Company Incorporation in the United Kingdom - An Overview

The United Kingdom has always been an attraction for business owners all over the world. The United Kingdom is one of the top destinations for starting new businesses in the world because of its well-equipped infrastructure, high quality facilities, strong governance and well-implemented rules and regulations.

To get Company registration in the United Kingdom no citizenship is required. Although there are some restrictions on non–resident before opening a limited liability company.

The process of incorporation of a company is fairly easy and can be completed within 24 hours without any requirement of physical appearance of the owner or directors. Also, there are no restrictions regarding the nationality of the shareholders or the directors.

Benefits of incorporating a company in the UK

  • The regulatory and legal requirements for starting a business in the United Kingdom have become much easier in the past few years. Whether it is registering as new business and filling out a tax return through the U.K.'s color-coded online system, the barriers to getting started have been steadily getting lower. The World Bank found that it takes 13 days to set up a business in the UK, compared to the European average of 32 days. It ranks the UK first in Europe and sixth in the world to operate a business.
  • The British government provides numerous financial schemes that offer significant tax benefits not just to smart investors who can afford expensive tax advice, but also to the founders and employees of companies. If you sell your company, you can claim up to £10 million of Entrepreneurs Relief and investors can claim up to £150,000 in tax credits on their investments each year.
  • The OECD noted that the UK is second in the world for Product Market Regulation and is only behind Australia, has the least restrictions to entrepreneurship in the world and has the third least barriers to investment and trade in the world.
  • The United Kingdom has an extremely efficient communication system and has the most extensive broadband market among the G7 countries and one of the strongest ICT infrastructures in the world.
  • Speaking in the international language of business: Operating in English gives firms in the UK a natural advantage when communicating globally.

Documents and information required for company incorporation in the UK

For starting up a business in the United Kingdom, we will require the following documents and information:

Constitutional documents

The Memorandum of Association: a short document confirming the owners intention to form the company and to become members of that company on incorporation.

The Articles of Association: the company’s principal constitutional document, which contains in detail all the administrative provisions of the company’s operations that are agreed by its members. It sets out how the important decisions are taken by the members and directors, as well as various matters connected with the shares, general meetings of the members, appointment and powers of directors, board resolutions and notices, helping to ensure that the company’s business runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. A company can either adopt a form of Model Articles defined by Statute or adopt their own Bespoke Articles.


Company name

A UK private limited company can choose any name provided that: it is distinctive: it cannot be identical to another name, differ from another name on the company index: it doesn’t contain a sensitive word or expression and is not offensive.


Registered office

Your company should have a physical address in the UK. This is where official communications will be sent, such as correspondence from Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs department.

This address will be publicly available on the online register and will be the location where the public is able to inspect the statutory registers of the company, unless the company adopts a single alternative inspection location (SAIL). The address should be displayed on all company stationery, including emails and websites. We can help you establish a registered UK office address – learn more.


First officers

The First Officers consist of the following.

Directors

A private limited company must have at least one director who is a living individual, at least 16 years of age and not disqualified from being a director. . It is advisable to have at least two directors to ensure continuity should one of them resign or be unable to act.

The Articles of Association usually contains provisions on how the directors should manage the company affairs and how the directors may exercise all the powers conferred by its members and in accordance with their fiduciary, common law and statutory duties.

Company secretary

A private limited company does not have to mandatorily appoint a Company Secretary unless the same is specifically mentioned in the articles of the company. A company secretary can be an individual or an organization.


Statement of capital

This statement provides the details of the shares of the company and their valuation. There can be numerous classes of shares with different rights such as voting rights, dividend rights, capital rights and redemption rights.


Persons with significant control

Any person with significant control must be registered on the incorporation of the company. The purpose of the same is to improve corporate trust and transparency by making it clear who ultimately controls the company.

A person with significant control is an individual or legal entity who meets one or more conditions relating to share ownership, voting rights, appointment of directors or exercises control of the company.


Company registration for non-UK residents

The registration procedure for non-UK residents is very much similar as for residents living in the UK. There are no restrictions on foreigners being a director, shareholder, or secretary. You even need not have to live in the UK for starting a company. But your company must be registered with Companies House in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland (depending on the location of the company).

Requirements for registering a UK Limited company:

Company Name: The name of your company should be unique and should not contain any prohibited words.

Director: Only one director is required for the company formation but there is no limit to the number of directors you can appoint. The age of every director should be 16+

Shareholder: Only one shareholder is required but there is no limit to the number of shareholders you can appoint.

Registered address: This address of the company must mandatorily be in the UK and will appear on the public register.

Directors service address: Each director, secretary and PSC must provide a service address for Companies House. This address can be located anywhere in the world but it will be on the public record.

Why Vakilsearch?


4 Business Days

At Vakilsearch, we can deliver all your documentation requirements in just four working days. And if you're not totally satisfied, we'll take another couple of days to work on the modifications you need. All at the lowest price, both online and offline.

9.1 Customer Score

We make your interaction with government as smooth as is possible by doing all the paperwork for you. We will also give you absolute clarity on the process to set realistic expectations.

160 Strong Team

Our team of experienced business advisors are a phone call away, should you have any queries about the process. But we'll try to ensure that your doubts are cleared before they even arise.

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