With the approach to the General Election, there has been much media coverage regarding British business and the fall in unemployment. In turn, Britain could be seen as a highly positive place to set up business – both within, and if you are thinking of locating a business from abroad.
After all, according to the International Finance Corporation/World Bank rankings in 2013, the UK was the best country both in the G8 and the EU for business ease, and also acquiring credit. With real business prospect, a number of companies every year, with success, choose to locate in the UK and contribute to the economy.
In turn, if you are involved in a business thinking of making some kind of presence in the UK.
Steps to consider:
1)Consider the type of business presence – when attempting to introduce your business to the UK, especially if from outside the EU – there are a number of work and business Visas to consider. In turn, it is essential that you get the appropriate, fully up-to-date immigration advice regarding this. You also must be fully aware of the legal implications for example if there is a UK presence but not in the form of a fully formed entity – this may make overseas business liable to taxation.
2)Documents sorted – you need to be fully organised, with the documents regarding constitutional governance in place from the start. This may include a shareholders agreement to negotiate relationships between shareholders. If you are looking to form an agency agreement and push forward with the promotion of your business, be aware of the Commercial Agents Regulations 1993 when drafting also.
3)Be aware of statutory obligations – if you are part of a UK limited company you will be registered at Companies House – there are not separate rules however, if you are a foreign national wanting to set up a UK company. Ultimately, the company must have a registered UK office, and Reporting requirements are also governed by Company Law. Companies must be fully aware of all their legal obligations including Public Liability insurance and Employer’s Liability Insurance. Payroll taxes, VAT and Corporation Tax are also areas to consider.
4)Understand staffing issues – if you are planning a branch in the UK and are wanting to use existing staff, there are a number of legal considerations. Acquiring existing employees and relocation will often depend on the terms of their contract. In turn, if you are wanting to employ a foreign national in the UK, you must always seek specialist advice.