinct, simple and catchy name is the first step towards building a successful business. But the best part is, the UK laws allow you to use two names - one as your domain and another as a business name.

However, there're a couple of rules that apply to both solo entrepreneurs and companies in the business naming space. The most notable one being - your proposed name should not be similar to any other registered company name. Or risk facing expensive courtroom battles.

For example, if a company registers the name "Black Bird Entertainment." And you decide to ride on their success and register as "The Black Bird Ent" or "Black Bad Entertainment," you stand to lose all the money spent in branding if the first company decides to take you to court.

The only time similar names work is when your business is in a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) with another company, or when you have an agreement with them.

Submit memorandum and articles of association

According to the Companies Act 2006, every business looking to set up shop in the UK should submit memorandum and articles of associations to the Companies House.

The memorandum is a document that sets up a company. It confirms that subscribers wish to form an enterprise, and in case it reaches to a point where there is share capital, each member is entitled to at least one share.

The articles of association lay out how the company is run, governed and owned. The main reason behind this documentation is to prevent directors from pursuing their interests without involving shareholders - considering that the Companies Act 2006 gives directors exclusive powers by default.

That coupled with the memorandum of association ensures fairness and structure in every business operating on UK soil.

Register with the Companies House

For as little as £12, you can register a company with the Companies House online in less than 24 hours. But there is a catch. You'll need a company address where all the mail will be sent. And that's where Solihull office comes in. We power small and medium businesses by offering them a UK registered office address.

Think about it for a second. A UK virtual office that comes complete with a mail forwarding service, plus unlimited mail posts and scans. Not only that, but we also have lockable, serviced office spaces available to you 24 hours a day.

The Companies House also requires enterprises to have at least one director and shareholder before applying for registration. Fortunately, they are not very strict on this one, so one person can fill these two positions. And that goes a long way on facilitating start-ups.

This government department used to publicly display all the business and director info on their website for transparency reasons. But a spike in identity theft made them pull down all sensitive information such as telephone numbers, date of birth, gender, and even the director service address.

Register for corporation tax

After signing up with the Companies House, businesses have to register with HMRC and pay Corporation Tax which is basically a percentage of your trading profits plus revenue made from investments and capital gains.

To register with the Corporation Tax, you'll need a 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). That comes in the mail from HMRC after 14 days of your Companies House registration. But if it fails to show up, just give them a call.

Nonresident directors are also required to file a self-assessment tax return with HMRC after every financial year. Failure to which, they may attract a fine of anything up to 200%. But this taxation law only applies to remuneration and benefits acquired within the UK.

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