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United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, which consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, lies off the Western Coast of Europe. It has a total landmass of approximately 241,590 sq. km. The total population of the United Kingdom is approximately 58 million of which at least 9 million live in the Greater London area. 5.25 million people live in Scotland, with a further 1.5 million resident in Northern Ireland. The population of Wales is also approximately 1.5 million. The United Kingdom is one of the world's great trading powers and financial centres, and its essentially capitalistic economy ranks among the four largest in Western Europe.The official and spoken language is English. The official currency is U.K.pound. There is no exchange control. Services industries, particularly banking, insurance and business services, account for the largest proportion of GDP, whilst industry continues to decline, now only employing 25% of the work force.

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

The United Kingdom has a hereditary monarchy, and the Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne on 6th February 1952. The legislature is bicameral. The Upper House being the House of Lords and the Lower House the House of Commons.

LEGAL ENVIRONMENT

Legislation is based on the Common Law. Principal Corporate Legislation is based on Companies Act 1985 (as amended) and the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988. Type of company for international trade and investment - Private or Public Limited Company.

ADVANTAGES OF THE U.K.

  • Low taxation compared to rest of Europe
  • Centralised registration
  • Choice of corporate structure
  • Shelf companies available
  • No stamp duty
  • No minimum capital requirement
  • No restrictions on meeting locations
  • No exchange control
  • A very popular jurisdiction due to its Common Law base and relative cheapness compared to other European trading nations

NAME FOR YOUR COMPANY

Any name that is identical or similar to an existing company, any name which would be considered offensive or suggests criminal activity, or any name that suggests the patronage of the Royal Family or the Government of the United Kingdom. Restricted names include assurance, bank, benevolent, building society, Chamber of Commerce, fund management, insurance, investment fund, loans, municipal, reassurance, reinsurance, savings, trust, trustees, university or their foreign language equivalents. Whilst the name of company can be in any language, the documentation must be in English. Any name in a language other than English must be accompanied by a translation to ensure that the name is not restricted. However, if the company is incorporated in Wales there is a proviso that documentation in Welsh will be accepted.The status of limited liability should be denoted by suffixes: Limited, Public Limited Company, and their abbreviations.

TAXATION

Taxation is paid by companies in the UK based upon audited accounts, which are submitted to the Inland Revenue at the end of the company's financial year. A company is free to choose its own year-end. Companies pay capital gains tax and corporation tax at the same rate being 21% where the net profit before tax does not exceed GBP 300,000. The tax payable increases thereafter in stages until the net profit before tax reaches GBP 1.5 million where the top rate of corporation tax is charged at the rate of 31%.

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Applicable Law - Companies Act 1989 Common Law Companies Act 1985

Number of shareholders - one, normally two

Number of directors - one

Non-resident directors - Non-residents can be directors

Corporate directors - Legal entities can be directors

Corporate secretary - Required

Standard authorized share capital - Min.1,000 for Private Limited Company, 50,000 for Public Limited Company.

Usual minimum capital - No usual minimum may be as little as 2

Capital Duty - 1% on issued capital

Bearer shares - Not available

Registered Agent - Not required

Registered Office - Required

Annual Tax Return - Required

Double Tax Treaties - Numerous

Audit - Required

Board of directors meetings - No restrictions on location

Information on beneficial owners - Not publicly available (remains confidential)

Publicly available information - Memorandum & Articles of Association, Directors, Shareholders, Registered Office, Charges, Accounts, Secretary

REGISTRATION SET OF DOCUMENTS

  • Memorandum of Association Articles of Association
  • Declaration of Compliance Statement of the First Directors and Secretary
  • Notification of the situation of the Registered Office with the requisite fee to Companies - House.
  • Register of Directors / Members / Secretaries / Mortgages & Charges registered Office.
  • Corporate Books

Apply for UK Company

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