How to Register a Business in the UK
Registering a business in the UK is becoming an increasingly popular strategy, not only for those in the UK, but for business owners around the world.
Having a business registered in the UK has tax benefits over other jurisdictions, and also provides a streamlined method of taking a company public on the London Stock Exchange. Here is how to register a business in the UK.
The first step to registering a company in the UK is to have a UK address. You will need an address in England, Scotland or Wales to be the official company address on paper. This is not a problem if you live in the UK. If you live outside the UK, then you can simply pay a small annual fee to a solicitor (or attorney) to use his office address. Copies of all official company documents will need to be kept on-site at this address.
Fill out Companies House Form 10, which can be downloaded from the Companies House web site or requested by mail. Form 10 lists the details of the company officers, as well as the address that you obtained in Step 1.
Fill out Companies House Form 12, which can be downloaded from the Companies House web site or requested by mail. This form states that your company will be in compliance with the Companies Act of 1985. A solicitor, notary, commissioner of oaths or justice of the peace should be present when the form is signed.
Draft a Memorandum of Association for your business. This document lists the company name, registered address, the assets of the company and its liabilities. A template for the Memorandum of Association can be obtained from a solicitor in the UK or from a legal stationer.
Draft your Articles of Incorporation. This document details how the company will be structured, what the policies are for voting, and other information that will govern the business operations. It should be signed by all of the initial shareholders. A template for the Articles of Incorporation can be obtained from a solicitor or legal stationer.
Submit all documents, along with the filing fee, to the Companies House of England and Wales. The current filing fee is £20 (Pounds Sterling) for standard service, which will have your business registered within 10 business days. Or you can pay £50 (Pounds Sterling) for express service, which will have your business registered the same day.
After you register your business in the UK, you will need to open a bank account for that business. Both Barclays and HSBC are popular banks for businesses registered in the UK.
- It is generally a good idea to have a business in the UK (even if you have a company elsewhere) if you have long-term plans to be a publicly traded company. Having a company on the London Stock Exchange’s alternative AIM index is a hassle-free method of taking a company public, and it all starts with having a business registered in the UK.