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.

Principal Corporate legislation
Companies Act 1985(As amended). The Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988.

Corporate feature

Type of Company Private Limited
Political Stability Excellent
Common or Civil Law Common
Disclosure of Beneficial Owner No
Migration of Domicile Permitted No
Tax on Offshore Profits Yes
Language of Name Latin Alphabet
Minimum Number of Shareholders One
Minimum Number of Directors One
Bearer Shares Allowed No
Corporate Directors Permitted Yes
Company Secretary Required Yes
Standard Authorised Share Capital £ 1,000
Registered Office/Agent Yes
Company Secretary Yes
Local Directors No
Local Meetings No
Government Register of Directors Yes
Government Register of Shareholders Yes
Annual Return: Yes
Submit Accounts Yes


London Registry
As long as a client is prepared and able to wait for seven days a “custom-made” new UK company formation may not only be preferable but also more economical. Custom-made companies are set up with a client’s own choice of name (subject to availability) and with the required share capital.

The intended situation of the registered office can be stated from the outset. Clients can be named as the first director and secretary.

Procedure to incorporate
Submission of Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association, Declaration of Compliance and Statement of the First Directors and Secretary and notification of the situation of the Registered Office with the requisite fee to Companies House.

Powers of company
A Company incorporated in the United Kingdom has the same powers as a natural person.

Language of legislation and corporate documents: English.

Time to incorporate
Ten to fifteen working days

Registered office required
Yes, must be maintained in the United Kingdom.

Disclosure of beneficial ownership to authorities: No.

Authorised and issued share capital
Private Company – The minimum issued capital is one share, but further capital is usually issued to reflect the stability and strength of the company. A private company is normally incorporated with an authorised share capital of £ 1,000.

Classes of shares permitted
Ordinary shares, preference shares, deferred shares, redeemable shares and shares with or without voting rights.

Bearer shares permitted: No.

Double taxation agreements
The United Kingdom is party to more double tax treaties than any other sovereign state.

Financial statement requirements
All UK Companies are required to file accounts with the Registrar of Companies. There is an exemption given in favour of limited liability companies where they have a small turnover, which is defined as being below £ 350,000. In those circumstances the directors must self-certify the accounts without the requirement to have a formal audit.


Private Companies – One. They may be natural persons or bodies corporate. They may be of any nationality and need not reside in the United Kingdom.

Company secretary
A company secretary must be appointed. The company secretary may be a natural person or a body corporate. They can be of any nationality and need not reside in the United Kingdom.

Private Companies – the minimum number of shareholders is one.

Important note: International tax planners are able to utilise UK structures to minimise taxation for international business.