Can You Form A UK Limited Company From Abroad?
by Mashum Mollah Entrepreneurship 01 February 2018
Who can form a Limited Company?
Anyone, no matter where they are located, registers a limited company in the UK. Company formations can be done from anywhere in the world and your company can be operated from wherever you are. There are steps however that must be taken in order to form a limited company and these steps are the same whether you reside in the UK or abroad.
In the past few years, a number of credible companies have come up allowing businesses to open a London Office in a seamless fashion. You can try a registered office address provider that can help you in multiple ways. From including a virtual tour of your office to having a PA system for all your calls and even helping with the company formation. Having a London office can help add credibility, goodwill, and trust for your business.
The Formation Process
Forming a limited company in the UK is a relatively straightforward process. The application process, as well as the legal requirements for formation, are the same. You first must register your new company with Companies House in either England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. This can be done online so it is fairly simple for anyone in the world to get a UK company registered. You must name one director and at least one shareholder for your company and you can use the same person for both of these roles. You can also set up your company with any number of directors and shareholders. The legal requirements dictate that you must have at least one of each, but there is no limit on how many above one that you can name.
Your Company Registration Options
You must register an office address and this address must be located in the same UK jurisdiction as where your company is going to be incorporated. The address must be in the UK, even if you reside outside of the UK. You can choose to set up a limited company online by yourself or hire a company formation agent, which is a good idea if you reside outside of the UK and perhaps are not fully versed in the legal requirements for forming and operating a UK company. You can register with Companies House through the formation agent that you choose or you can do it yourself online or through the post using their paper application. Many who own and operate companies in the UK, who are located in other areas of the world, feel that a formation agent is an easier way to go simply because they can push through the paperwork and help you to satisfy all of the legal requirements for your UK company. You do not have to travel to the UK when using a formation agent. The agent can take care of all of the specifics for you and upload and deliver documents to you electronically that will be passed on to Companies House on your behalf.
Things to consider
You should note that your company will be governed by the Companies Act of 2006 and must have a company name that is not the same as any other company in the UK. Your company name should also give an indication of what you do. Limited companies in the UK are regulated and must adhere to very stringent filing and reporting requirements. While you are not required to live in the UK while running a company in the UK, you are required to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements and ensure that your company meets them in order to stay in operations. Your company details including all information about your directors, shareholders, and anyone with significant control in your business will be on the public record and accessible by anyone.