Can I open a company in the UK as a non-resident? The answer is, yes. The best way to set up a UK limited company is to complete an application for Companies House through an approved online company formation agent like 1st Formations. Our exclusive Non-UK Residents package enables overseas clients to register a limited company in the UK in just 3 to 6 working hours.
A private company in the UK must be incorporated as limited by shares or limited by guarantee in one of three jurisdictions: England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. The jurisdiction you choose will dictate the location of your company’s registered office. This will be the official address of your company but your business can be based anywhere and you can trade in all parts of the UK and overseas.
To simplify the company formation process as much as possible for those living outside of the UK, 1st Formations introduced an exclusive limited by shares company formation package for Non-UK residents. You can purchase this online for just £124.99 plus VAT.
With a prestigious London Registered Office Service, a Service Address, and a Business Address Service, this package provides everything you need to set up a ready-to-trade company in the UK – including the all-important business bank account. There is no need to come to the UK. You can form your company online from anywhere in the world.
Our Non-UK Residents package includes:
- London registered office, service address, and business address.
- Wise UK business banking
- £10.00 Companies House filing fee
- Unlimited free access to our Online Company Manager
- Free support for the life of your company
- Digital and printed certificate of incorporation
- Digital and printed share certificates for all shareholders
- A company register with first entries
- Digital copy of the memorandum and articles of association
- 2 x Printed and bound copies of the memorandum and articles or association
- Annual Confirmation Statement (previously called an ‘annual return’) preparation and filing service
- Free DHL Express Worldwide delivery of company formation documents
- Scan and email of all statutory mail (official government mail), on a daily basis – free of charge
- International mail-forwarding of all non-statutory business mail at Royal Mail postal rates plus 15%.
How to register a UK limited company
To register a limited by shares company online, simply purchase our company formation package and provide the following information on the application form:
- Company name
- Registered office address
- Directors’ details (minimum of 1 required)
- Shareholders’ details (minimum of 1 required)
- Company secretary’s details (appointment optional)
- Description of your company’s principal business activities (SIC codes)
- Service address for each director, subscriber, company secretary and Person with Significant Control (PSC)
- Statement of capital
The application form can be completed online and will be submitted electronically to Companies House for approval. The majority of online applications are processed in less than 3 working hours. You company will be ready-to-trade immediately thereafter.
New company requirements for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
Limited companies must be registered with HMRC as ‘active’ for Corporation Tax purposes within three months of starting any kind of business activity or receiving any form of income. When your company becomes active, you can notify HMRC quickly and easily online.
If you do not plan to start trading for a significant period of time, you should contact the Corporation Tax office to register your company’s trading status as ‘dormant’.
Active companies must pay Corporation Tax and prepare tax returns for each accounting period. Corporation Tax should be paid to HMRC electronically within 9 months and 1 day of the end of each Corporation Tax accounting period. Tax returns should be delivered to HMRC online within 12 months of the end of each accounting period.
Business bank account for non-UK residents
Limited companies are not legally required to open a business bank account, but we strongly advise all clients to use a separate account for business transactions. It makes it much easier to manage and monitor company finances, work out tax liabilities, and complete tax returns.
Non-UK residents often find it difficult to open a business bank in the UK due to the requirement for members of the company to reside in the UK. To resolve this issue, 1st Formations has partnered with Wise (formerly TransferWise) to provide a UK business banking solution to non-UK residents.
A Wise business account will provide you with a UK business bank account number and sort code, as well as US, Eurozone, Australian, and New Zealand bank accounts simultaneously. The account allows you to receive money for free, and hold money in over 40 currencies.
A Wise business account is included with our exclusive Non-Residents Package. Please note: There is a fixed one-time on-boarding fee ranging from £16-£21 (or equivalent in local currency).
Many of our customers who do not reside in the UK choose to open a company bank account in their own country. The bank in your country is likely to request Apostilled Documents, which are legalised documents proving the authenticity of your UK company.
1st Formations provides an Apostilled Documents Service that can be added to your basket at checkout or bought separately.
Thanks for reading
You should now know that not only can you open a company in the UK as a non-resident, but it is also remarkably simple.
We hope you have found this post helpful. Please leave a comment if you have any questions and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.