If you are a non-UK resident, and would like to form a private limited company in the UK, you are able to take advantage of Wisteria’s easy 10 step online company formation process. Our basic packages is £24.99 which includes your limited company; electronic copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, Company Register, and Certificate of Incorporation; a free bank referral (if required); and a free one hour business consultation with an expert either at our office in London or over the phone.
However, the following are some examples of issues you may need to consider before you begin, if you are not a UK resident.
Firstly, directors and shareholders of a UK limited company do not need to be UK residents. However, after you have completed the online company formation process, we ask all of our clients to provide us with identification documents, including proof of ID (passport of photo driving licence) and proof of home address (recent utility bill or bank statement) for each director and also each shareholder holding 20% and above. This is part of complying with UK Anti-Money Laundering Regulations.
Furthermore, every UK Company must have a UK registered office address, by law. Companies House has the address recorded on their database which is available for the public to view. This is also the address that official correspondence for the company is sent, for example correspondence from Companies House or HM Revenue & Customs. Wisteria offers a registered office service which allows our clients to use our north London address as their registered office and service address.
Wisteria’s service has a number if benefits:
• Allows you to have a required UK company address which also looks professional.
• Post can be forwarded to you via scan and email or physical post and will be processed by a trustworthy, efficient team.
• The service is tailored and junk mail can be filtered.
• All statutory mail is forwarded as part of the service to ensure key filing deadlines are not missed.
• Your own address is protected from being on public display, which ensures that your privacy is protected.
If you are operating your business from outside the UK and are looking for a UK phone and virtual office service, we can also provide assistance.
Personal finances must be kept separate to business finances, thus you are usually required to open a business bank account for your business transactions. Non UK residents may have difficulties with opening a UK account and the process is likely to take longer. Wisteria are able to refer you to one of our bank contacts after you have formed a company with us. Our banks contacts, for example Barclays, will then contact you directly, soon after our referral has been made. They can then discuss the business bank account details with you and how you can open it with them. Often you will be required to visit A UK bank branch. Having a director in the UK to open the account for you can speed up the process.
There may also be conditions that have to be met in order for a non UK resident to open a business bank account in the UK. Some banks may require additional identification documents from you before we can refer such as an extra proof of address that matches the original one you send to us before formation. Please note that the decision for you to open an account is up to the banks and not Wisteria.
If you are not familiar with UK company law, Wisteria offers a Company Secretary Service. Similarly if you are setting up a public limited company, you must appoint a company secretary who is suitably qualified. Within the company secretarial service you are able to appoint us to act as your company secretary. Wisteria can ensure that your company is compliant with the Companies Act, for example we are able to keep update company documents, statutory registers and books for you. Our service can also provide you with reminders of when your annual accounts and annual returns are due and we can include additional services such as payroll, filing accounts and governance and compliance advice.
You may also be aware that all UK companies must pay UK corporation tax. This means you must complete and return corporation tax forms to HM Revenue & Customs to pay the correct amount of corporation tax. They amount of tax you pay is dependant upon your earnings. Also, all directors of UK registered Companies need to file a personal self-assessment tax return.
If you are unsure about UK tax and company law, it is usually beneficial to book a consultation with either our Chartered Accountant or Chartered Tax Adviser which is included in your company formation package. They will be able to clarify any further questions for example on VAT, PAYE, paying yourself as a director, and additional issues related to setting a UK company up.
On step 10 of the online process, there are a number of additional products you can purchase in addition to the basic formation package. The following items are popular with non-UK resident clients which you may need or benefit from:
• Company Seal. This is an embossed stamp, imprinted with your company name which can be affixed to official company documents such as contracts and certificates. It looks professional and is used to prove that your company agrees or has authorised the document, meaning that the authenticity and security is improved and the company directors have higher control.
• Bound, hard copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association
• A bound folder of the Company Register
• Hard copy Certificate of Incorporation
• Printed Share Certificates on copy secure paper
If you require any of your company documents to be notarised, certified or legalised Wisteria is able to assist with this service.
Once you have formed a company you may also be interested in a Certificate of Good Standing. This is a document to prove that your company continues to exist, there has been no action to strike off the company, it has no outstanding penalties and the filing is up to date. This shows you are compliant with Companies House and often non UK residents choose to have this notarised as well.
If you are a non-UK resident and would like more information on your UK Company Formation, please contact the Wisteria Formations Team on 0844 893 0808.