Setting Up in the UK Timeline
A step-by-step guide to expanding your business to the UK. Whilst each clients journey is unique, the practical steps of establishing in the UK are often very similar, from deciding whether a taxable presence needs to be created, to registering for VAT, hiring your first employees in the UK and more. Use our helpful flow chart to guide you through the practical steps of establishing in the UK to ensure a seamless transition.
Do I need to register a taxable presence?
In many cases, you are allowed to trade into the UK from your overseas entity. However, some of the activities you perform may trigger a taxable presence, at which point you would become liable for corporation tax.
Understanding the actions you can and cannot undertake is fundamental to avoiding future problems.
Choose a taxable presence
When establishing in the UK, most clients choose to establish either a branch or a subsidiary. Whilst most clients choose to have a wholly owned subsidiary, there are pros and cons to both set-ups and it’s worth reviewing and deciding which is right for your business.
Whilst registering a subsidiary company might take a couple of days, registering a permanent establishment typically takes 4-6 weeks.
Do I need a Company Secretary?
Nominating a company secretary can help when running your business from abroad. They can provide advice take responsibility for legal matters in some cases.
Consider Registering for VAT
VAT, or Value Added Tax, is a tax charged on the sale of most goods and services in the UK. The first thing to note is that you can only charge and claim VAT if your business is registered for VAT, which is a must if your turnover for any 12-month period exceeds or is expected to exceed the threshold.
Registering for VAT varies, but it typically takes 4-6 weeks
Explore UK Banking Options
If you are looking to establish your business in the UK, the likelihood is you will require a UK business bank account through which you can pay suppliers, employees and collect payment from customers. Whilst there is no legal requirement to have a UK bank account attached to your UK entity, it is often easier and cleaner to have one, so you can keep your UK entities transactions contained.
A digital bank, such as Wise or Revolut, may take around one week to open, a traditional bank typically takes 3-6months.
Hire Local Talent
Recruiting and employing staff in the UK can be a lengthy and complicated process, and it’s one you need to ensure is done correctly to avoid future problems or grievances. With employment law varying from country-to-country, it’s fundamental that you have a good understanding and follow the local requirements.
Implement Systems and Processes
Implementing efficient systems and processes to support your growth is fundamental to your future success. Read more about the systems & tools that we use to provide a solid foundation upon which you can achieve UK success.
Prepare for Year End and Audit
All LTD companies are required to submit financial statements to Companies House within 9 months of their year end, and a CT600 (corporation Tax return) to HMRC within 9 months and 1 day of their accounting period end. The default position is for subsidiary companies to be audited, however you may be able to apply for exemption should your group turnover, assets or employee number be lower than their thresholds (two of the three must apply).
What if things don’t go your way?
When you go into the UK you should do so with optimism and drive. However, you should be aware that if things doesn’t go as planned you might need an exit strategy, because you will still have responsibilities if things doesn’t go your way. This is something we can help you with