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Doing Business in the UK

Despite economic and constitutional change, a diverse range of overseas companies and entrepreneurs continue to identify the United Kingdom as an attractive place to conduct their operations.


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Which Legal and Corporate issues do I need to consider when operating in the UK?

Legal and commercial issues, which need to be considered, by companies or individuals when entering a specific market as the UK are the following:

  1. The Corporate Structure;
  2. Tax Regime and Tax Exemptions;
  3. Intellectual property rights and data protection;
  4. Immigration rules after Brexit;
  5. Employment PAYE regulations;
  6. Trading Law and regulation (Fintech Service are usually heavily regulated);
  7. Property Law;
  8. Accounting Requirements;
  9. VAT Rules;
  10. Audit Requirements.


There are several types of entities that can be incorporated in the UK. The three most common are:

  • UK ESTABLISHMENT (a branch or a place of business).

Regarding to the chosen corporate structure, the company, establishment or LLP must register with Her Majesty’s.

Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to pay all of the business’s tax liabilities.

  • General Corporate Tax rate is 19% (by the 1 April 2021), the tax rate can be reduced to 10% when the taxable profits can be attributed to the exploitation of patents, a lower effective rate of tax applies;
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) rate is 20% is a form of indirect tax and it is charged on the provision of most goods and services provided in the UK.

% of VAT

What the rate applies to

Standard rate


Most goods and services

Reduced rate


Some goods and services, eg children's car seats and home energy

Zero rate


Zero-rated goods and services, eg most food and children's clothes


  • Income Tax (Pay as you earn - PAYE) rate is deducted from an employee’s salary on a monthly basis. An employer must automatically pay these taxes to HMRC.

If you decide to run payroll yourself, you need to complete certain tasks to pay your employees for the first time. You can choose when and how often to pay your employees.

  1. Register as an employer with HMRC and get a login for PAYE Online;
  2. Choose payroll software to record employee’s details, calculate pay and deductions, and report to HMRC;
  3. Collect and keep records;
  4. Tell HMRC about your employees;
  5. Record pay, make deductions and report to HMRC on or before the first payday;
  6. Pay HMRC the tax and National Insurance you owe.

Most employees in the UK are eligible for a personal allowance of tax-free income. There are varying levels of income tax rates in the UK:


Taxable income

Tax rate

Personal Allowance

Up to £12,570


Basic rate

£12,571 to £50,270


Higher rate

£50,271 to £150,000


Additional rate

over £150,000


The UK employment law is derived from common law, domestic legislation and European law. The last one is the source of a number of employee protections within the UK, while also safeguarding an employer’s interests and keeping the relationship between the two fair.

The UK law grants employees a range of protections that create obligations and potential risks for employers. Although these are generally less stringent than in other European countries, you will nonetheless need to be aware of them:

  • a general duty to provide a safe place of work, safe access and safe work systems;
  • a requirement to provide a written statement of terms and conditions of employment to employees within two months of commencement of employment;
  • an obligation not to discriminate against employees;
  • an obligation to pay employees at least the national minimum wage;
  • various benefits in connection with giving birth, adoption and other family situations;
  • a requirement not to allow a worker to work beyond 48 hours per week;
  • a duty to give each employee a minimum amount of 28 days paid holiday each year;
  • various rights for employees to protect them in the event of termination of employment.

It is beneficial for an employer to make a comprehensive contract of employment to each employee. This can include all of the terms and conditions of employment, covering the rights described above, and in addition protect the employer’s business interest.

The UK is highly ranked for offering businesses a developed regime for the protection and monetisation of intellectual property rights (IPR). The main types of IPR in the UK are:


The best way to manage your intellectual property (IP) is to take stock of your IP assets regularly.

The new immigration point-based immigration system applies to both EU citizens and non-EU citizens. It gives a priority to high-skilled workers, skilled workers, students and a range of other specialist work routes including routes for global leaders and innovators.

Under the points-based immigration system, anyone coming to the UK for work must meet a specific set of requirements for which they will score points (at least 70 points). New system provides flexible arrangements for UK employers to recruit skilled workers from around the world.

As an entrepreneur it is possible to apply for a special type of visa, as a:

  • Start-up visa (for those who wants to set up an innovative business in the UK - it must be something that’s different from anything else on the market)
  • Innovator visa (for those who wants to set up an innovative business in the UK - it must be something that’s different from anything else on the market, furthermore your business or business idea should be endorsed by an approved endorsing body

• Investor visa (you need to  invest £2,000,000 or more in the UK)

The UK FinTech ecosystem is known as a second highest ranking globally. It has the world’s highest concentration of financial and professional services firms and it increases up to 21% year by year.

The UK’s FinTechs involve 25 different specialisms, which can be accumulated into 8 broad categories – banking, RegTech, InsurTech, WealthTech (including PFM and cryptocurrencies),  lending, payments, quote aggregators and accounting, auditing and cashflow management.

When you decide to incorporate a business in the UK you need a space for your company. The UK provides a number of different options in which to do business, depending from its needs, flexibility, location and cost. The four main models of office space available for companies are:

  • Freehold or long-term leasehold spaces;
  • Serviced office locations (usually short-term);
  • Co-working spaces (need to get a license to occupy);
  • In-house at various accelerator and incubators (need to get a license to occupy).

