In December 2018 Forbes Magazine placed the UK as number 1 in its list of Best Countries for Business. There is no doubt that the UK offers tremendous opportunities for businesses to be set up and to thrive. However the fact that this is so well recognised means that it is also probably the most competitive country on earth for businesses. You need to make sure that all aspects of your UK operation are run to the highest professional standards in order to succeed.
The aim of this article is to give you some tips as to how to setup a company in the UK.
- Visa. If you do not already have the right to live and run a business here you will need a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. For this you will need to invest a minimum of £200,000 in your new business and employ yourself and take on at least two members of staff in the first two years.
- Business Idea. You need to start with an idea of what product or service you want to sell. The first step is to think who might buy your product and why. You need a USP (Unique Selling Point). You must think very carefully about why anyone would buy from you. It may well be that your home country has products or skills that could be useful to businesses or people in the UK.
- Business Name and Registration. You will also need to choose a name for your business. You will probably want to choose something that stands out and perhaps describes the business you have in mind. In most cases you will be setting up a Limited Company. You will need to register that name with UK’s Companies House so you need to ensure that there is not already a company with your chosen name. UK Company registration details are in the public domain. You can look at the Companies House website for individual names or download a complete list for free here.
- Banking. You will need to set up a bank account for your business. Banks are keen to attract new business customers, but stringent money-laundering regulations mean they will need to satisfy themselves that your business is genuine. They will be even more rigorous if you are transferring money from outside the UK. At least one director of your business will need to have their main residence in the UK.
- Finally. There are many things you have to do before you start trading here. It is unlikely that you will have the skills to do all of them yourself. In those areas where you do not have experience it sensible to seek professional advice from specialists who have the relevant expertise. United Kingdom Business Advisors (UKBA) is an excellent source of skills in all aspects of setting up and running a business.
For more advice on setting up a business in the UK contact Richard Wickes at Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 00 (44) 20 7731 0853