United Kingdom Overview

The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland is more commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain. The UK also has 14 overseas territories, which are under its sovereignty but not part of the UK itself. The total population is approximately 66,573,504, the third largest in the EU after Germany and France. The UK is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The UK does not have an official language however the predominant language is English. London is the world’s largest financial centre. The British service sector makes up approximately 73% of the UK’s Growth Domestic Product. The service sector is dominated by financial services, particularly banking and insurance. London hosts the largest concentration of foreign bank branches in the world. It is also a major centre for international business and commerce. The currency is the Pound Sterling as the UK chose not to adopt the Euro when the currency was launched. In June 2016 there was a UK referendum in which 51.9% of those voting supported withdrawal from the European Union. The UK government formally announced the country’s withdrawal in March 2017, however the deadline has been extended twice, and is currently 31 October 2019.

UK Limited Companies Limited by Shares Key Facts

  • Limited liability gives the owners of the company (its shareholders) protection if the company fails, meaning, should the company fail or put into liquidation, the people who own the company will only be required to pay what they have already paid or agreed to pay towards settling its debts. The important difference from a public limited company is that a private
    company may not offer its shares for sale to the general public.
  • You cannot register the same company name as another name on the register.
  • There are some sensitive words which cannot be sued as part of the company name.
  • Limited companies must normally have the word ‘limited’ as part of their company name. This may be abbreviated to ‘ltd.’ The Welsh translation of ‘limited’ is also accepted.
  • The incorporation of a UK limited company usually takes approximately 24 hours and can be filed either online or in paper format.
  • A UK Ltd must have a registered office located in the
  • Corporation tax (which includes Capital Gains Tax) is paid by UK companies based upon accounts, which are submitted to HMRC and Companies House at the end of the company’s financial year.
  • The minimum paid up share capital is £1. Sterling is the standard currency however any currencies are permitted.

Requirements of Officers

  • UK Companies limited by shares must have at least;
  • One director – who is a natural person, all directors serving must have reached a minimum age of 16 years. Directors’ details are available on public file
  • One Shareholder – this can be a Corporate body or an individual
  • One Company Secretary (From 6th April 2008 it is no longer compulsory for a private company
    to have a company secretary unless the company’s articles of association expressly require the
    company to have one. Corporate secretaries are permitted and are strongly advised).
  • The register of people with significant influence or control (PSCs) must be filed at Companies House at the start of the incorporation of the company and reviewed annual when filing the confirmation statement. The register will identify and record the people who own or control their company and will be available for public view.
  • Every company must have formally appointed company officers at all times.
  • All companies, whether trading or not, must keep accounting records and all limited companies must submit accounts for each accounting period to Companies House.
  • Know Your Client documents and risk assessments must be held by your formation agent
  • Copies of minutes, resolutions and registers of members must be maintained at the registered office of the company.

UK Limited Liability Partnerships Key Facts

  • A UK LLP itself is responsible for any debts that it runs up, not the individual partners.
  • An LLP has the organisational flexibility of a partnership and is taxed as a partnership.
  • You cannot register the same name as another limited liability partnership or company.
  • The incorporation of a UK LLP usually takes approximately 24 hours and can be filed either online or in paper format.
  • A UK LLP must have a registered office located in the UK
  • The limited liability partnership itself will not be liable for taxation on profits or gains arising within the partnership, but the profits or gains will be assessed to tax separately on the individual partners.

Requirements of Officers

  • Every LLP must have at least two, formally appointed designated members at all times. If there are fewer than two designated members then every member is deemed to be a designated member
  • There are no directors or shareholders of an LLP.
  • An operating agreement to establish the rights, responsibilities and duties of the partners to each other and outline how the business will be run is advised. The agreement sets out a formal notice between the partners setting out their rights and obligations during the existence of the partnership and also upon it’s dissolution. This agreement does not need to be submitted to Companies House and is not available on public file.
  • The register of people with significant influence or control (PSCs) must be filed at Companies House at the start of the incorporation of the LLP and reviewed annually when filing the confirmation statement. The register will identify and record the people who own or control their LLP and will be available for public view.
  • All LLP’s, whether trading or not, must keep accounting records and all LLP’s must submit accounts for each accounting period to Companies House.
  • LLP’s must file annually Partnership Tax returns for the LLP. A Self Assessment for each member associated to the LLP must also be field annually.
  • Know Your Client documents and risk assessments must be held by your formation agent
  • Copies of minutes, resolutions and registers of members must be maintained at the registered office of the company.

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