Requirements to Set Up a Company in the UK for Overseas Entrepreneurs

This guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the requirements to set up a company in the UK such as company name registration, registered office address etc.


    Note: This form is not for job seekers.

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    requirements to set up a company in the uk

    Setting up a company in the United Kingdom is a strategic move that offers numerous benefits, including a robust legal system, a thriving economy, and access to international markets. It is essential to comprehend the requirements to set up a business in the UK, regardless of whether you are a foreign investor or a local business owner. 

    This guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the steps, legal prerequisites, and key considerations to ensure a smooth and successful company formation process.

    Why Set Up a Company in the UK?

    Prior to digging into the details, it’s critical to comprehend why the UK is a desirable location for company incorporation:

    1. Favourable Business Environment: The UK’s open regulatory environment and business-friendly policies contribute to its high ranking for ease of doing business.
    2. Access to Markets: The UK offers a wealth of trade and expansion prospects by acting as a gateway to both European and international markets.
    3. Skilled Workforce: The workforce in the nation is highly trained and educated, making it excellent for a variety of sectors.
    4. Innovation and R&D: The UK is a hub for innovation, with significant investment in research and development across sectors.

    Key Requirements to Set Up a Company in the UK

    To establish a company in the UK, you need to follow several key steps and meet specific requirements. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

    1. Choose a Company Structure

    The first step is to deciding the form of company you want to set up. The most common structures include:

    • Private Limited Company (Ltd): The most common option for small and medium-sized enterprises is this one. It needs atleast one shareholder and one director and restricts the liability of shareholders to their investment.
    • Public Limited Company (PLC): Suitable for larger corporations, a PLC can sell shares to the general public and needs a minimum of £50,000 in share capital.
    • Sole Trader: The business is operated by one person, who also bears personal responsibility for its obligations.
    • Partnership: The firm is jointly owned and managed by two or more people.

    2. Register a Company Name

    Selecting a distinctive and relevant name is crucial. Your company name must:

    • Make your company name stand out from others that currently exist.
    • Not contain any sensitive or offensive words without appropriate permission.
    • Put the proper suffix there (for example, “Ltd” for a private limited company).

    3. Provide a Registered Office Address

    Every company in the UK must have a registered office address. This address serves as the formal location for all correspondence from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and Companies House. This address must be a legitimate address in the United Kingdom.

    4. Appoint Directors and a Company Secretary

    A private limited company requires at least one director, while a PLC needs at least 2 directors and a company secretary. Directors must be over 16 years old, and their details will be publicly accessible via Companies House.

    5. Issue Shares and Shareholders

    You’ll need to issue at least one share to a shareholder when setting up a limited company. The company’s initial share structure should be clearly defined, detailing the types of shares and their respective rights.

    6. Draft a Memorandum and Articles of Association

    These legal documents provide for the organization and management of the corporation. The original shareholders’ intention to start the firm is documented in the Memorandum of Association, and the operating guidelines are outlined in the Articles of Association.

    7. Register with Companies House

    You must register your firm with Companies House, the UK’s registrar of companies. The registration process can be completed online, and you’ll need to give the following information:

    • Company name.
    • Registered office address.
    • Details of directors and the company secretary.
    • Share capital and shareholder information.
    • Memorandum and Articles of Association.

    8. Register for Corporation Tax

    You have three months from the date of business launch to register for Corporation Tax with HMRC. You will need your company registration number, commencement date, and information on the company accounting period to do this online.

    Additional Considerations

    1. VAT Registration

    If the taxable revenue of your business surpasses the VAT threshold (currently £90,000), you must register for VAT in the UK. You can use the HMRC portal to finish this procedure online.

    2. Business Bank Account

    In order to effectively manage the funds of your firm, you must open a business bank account in the UK. Most banks will require your company registration documents, proof of identity, and proof of address.

    3. Insurance

    Depending on your business type, you may need various insurance policies, such as employers’ liability insurance, public liability insurance, and professional indemnity insurance.

    4. Employment Regulations

    If you plan to hire employees, you must comply with UK employment laws, including obtaining employers’ liability insurance, setting up a payroll system, and adhering to workplace health and safety regulations.


    Setting up a company in the UK involves several important steps and compliance requirements. From choosing the right company structure and registering with Companies House to adhering to tax and employment regulations, each aspect is crucial for a successful business launch. At OnDemand International, our expertise lies in assisting business owners with every step of the UK business registration procedure. 

    Our expert team can assist you with company formation, post-registration compliance services, and more. Get in touch with us right now to make sure your business trip to the UK gets off to a great start.


    The price varies according to the services utilized and the form of the business. In addition to the usual £12 online registration fee with Companies House, additional expenses can include insurance, share capital, and professional fees.

    In the UK, it is possible for non-residents to form a corporation. Directors and shareholders are not required to reside in the UK, but a registered office address is.

    A business plan is strongly advised even though it is not legally necessary for the establishment of a firm since it clarifies your objectives, tactics, and financial projections.