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Despite current context of Brexit, United Kingdom is maybe the strongest economy in Europe and in the top 10 of largest world economies. Built on solid historical foundations, London offers a perfect business environment, prone to foreign investments and liberal regulations. If incorporation process is one of most straight forward, opening a bank account in UK can be a struggle.

Market size, strong currency even if lower since Brexit, geographical gate to Europe and offering a large incentive scheme are not the only reason to choose UK, for which low corporate tax if often a decisive factor.  

What are the main types of company in the UK?

These are the most popular structures for foreign companies entering the UK:

  • private limited company (Ltd)
  • public limited company (Plc)
  • branch of a foreign company
  • limited liability partnership

Main features of a LTD

  • by far the most popular format for foreign investors
  • only one shareholder needed, ideal for wholly-owned subsidiary
  • no minimum capital requirement
  • Single Director company available. Company secretary optional
  • UK Registered Office required
  • Accounts need to be filed annually 

Recruitment environment

Despite a raise in employment rates over the past decade, foreign companies will find little difficulty in recruiting local staff, but a strong international workforce is available locally. UK workers are generally well educated and adaptable. There is a thriving recruitment sector in the UK.

Regulatory environment

Attracting foreign investment has been the UK priority last decade, enhanced by the liberal regulatory framework. There are very few restrictions on foreign ownership, even if the finance sector is more regulated in the advantage of consumers, in line with the stricter and stricter frame abuse of monopoly powers regulations.

Financial incentives

Specific areas and sectors can offer interesting incentives. Grants may be provided to assist job-creating investment in certain areas of the UK, mainly outside London and the south east. Other incentives take the form of R&D grants, technical assistance for exports, and export credit guarantees.

Filing requirements

A UK company must file an annual return every year, along with preparing and filing annual financial statements. 

Please contact us and we will be pleased to discuss matters in greater detail.