Expat Guide: Starting a Business in the UK

In the U.K. alone, there are about six million businesses. Out of this, about 5.94 million are small businesses. 

If you’re considering starting a business in the U.K., you might wonder what your options are. It can be even more difficult if you’re an expat, but it doesn’t have to be! Read this guide on starting a business in the U.K. as an expat today. 

Pick Your UK Business Type

Before you begin, you’ll want to find out about PEO services here. Next, decide what structure fits your business best. 

The choices include: 

  • Limited company
  • Partnership
  • Sole trader
  • Limited liability partnership 

What you choose for your expat business will impact various aspects. These aspects include personal liability, taxation, administrative work, and more. For example, if you make over £85,000, you’ll need to register for VAT. 

Choose Your Business Name 

Either choose a new name for your business or trade under yours. You’ll need to register your name as a trademark if you want to stop others from using it. Ensure that the name you pick isn’t already taken. 

For tax purposes, you’ll need an address for the business. For a limited business, you’ll need to write articles of organization, calculate your shares and shareholders, have a company secretary, open a separate bank account, and register for corporation tax. 

Expat Requirements

You’ll first need to check your legal status. For example, if you lived in the U.K. before January 2021 and are from the E.U., you might be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme. 

You’ll also need to apply for a visa before beginning a business. Two forms of visas for a business in the U.K. include an innovator and a start-up visa. 

Develop a business plan. This will help you determine if your business ideas will thrive. You’ll need to register with the HM Revenue and Customs for tax purposes. 

Visas Explained

You could apply for an investor visa if you have two million pounds to invest in a business. However, the earliest you can apply is three months before travel.

These visas allow you to stay in the U.K. for a few months. Depending on the criteria, you could extend your visa by a couple of years. 

A start-up visa is if you have an endorsement from a U.K. higher education institution or organization that supports U.K. entrepreneurs. 

You’ll need to prove it’s innovative, new, and has growth potential. This allows you to stay in the U.K. for a couple of years. You could also switch to an entrepreneur visa in some cases. 

An Expat Guide for Starting a Business

After exploring this guide on starting a business as an expat, you should have a better idea of where to begin. Take your time doing plenty of research and ensuring you have everything necessary in the region you’ll be in. 

Would you like to read more motivational and inspirational content? Then, check out our other articles today! 

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