Yes, it doesn’t matter where you live – provided you’re 16 or over – you can complete a UK company formation. You will need a UK address to use as your company’s registered office (the official address for the company), however, this is something that we can help with.
Regardless of where you live, forming a UK company limited by shares is a quick, easy, entirely online process. Let’s take a look at how it works.
Choosing your company name
First up, you need to choose a name for your business. This must be unique and can’t be similar to another company name on the Companies House register (Companies House are the UK’s registrar of companies).
Our company name search tool will immediately tell you if your chosen name is available. If it is, great. If it isn’t, don’t worry – you can use the tool as many times as you wish, free of charge.
Picking the UK company formation package that’s right for you
We offer a number of company formation services that are appropriate for customers who don’t live in the UK. The standout being our Non-Residents package. This is ideal as it comes with a London registered office service (remember, to form a UK limited company you need a UK address to use as the registered office) and the option to open an account with Wise UK banking.
Browse our different company formation packages to find the one that suits you and your business. Once you have chosen your package, simply proceed to the checkout and make payment.
Providing proof of ID and address
If your package does include any address services, such as the registered office, we are legally required to ask you for proof of ID and address. It’s a simple process and should not take long. We’ll get in touch as and when this is required.
Starting the company formation process
Now it’s time to appoint the director (the person who will run the company), shareholder (the person who owns the company) and person with significant control (the person who ultimately controls the company). Only one person is needed to form a company, so that person can take all of the roles. Alternatively, they can be shared amongst different people.
You will need to provide basic personal information to make the necessary appointments, including residential addresses – it’s absolutely fine if these are not in the UK.
The only address that must be based in the UK is the registered office. If you have selected a package that includes our registered office service, you will be able to add our address at the relevant stage of the company formation process.
Some of our packages, including the Non-Residents package also allow you to use our address as the director service address. This is an added benefit but not compulsory, the service address can be based in any country.
Your company shares
You will be asked to provide information about shares when adding your shareholder/s. This will include:
- Type of shares
- Number of shares
- Value of shares
These shares outline the ownership of the company. For example:
1 shareholder with 1 share – they own 100% of the company
2 shareholders with 1 share each, worth the same value – they both own 50% of the company
10 shareholders with 1 share each, worth the same value – they all own 10% of the company
How you split your shares is up to you. We recommend keeping things simple at this stage and allocating a low number of shares worth a low nominal amount. It’s far easier to add new shares at a later date than it is to remove them.
You also need to consider that shareholders are liable for the value of shares that they hold. If you give a shareholder £10,000 worth of shares, and the company was to run into trouble, this is the amount they may be required to pay.
The memorandum and articles of association
You will reach a step dedicated to the memorandum and articles of association. These documents outline how the company will be run.
A default set of memorandum and articles are included as part of your package – these will suit the majority of companies. You are welcome to create and upload your own documents, however, this can be a complicated process and may jeopardise your company formation application.
Review your UK company formation
The final step is to check over all the information that you have provided. If you’ve made any mistakes, go back and amend them. If everything is correct, you can submit your application.
We’ll email you as soon as your company has been formed. Exact times differ but it can take as little as 3 working hours.
There you have it, how to form a UK company as a non-UK resident. We hope you have found this post helpful. Feel free to leave any questions you have in the comments section below.