The company director is the person tasked with running a UK limited company. As you would expect, this comes with a number of responsibilities. But can someone who doesn’t live in the UK take on the role of a company director? Let’s take a look.
Who can and can’t be a director?
Anyone can be a company director, as long as they are at least 16 years old, have not been disqualified from becoming one (by a court order or by the company’s own memorandum and articles), and are not an undischarged bankrupt.
The following does not matter:
- Place of residence (a company director can live anywhere in the world)
- Employment status
So to answer our initial question – yes, a non-UK resident can be a UK limited company director. And further to this, a non-UK resident can also become a shareholder (the owner of the company) and company secretary.
How to appoint a director at the same time as forming a company
All private companies limited by shares – the most common form of limited company – need at least one person in the director role.
If your company is not yet formed, a director appointment step will be included as part of the company formation process. It’s simply not possible to form a company without a director.
You can form your company directly with Companies House (the UK’s registrar of companies) or through a company formation agent, such as us.
We offer a number of company formation packages that make starting a business simple. We even offer a dedicated non-residence package (£124.99 plus VAT) for customers who are based outside of the UK but wish to form a UK limited company. This package includes:
- Company registration in 3 – 6 working hours
- A Wise business banking account
- Use of our London address as your company’s registered office address (this is integral as you will need a UK address to use as your company’s registered office)
- Use of our London address as your business address (meaning you can use our address as your mailing address – we’ll then forward your mail on to you, wherever you are based)
- An online company manager where you can carry out various admin tasks for your company, including appointing, editing and resigning directors – and much more
- A dedicated phone number for your business for 12 months
How to appoint a company director in an existing company
If a company is already up and running – you can appoint the director via the ‘AP01 Appointment of director’ paper form, or use Companies House WebFiling to make the appointment online (choose the ‘Register’ option if you don’t have a WebFiling account yet).
Alternatively, you can appoint the director with our free online company manager. Companies that are formed by us are automatically set up with an account, however, you can still use the online company manager if your company wasn’t formed by us. To set yourself up with an account:
- On the dedicated online company manager page, select ‘Click here to create an account’
- Enter your account holder information and primary address information, agree to the terms and conditions, and then select ‘Submit Registration’
Now that your account is set up, you can import an existing company. To do this:
- From your company dashboard, select ‘Import a Company’
- Enter the company number and company authentication code – select ‘Search’ and then click on your company name
- You can then import the company
- You will then be able to access the company from the ‘My Companies’ section of your dashboard
The director addresses
When appointing a director, you will need to provide Companies House with two addresses:
Director service address (also known as the correspondence address)
This is the official address for the director and where government mail, specifically for the director, will be sent. Unlike the company’s registered office, this does not need to be based in the UK.
The service address can be a residential address, but using a residential address is not ideal as it is placed on the public register – making it susceptible to uninvited visitors and direct mail. This can be avoided by using an alternative address that you have permission to use as the service address (a number of our company formation packages come with the option to use our address as the service address).
Director home address (also known as the usual residential address)
This must be the actual residential address of the director who is being appointed and can be based anywhere in the world. It will not be placed on the public register unless it is also being used as the registered office and/or the service address.
What other information is needed to appoint a company director?
As well as the addresses mentioned above, you also need to provide the following:
- Title and full name
- Date of birth
This information will be placed on the public register as soon as the appointment has been confirmed.
Thanks for reading
We hope you have found this post helpful. Please get in touch if you have any questions about appointing a director, forming a limited company or business in general.