How quickly can you set up a company in the UK?

A UK company is a well-respected corporate structure which will help give credibility to your UK business.

11 August 2021

Once you have decided that the UK is the right location for your needs, there are some early considerations to make in relation to setting up and incorporating a UK company.

The World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Guide ranked the UK 8th in the world based on ease of incorporating a UK company, setting up a business, finding a location, accessing finance, running day to day operations and the overall regulatory environment.

Spearheading key global issues

The UK continues to provide leadership on major global issues – from promoting green energy and tackling climate change (the UK was the first major global economy to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050), to investing in technology and skills. The UK government offers grants and other forms of business support, particularly in connection with qualifying research and development activities carried out by companies.

The UK has the largest network of double tax treaties in the world and an attractive tax regime in its own right. The UK:

  • exempts dividends received from subsidiaries in most countries from corporation tax
  • does not charge capital gains tax on the disposal of trading subsidiaries
  • does not levy withholding tax on distributions from the holding company to its parent company or individual shareholders
  • has no capital gains tax on profits arising from the sale of shares in the holding company by non-resident shareholders
  • offers extensive relief for early-stage businesses and those based in certain enterprise zones
  • offers extensive relief for expenditure on qualifying research and development

A liberal and welcoming economy for international businesses

The UK has one of the most liberal economies in Europe, with a favourable business environment and a flexible legal framework. The UK government is a strong advocate for the rights of all UK companies, regardless of nationality.

London is a world leader in the financial services sector. Its banking sector is robust and the London Stock Exchange is the most international of all stock exchanges, with thousands of companies from more than 60 countries, providing expanding companies with efficient access to a deep pool of capital and a broader investor base.

How quickly can you set up a company in the UK?

In terms of the speed of launching a business, incorporating a UK company and setting up operations takes on average 13 days in the UK, while the European average is 32 days. The World Bank rates the UK as first in Europe and sixth in the World according to this indicator.

The UK also scores strongly for its online payment services and electronic banking, has a flexible labour market of 30m people and is one of the most productive places for innovation firms in the world, ranking second only to the US for the quality of its research base.

How ZEDRA can help

As experts in global expansion, we manage the administration to get your UK business set up efficiently and ensure you meet all local regulations, both on incorporation and an ongoing basis, so you can focus on growing your business.

A UK company is a well-respected corporate structure which will help give credibility to your UK business. Our experts will guide you through the key decisions to be made when incorporating in the UK. Contact Carolyn Arlett to find out how we can help you.

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