UNITED KINGDOM

ABOUT THE UNITED KINGDOM

The United Kingdom – comprising England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – has a total population of 66.5 million (2018) and is one of the most internationally orientated countries in the world. Apart from its European neighbours, it enjoys particularly close links with the US and the 53 countries of the Commonwealth of Nations. These Commonwealth countries span Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and are diverse – they are amongst the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries.

London, the capital city, has been a leading international financial centre since the 19th century, acting as a centre of lending and investment around the world. It continues to maintain a leading position as a financial centre in the 21st century, and maintains the largest trade surplus in financial services around the world.

English is widely used as the lingua franca of global business and English contract law has been adopted widely for international finance and commerce. English Common Law is the most popular legal system in the world, not only because it applies to the largest slice of the world’s population but also because it is used in 27% of the 320 world’s legal jurisdictions. Read more..

The UK is considered a secure investment location boasting excellent professional, communications and physical infrastructure. International air travel connections are complemented by the Channel Tunnel, which links southern England and northern France and allows for direct intercity rail connections across Europe.

The UK also benefits from its position between the Asia and US time zones, enabling business to operate from the end of the Asian working day to the beginning of the working day on the US west coast.

The UK has enacted highly flexible, cost-effective company legislation and its markets are fully open to foreign investors. The corporation tax rate is the lowest in the G7 at 19% and a further reduction to 17% has been announced, which will be effective as of 1 April 2020. The UK has entered into Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) with more than 130 countries, creating one of the largest and most effective tax treaty networks worldwide.

UK COMPANY REGISTRATION AND FORMATION (ENGLAND & WALES)

The UK is a flexible and business-minded location, historically recognised as a well-established and reputable jurisdiction in which to conduct business. Its open market and diversified economy present opportunities for new investors to access a domestic market and to use the location as a gateway to the rest of the world.

The UK is currently ranked seven among 190 economies worldwide on the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ survey, which said: “The UK is a good place to do business because it is simple and very affordable to start a new business. The tax burden on small and medium size businesses is low and easy to comply with, the process of importing and exporting is straightforward, and commercial courts are very efficient.” Read more..

Whilst the generic term ‘UK company’ is commonly used, for international clients the majority of such entities are incorporated in the combined jurisdiction of England & Wales. All references to UK companies refer to such entities. Scottish and Northern Irish companies are subject to separate legal systems; details of incorporation in both are available on request.

The UK benefits from an internationally recognised common law legal system and a highly effective regulatory regime. Considered one of the most tax friendly jurisdictions for corporate bodies, withholding tax is not charged on dividends paid by UK companies to individual and corporate shareholders. Exemptions exist for capital gains on the disposal of substantial shareholdings in active operating companies.

A company can be incorporated in the UK with same day formation. A company is considered to be tax resident in the UK if its business is managed and controlled in the UK. However its operations are not subject to any geographical limitation, rather a UK company is free to trade and engage with third parties worldwide.

There is no restriction on the nationality or country of residence of the ultimate beneficial owner(s) of a UK company and corporate ownership is permitted. Private UK registered companies must have at least one company director (public companies require two). The 2006 Companies Act stipulates that at least one of the company directors must be a natural person, i.e. an individual. The minimum age limit is 16, although it should be noted that the age of legal majority is 18.

WHY INCORPORATE WITH SOVEREIGN?

With over three decades of experience in the corporate services field, Sovereign UK’s services include forming new corporate structures, reorganising corporate structures and repatriating earnings. We also provide the necessary expertise in administering and managing companies, including company law, board procedures, director responsibilities and shareholder relations, and financial and corporate compliance requirements.

When incorporated, Sovereign then provides on-going domiciliary services of the highest quality to maintain your company’s good standing in accordance with local requirements. This includes the provision of registered office facilities and (if required) nominee shareholder services, together with annual filings to Companies House. Read more..

Under certain circumstances Sovereign can provide offshore-based corporate and personal directors. A company secretary is not obligatory for private companies under UK law but company secretarial services can be provided if required.

Re-mailing and virtual office services are also available for all companies established by Sovereign.

Registered office facilities are provided as part of the domiciliary service from our dedicated corporate services centre in the Wirral near Liverpool. A central London registered office alternative is available if required, subject to an annual premium of £500.

Sovereign also provides directors for many of the companies that we incorporate in order to ensure that their affairs can be properly managed and controlled from their place of incorporation. This service is often combined with our other company management and/or our domiciliation services.

Our directors are required to meet their directors’ duties, which require them to exercise independent judgment. It is a condition of any appointment that the director(s) are able to exercise their independent judgement and are fully involved in any decision.

Set up your company in United Kingdom?