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By registering a company in Great Britain foreign entrepreneurs can optimize their financial flows & business processes. Other advantages include access to advanced tax planning tools using which they may achieve almost zero taxation. 

Strictly speaking, Great Britain cannot be called an offshore zone. However, because the former British Empire was highly dependent on trade, it has developed a flexible attitude towards all kinds of businesses.

Normally, individuals registering a company in Great Britain can use it for:

  • trade & purchase of real estate;
  • leasing and factoring;
  • creation of merchant accounts & bank accounts;
  • obtaining a residence permit or bank license;
  • renting servers & purchasing domains;
  • investment activities.

Business Environment

The economic policy pursued by the British government has resulted in the creation of new jobs & attraction of substantial foreign investments. Today, the British economy is the 5th largest economy in the world; hence, company registration in Great britain provides one with a number of tangible opportunities. 

Investment Environment

Because the British tax system is constantly being improved, the number of bureaucratic hurdles facing businessmen is reducing. This, in turn, results in a larger number of investments being made in innovative areas, infrastructure modernization & implementation of large-scale projects. 

The pound sterling, the country’s national currency, is the world’s 3rd largest reserve currency. Thanks to that, investments in the country’s economy are more protected than in other currencies. 

Investors mainly make investments in going concerns, shares & real estate, IT, government bonds, funds & pharmaceuticals.

As of 2018, Great Britain was ranked 23rd for ease of taxation & 7th for overall ease of doing business.

Taxation

Being quite modest, the country’s income tax only applies to profits earned in Great Britain. Great Britain has signed a number of treaties with other countries eliminating double taxation. That has created favorable conditions for investors & simplified the resolution of international disputes in Great Britain.

The main tax for UK companies is the Corporation Tax (19%). The tax year starts on April 6 and ends on April 5 next year. By incorporating a company in Great Britain, foreign entrepreneurs can acquire a zero status (dormant account), which protects them from liquidation in the absence of activity. Non-residents are required to pay capital gains tax or inheritance tax (just like British citizens). 

The two most common business organization forms include:

  • LLP. Registering an LLP in Great Britain requires having no less than 2 partners; one of them may be an offshore company where the main business activities are conducted & profits earned.
  • PLC/LTD. Registering a PLC/LTD in Great Britain requires having only one shareholder, which can be a physical person or legal entity. 

Thanks to its intricate legal system, Great Britain can be used as an offshore haven (although it’d be impossible de jure). It should be remembered, however, that in 2017 a tax on “withdrawn income” was introduced, which applies to large companies.

Entry & Exit; Residence Permits & Citizenship

UK immigration law is another legacy of the British Empire, which, during its heyday  occupied about a quarter of the Earth's territory. Since then, a lot has changed - Great Britain has given up many of its territories; however, it has managed to retain a powerful legal system. Today, its immigration laws contain clearly prescribed conditions for obtaining a residence permit, permanent residence or citizenship.

It should be noted that the UK has a zero tolerance toward human rights violations & forbids perpetrators thereof from entering its territory.

Company Registration in Great Britain

A UK company must have a name that: 

  • doesn’t conflict with applicable law; 
  • doesn’t contain words indicating illegal actions or attitude towards the royal family; 
  • doesn’t contain words or phrases contained on the list of prohibited phrases & words; 
  • isn’t offensive or indecent.

The process & conditions for opening a company in Great Britain will depend on which business organization form is chosen & which part of Great Britain a company is registered in.

Looking to start a business in Great Britain? Need advice on company registration in the UK? Why not contact IQ Decision UK?