Tuesday, 28 Feb 2012
Setting up your business in the UK
By locating your business in the UK, you will benefit from our highly competitive business environment boasting one of the lowest main corporate tax rates in the EU, generous tax allowances and a highly skilled and motivated workforce. Your business can be registered and ready to trade in 24 hours speed up your access into the UK.
Registering your business
The UK has an open, transparent and business-friendly system to encourage the formation of new businesses. There are approximately 2.7 million registered companies in the UK, with over 400,000 new registrations each year. No permission is required to establish a business presence in the UK, although there are regulations on the use of business names and certain business sectors which may require licences or authorisation (such as finance, defence and oil exploration).
Commercial property and planning
Commercial and industrial premises are available in most regions of the UK on rental or outright purchase terms. UKTI can help you find the right property in the best location for your business.
Some business activities require specific planning approval or are restricted to designated areas for reasons such as risk of pollution or specific transport links. At UK TI we have dedicated consultants who can guide you through the planning process to a successful result.
ICT infrastructure landscape
The overall quality and reliability of the ICT infrastructure is a critical factor for businesses across all sectors. The UK has one of the strongest ICT infrastructures in the world. ICT costs in the UK are highly competitive and companies able to select from a range of providers and tariffs to suit their specific requirements.
According to the “digital economy ” rankings produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the UK is ranked as one of the world’s leading locations for its digital environment.
Operating your business
Once established you will also benefit from the highly competitive cost landscape of the UK. Utilities are some of the most competitive in Europe, with companies enjoying direct access to a wide choice of providers.
The UK has a lightly taxed economy with the overall tax burden well below countries such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and Italy as well as below the average for the European Union as a whole.
Corporate tax rates
The UK’s business-focused tax environment will become even more attractive over the next two years. The current corporation tax rate of 24 per cent is being reduced to 21 per cent by 2014 and then to 20% by 2015. Innovative companies will be able to benefit further from an additional reduction in corporation tax through the upcoming and through recent enhancements to the UK’s generous .
The UK has the largest network of treaties for the avoidance of double taxation globally and the majority of UK-based companies also benefit from an exemption from corporation tax on any foreign dividends that they receive. The UK also has an extensive range of capital allowances that allow the costs of capital assets to be written off against taxable profits.
Visas for entrepreneurs and investors - fast and flexible
The UK Government's new rules fast track settlement for high-value investors and entrepreneurs who come to the country and invest large sums of money. Major investors will also enjoy more residency flexibility before they lose their right to settlement. More information is available on the .
Employer social security
UK companies pay “National Insurance Contributions” (NIC) on the earnings of each individual employee earning over a threshold weekly salary. Employers pay less social security contributions in the UK than in most other European countries
Value added tax (VAT) is due on goods and services supplied in the UK and on the importation and acquisition of goods and some services. A company has to charge VAT when their taxable turnover is above, or expected to be above, the registration threshold.
How we can help – Contact us
Our investment location services are independent, highly professional and free of charge. For specific help setting up in the UK or for help mapping your business ambitions to the UK please contact the UKTI Investment Services Team through our .