A Guide to Starting a Business in the UK for Foreign Entrepreneurs

The United Kingdom stands as the fourth-best country globally for entrepreneurs, fostering a favourable environment for business growth, as reported by the US News & World Report’s Best Countries for Entrepreneurs.

Business Structures in the UK

The UK offers various business structures, each influencing taxation, personal liability, and administrative obligations. Options include:

  • Sole Trader: Operating as a self-employed individual with individual liability for losses.
  • Partnership: Collaboration between two or more individuals, sharing profits and liabilities.
  • Limited Company: A separate legal entity with independent finances and a required director.
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): Formed by two or more members, combining tax benefits and liability protection.

Steps to Start a Business in the UK

  • Legal Status Check: Confirm your eligibility, especially for non-EU citizens, and apply for necessary visas.
  • Visa Application: Apply for relevant visas, such as the Innovator Visa, Start-Up Visa, or Global Talent Visa.
  • Business Plan: Develop a comprehensive business plan to evaluate feasibility and long-term viability.
  • Choose Business Structure: Select the appropriate business structure based on your company’s nature.
  • Company Name and Address: Decide on a name, register it if necessary, and obtain a business address.
  • Register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC): Fulfill tax obligations by registering with HMRC.
  • Additional Business Rules: Be aware of specific industry-related regulations and requirements.

Business Visas in the UK

Explore visa options tailored for entrepreneurs, such as the Innovator Visa, Start-Up Visa, and Global Talent Visa.

Establishing a Branch in the UK

Foreign companies seeking to operate in the UK must register as an overseas company with Companies House.

Managing Your Company in the UK

Maintain proper accounting records, open a business bank account, and fulfill tax obligations, including registering for VAT if applicable.

Business Insurance

Secure necessary insurances, including Employers’ Liability, Public Liability, and Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Employing Staff in the UK

Understand the process of hiring employees, register as an employer with HMRC, and adhere to employment laws.

Post-Brexit Considerations

New laws, effective since January 1, 2021, impact EU citizens starting businesses in the UK, requiring visa applications.

Useful Resources

Explore specialised initiatives and resources offering support and assistance for various aspects of your UK business.

Starting a business in the UK involves navigating through financial, and regulatory landscapes. Seek professional guidance when needed and utilise available resources for a successful venture. Contact US and we can help you with this process.