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Setting up a business in UK

We offer innovative, cost-effective and high-quality legal services and business support to businesses seeking a presence in the UK.

Our in-depth legal expertise and commercial experience coupled with our extensive high level contacts with professionals and trade bodies, means we have a proven track record in consistently offering clients a comprehensive support service in locating business in the UK.

Company & Commercial

Very! To set up a private limited company, you will need to provide us with some information to help us guide you on the rules relating to setting up a new company:

  • Name and a UK address (a P.O. box is fine)
  • Details of at least one director and one shareholder (this can be the same person)
  • Details of the shares in the company

Broadly, there are three ways of doing so: as employees, as workers or as self-employed contractors. Different rights attach to each category so it is important to decide which is right for your business, and to put the correct contract terms in place to reflect this.

Yes. The law in the UK states that an employer must give a written statement of terms, setting out particular information. Such terms are most commonly set out in contracts of employment. The law states that generally this must be done within two months of the employment starting, however it is better to do this before an employee starts, to prevent disputes later on.

Yes, whether you are buying residential or commercial property then Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) is usually payable. SDLT needs to be paid within 30 days of completion of the property purchase and a SDLT1 form needs to be lodged with HMRC. Non-compliance can lead to fines and interest as well as possible criminal charges. VAT can also be payable (in certain circumstances) as an additional 20% on the purchase price of commercial property.

This will depend on the landlord’s assessment of the “covenant strength” of the party intending to take the lease. If for example you want to take the lease in the name of a new company, that has not traded and does not have any assets, then the landlord would probably, at the very least, be looking for a rent deposit equal to 6 month’s rent to be held for the duration of your occupation under the lease. They may also seek individual or company guarantors as well as or in addition to the deposit.

Immigration

There are a myriad of possible visa options available to non-EEA nationals who intend to invest in the UK’s economy. Foreign investors will need a visa before they can travel to the UK to establish or takeover a business. In some circumstances, foreign investors may be able to come to the UK as a Visitor to secure funding before applying for a visa.

Yes, if you are a non-EEA national. The Tier 1 Investor visa route allows foreign investors to invest in UK businesses with a hands-off approach.

Your eligible family members (spouse, civil partner and children under 18 years old) can apply to join you in the UK as your dependents.

Yes, you can typically settle in the UK after 5 years but there are ways to settle earlier via accelerated routes.

Legal Disputes

UK Courts are efficient and the High Court contains specialist divisions to address particular business needs including Business and Property, Technology and Construction, Intellectual Property, and Financial. A particular attraction of UK Courts is the ability to recover legal costs based on the Defendant’s conduct (except in smaller claims). This puts additional pressure on Defendants to pay their debts rather than raising spurious defences. Likewise, Claimants who bring nuisance claims can be dealt with by strike out applications and be required to pay costs.

The public details of every UK company are published online and are free to access, so you can check the financial viability of any supplier or customer before dealing with them. The flexibility of UK contract law means that businesses’ lawyers can negotiate a variety of favourable deals to cover their particular risks and can rely on the UK Courts to enforce these decisions. If the deal is properly written, you should be able to give your business the security and protection it needs, and can enforce your businesses’ rights effectively and efficiently.

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Clarkslegal’s innovative approach to solving complex cases is consistent; their quality standards are extremely high and their staff are efficient and friendly – overall 11/10!”

Carrol Douglas-Welsh, Head of Employee Relations – Scottish and Southern Energy

I have worked with Stephen James on a number of issues and have always found him to be helpful, knowledgeable and proactive in reaching a satisfactory conclusion. He tends to grasp the details of a claim quickly and insightfully.

Client

“I was impressed with the speed, turnaround and frequency of communication in my dealings with Clarkslegal’s corporate team led by Stuart Mullins, in concluding my share purchase.” 

Nigel Keene, Managing Director – Whiteknights Estate Agents