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Making a business case for setting up in the UK

The UK is one of the most popular locations for companies to expand to and offers many benefits

International companies locate to the UK because they want to:
  • Access new or existing customers
  • Develop new products
  • Find new suppliers and partners
  • Do more business in other countries across Europe

Locating a business in the UK can offer many advantages:
  • Skilled workforce
  • Funding – grants, loans and other support
  • Enterprise zones – offer companies incentives to locate businesses in those areas
  • Good infrastructure

Are EC Sales Lists still required after Brexit?

EU Businesses do not need to submit EC Sales Lists for sales made after Brexit, which is currently the end of the transition period, 31st December 2020. For any sales made before the 1 January 2021, businesses will have bee given until 21st January 2021 to submit their ESLs.

Starting a business in the UK – Guide for Overseas Companies

How can overseas companies set up a business in the UK?

The three most common ways of establishing a presence in the UK are via:

UK limited company


 Limited Liability Partnership

What are the Brexit consequences for EU nationals living in the UK?

Any EU nationals that are residing in the UK by the 31st December will still be able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme until the 30th June 2021. If they have got the settled/pre-settled status, then nothing changes.

Can I still work in the UK if I am an EU national? Do I need a VISA?

  • If the EU national has a settled/pre-settled status, they will not need a VISA and will be able to continue working in the UK. If the EU national moves to the UK for work after the 1 January 2021, then a VISA is required. Until 1 July 2021, you can continue coming to the UK as a frontier worker using your valid passport or national identity card. You can apply for the frontier worker permit as soon as the scheme is launched.

How do I apply for a frontier worker permit?

  • On 10 December, the government is expected to launch a frontier worker permit scheme. Can then apply if you have frontier worker status. Applications are free. You can apply online from inside or outside the UK.
    From 1 July 2021, you must hold a valid frontier worker permit, as well as your valid passport or national identity card, to enter the UK as a frontier worker.

What about frontier workers? Do I need a visa to continue to work in the UK?

  • A frontier worker is an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen employed or self-employed in the UK but who lives elsewhere. You can keep your frontier worker status if you are working in the UK by 31 December 2020, but you should apply for a frontier worker permit as soon as possible.

Will employing EU nationals still be possible after Brexit?

It will still be possible to employ EU nationals after Brexit if:

The employee speaks English

The offered job is of a minimum skill level (anything equivalent to A level or above)

The employee’s salary is over a threshold of over £30,000 per year

Employers must also pay a fee per skilled migrant worker they employ through the Skilled Worker and Intra-Company Transfer routes.

What Do UK Company Incorporation Services Consist of?

Our company incorporation services will begin by assessing whether starting a company in the UK will best serve the objectives of the overseas business. We will go through the alternative options, advise on the advantages and disadvantages, as opposed to using a different entity type. Assuming incorporating a UK company is the best option, we will advise about the naming process and check the availability of your preferred names. We will assist you with completing the set up questionnaire, which asks for details about the directors and shareholders as well as other information needed for the incorporation process. Choosing a standard industry classification code (SIC code), that identifies the industry sector that the business will be operating in, is often very confusing and we will guide you through the long list of options. We can also provide a registered office address for your company, if you don’t have a UK address.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I incorporate a UK company if my business is located in USA?

    An overseas business can set up a UK entity and it does not need to have an office or staff in the UK to do so. There will be different tax implications if that is the case, as oppose to when the company has a permanent establishment in the UK, with a local office and employees in the UK. The facts are often not totally clear cut and need careful consideration to ensure taxes are declared correctly, therefore it is always wise to take professional advice on these matters.

  • What are the steps for EU residents when incorporating a UK company?

    The steps are the same for all foreign persons and businesses who want to incorporate a UK company.

  • Can I incorporate company online?

    Online incorporation can be done in most cases, but not all. We do not advise that it is done without taking advice about the implications of incorporating a company and receiving confirmation that this entity type will achieve the business’ objectives. You should be familiar with the UK incorporation process and have taken advice on how to structure the new entity before embarking on an online company registration yourself.

  • Can Axada help with incorporating a company online in the UK?

    Yes, and as part of our full package of UK company incorporation services, we may in the final step register the company online. Online registration may not be suitable for all companies and in these cases we will register the company via other means.

  • If I use the cheapest incorporation agents, what are my risks?

    Using these services, you will simply be sent a form to complete which will form the basis for entering the information on the agents bulk formation system. Normally, there is no guidance provided and cheap formation services will not offer any advice on whether incorporating a limited company will be the best option to achieve your objectives.

  • How long does it take to incorporate a business in the UK?

    We can normally quote a timescale of 1-2 days after we have received all the information from you.

  • Can you help with UK LLP Incorporation?

    Yes, we can also offer UK LLP incorporation services.

  • Are there any annual compliance requirements when I register a UK company?

    There are a number of annual compliance requirements once a company is registered and we can take care of all of these annual compliance requirements for UK companies, freeing up more time for our clients to concentrate on managing their businesses.

    Annual statutory accounts must be prepared and filed at Companies House.

    Every year the business must complete a Confirmation Statement (formerly called Annual Return).

    Since 6th April 2016 a persons with significant control register (PSC register) must be held and kept up to date. This identifies all persons that have significant control or ownership.

    All formal changes, such as a change of director, shareholder or a change of address must be registered at Companies House and specific forms need to be completed either online or in hard copy.

    Recording minutes of meetings is very important as this records important decisions and resolutions made by the directors. Even though the keeping of minutes of meetings is a legal requirement it is often neglected by many companies and this can affect due diligence outcome in the event of a sale of the business.

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