International Business Set-up in UK

Overview of International Business Set-up in UK

Set Up A UK Start-Up Company As A Non-Resident

The UK acts as the perfect destination for non-residents to set up their company here. Being home to 66 million people and providing equidistant access to the markets in the USA and Asia, the UK is thriving as a financial center.

If you are a non-resident and looking forward to setting up a UK company, you need comprehensive guidance on the procedure involved. Doing it from the home country can seem like an impossible task, but you can easily achieve it when teamed with trusted partners like Flying Colour.

Here are the steps you need to know to set up a UK business start-up.


  1. Choosing the legal structure of the start-up company:

Before you start registering the UK business start-up, you need to decide the structure of the company for foreign investors in the UK. Following are the types of companies that a non-resident can set up in the UK:

 Private Limited Company (Ltd)

A private limited company is a legal entity and is the most popular type of company among foreign investors. This particular company requires at least one shareholder, one director, and a company secretary. There is no minimum limit when it comes to capital, and accounts are to be filed on a yearly basis.

Public Limited Company (Plc)

The public limited company offers its shares to the public, which further makes its capital structure larger. This particular company requires at least two directors and a company secretary. The minimum share capital that can be issued by Plc is £50,000, out of which at least 25% of the share capital must be paid up. If the turnover exceeds £1 million, the company is required to get its financial statements audited.

Limited Liability Partnership:

The limited liability partnership is considered suitable for joint ventures. This company structure falls between a traditional partnership and a limited company. When it comes to requirements, the LLPs require a minimum of two members having limited liability. The registration and disclosure requirements are the same as a limited company.


  1. Registering the start-up company in the UK:

Now that you know about different types of company structures, it’s time to determine the one suiting your business requirements. Next, you need to learn the steps to be followed to register a UK business start-up.


  • Register the unique name of the company: It is mandatory to register the UK business start-up with a unique name. Before you apply for registration, it is vital to find out if the name you are thinking of for your company is already acquired by another company in the UK. It is strictly banned to use a similar name for companies in the UK. Once you have given your company a unique name, you can register it.
  • Register the official UK address of the company: The address you are applying for registration must be the same in which state of UK the start-up company is located and carrying the business. For instance, if your company is located in England, then the company must have a registered office address in the same state. The registered office address of the company will be available publicly on the online register.
  • Register the directors of the company: The minimum age limit to be a director of the company is specified as 16 years in the UK. The UK company needs to have at least one registered director, but he or she doesn’t need to be a resident of the UK.
  • Issue the shares in the UK company: If you are thinking of establishing a limited UK business start-up, then the company must have at least one shareholder. The director can also be a shareholder of the company. It is your responsibility to set the initial value of the share. Companies in the UK can issue any number of shares at any par value.
  • Create Memorandum and Article of Association: A Memorandum of Association is a document acting as a foundation stone for the company. This document is to be signed by all shareholders when agreeing to form a company in the UK. Along with a memorandum of association, the company is also required to form an article of association. This document consists of the rules and regulations about running the company, which are agreed upon by the entity’s shareholders, secretary, and directors.
  • Register for Corporation Tax: When registering for a UK company, you can register online for the corporation tax. Remember that it is mandatory to register for corporation tax within three months from the date of starting the business in the UK. If you are wondering what is included in starting the business, let us inform you that it consists of buying and selling of goods, advertising of products and services, employing the candidates, renting business property, etc.

You should consider giving some time for registration of corporation tax. This is because a Unique Tax Reference is to be posted to the registered office address before completion of the UK company registration process. Also, you can register for VAT (Value Addition Tax).


  • Open a local bank account in the UK: Opening a local bank account in the UK will make it easy for you to carry out financial transactions across the country. You can register your company with the UK bank after letting it know what your business is about and how your business operates.
  • File for a tax return: When setting up a start-up company in the UK, remember to file and report the company’s tax return each year on the specified date. You can either compile this information by hiring an accountant or yourself. Either way, it is essential to undertake this step no matter if your UK company earns sufficient profits or not.

Get in touch with us!

The complete procedure might seem time-consuming and exhausting, so getting help from professional immigration advisors can make it easy to set up a UK business start-up from distant shores. Flying Colour is teamed up with experts guiding non-residents to start a business in the UK. We have helped many businesses to set up and manage operations in the UK. Connect with us for details!


How can we help you?

Interested in pursuing an L-1A visa for yourself or an employee?  Let us help! Our experienced staff and immigration attorneys know exactly how to manage an L-1 visa case. For a consultation, call +971 4 4542366 or email us at

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