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Expanding to the UK: This is what you need to know!

Starting a business in the United Kingdom from a foreign country can be a complex process, but it is not impossible. The following are the key steps and considerations for entrepreneurs looking to set up a business in the UK.

Choose a business structure

The first step is to choose the appropriate business structure for your company. The most common types of business structures in the UK include sole trader, partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), and private limited company (Ltd). Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to consider the specific needs of your business before making a decision.

Register your business

Once you have chosen a business structure, you will need to register your business with the appropriate government agency. For example, if you are setting up a Ltd company, you will need to register with Companies House. If you are setting up a sole trader or partnership, you will need to register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Obtain necessary licenses and permits

Depending on the type of business you are setting up, you may need to obtain certain licenses and permits. For example, if you are setting up a food or drink business, you will need to register with the local council for food safety and hygiene regulations. If you are setting up a business that involves the sale of goods, you will need to register for VAT.


Hire employees

Hiring employees is an important step in setting up a business in the UK. You will need to consider the legal requirements for hiring and employing staff, such as providing a contract of employment and registering with HMRC as an employer.

Open a business bank account

 You will need to open a business bank account in the UK in order to receive payments and pay bills. This can be done through a variety of banks and building societies.

Set up accounting and bookkeeping

Keeping accurate records of your business finances is important for compliance with UK tax laws. You will need to set up a system for accounting and bookkeeping, which can include hiring an accountant or using accounting software.


Apply for any necessary visas

If you are not a UK citizen or resident, you will need to apply for a visa in order to set up a business in the UK. The type of visa you need will depend on your specific circumstances and the nature of your business.

Plan for tax and legal compliance

There are a number of tax and legal requirements that must be met when setting up a business in the UK. These include registering for VAT, filing annual accounts with Companies House, and filing annual tax returns with HMRC. It is important to plan for these requirements in advance to ensure compliance.

The timeline for setting up a business in the UK can vary depending on the type of business and the specific circumstances. It can take several weeks or months to complete all of the necessary steps and comply with all of the legal and regulatory requirements. However, we, at FIRM24, try to provide you with every convenience and make the process as quick as possible. 


Start now!

At Firm24 we are happy to assist you in expanding your business to the United Kingdom. If you need more information or have any questions, please feel free to schedule a consultation through this page. One of our specialists will be in touch with you within 24 hours.

Published on 6 July 2023
Adam Cambridge linkedin
Adam is our English content writer and studies International Business Law at Leiden University

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