The property right that a company acquires will depend on the type of office space chosen.

After 1 January 2021 companies need to use UK-adopted International Accounting Standards (IAS) instead of EU-adopted IAS, regarding to the guidance. UK companies will also need to appoint a UK-registered audit firm to sign any audit reports on their behalf. These changes will effect a small number of companies operating in the UK.

By the UK law all companies based in the UK require an audit. However, there are several exceptional cases from this rule, based in the size of the company or group. Your company should be a Private Limited Company and has at least 2 of the following:

  • an annual turnover of no more than £10.2 million;
  • assets worth no more than £5.1 million;
  • 50 or fewer employees on average.

Your company must have an audit if at any time in the financial year it’s been one of the following:

  • a public company;
  • a subsidiary company;
  • an authorized insurance company;
  • carrying out insurance market activity;
  • involved in banking;
  • an issuer of electronic money;
  • a Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) investment firm;
  • an Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) management company;
  • a corporate body and its shares have been traded on a regulated market;
  • a funder of a master trust pensions scheme;
  • a special register body;
  • a pensions or labour relations body.

The UK company is usually registered with Companies House within 2 days.

No. there are not. Anyone of any nationality can start a business in the UK. You don’t need residential status or even to be living in the country, there is no need to have a visa. The only condition is that the company must be registered to a UK address for the purpose of accountability and correspondence.

You must register for VAT if your VAT taxable turnover goes over £85,000, or you know that it will (in the next 30-day period). Your VAT taxable turnover is the total of everything sold that is not VAT exempt.

You might also need to register in some other cases, depending on the kinds of goods or services you sell and where you sell them. Contact me to get more info.

You can also register voluntarily.

If you import or export from the UK, you need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. To get your goods through the UK border you need to make custom declarations. The completed invoice and any licences or certificates must travel with the goods. If you're VAT registered, record the goods in your VAT accounts even if they are zero-rated.

To get an EORI number, your business usually needs to have premises based in the country you want to import to or export from - this is called ‘being established’. Your premises needs to be one of the following:

  • a registered office
  • a central headquarters
  • a permanent business establishment - premises where some of your customs-related activities take place and your HR and technical resources are permanently located

If your business is not based in the country, you’re moving goods to or from, you should still get an EORI number if you’re:

  • making a customs declaration
  • making an entry/exit summary declaration
  • making a temporary storage declaration
  • making a customs declaration for temporary admission or re-export declaration where you have a guarantee
  • acting as a carrier for transporting goods by sea, inland waterway or air
  • acting as a carrier connected to the customs system and you want to get notifications regarding the lodging or amendment of entry summary declarations
  • established in a common transit country where the declaration is lodged instead of an entry summary declaration or is used as a pre-departure declaration

You'll get your EORI number immediately unless HMRC needs to make any checks on your application. If they do, it can take up to 5 working days.

Definitely. The UK is widely known to be a business hub, in particular, London – a city that’s regarded as a world leader in business and finance. The UK constantly has been named as one of the best countries in Europe to start a business due to its low start-up costs, simple taxation and easiness of doing business. As a non-EU resident, you may benefit 100% foreign directorship and ownership and a great number of DTA’s.

First, you have to incorporate a company in the UK and open a payment account. You have to get an EORI number and get your company registered with VAT.

Next, you have to register an Amazon Seller account. You will have to provide documents and information related to your business.

Once you have an Amazon Seller account and a supply of inventory ready to start shipping out, it's time to begin creating your product listings to add your items on to the platform.

Amazon sellers have two options for getting shoppers their stuff: You can do it yourself, maintaining your own inventory and shipping products to customers (merchant-fulfillment), or have Amazon take responsibility for packaging, labeling, and shipping products through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

Yes, you only need one European account. Your European Unified Account will allow you to create and manage product offers across all of Amazon's online European stores (e.g.,,,,, Your seller account is automatically enabled to allow you to sell in all other Amazon European marketplaces right after registration.

It depends how you want to approach it and the products you’re selling:

  1. You can sell the items on and ship from the UK. You could charge UK VAT until you’re required to register for German VAT by exceeding the distance selling threshold €100,000 a year.
  2. You can sell the items on and store the products in German FCs. You would be required to register for VAT in Germany. The fulfilment costs charged by Amazon are €0.50+VAT per item.
  3. You can sell the items on and store the products in German, Czech and Polish FCs. You would be required to register for VAT in Germany, Czechia and Poland, and charge the relevant VAT depending on the “place of supply” which is usually the place the items are sent from unless you’re VAT registered in the country in which the customer receives the products. Be aware that there’s a €0.50+VAT extra fulfilment charge for only storing your products in Germany and not Germany, Czechia and Poland.

In all cases because you’re placing items on the German market, you’d have to register with the German packaging scheme and pay for the recycling of your packaging. There is no need to set up a separate entity in Germany.

Yes. Amazon does not require to have a US-based business presence. If you have a company registered in the UK, you can use that to sell on However, for selling on, you will have to open a new Amazon Seller account because North American marketplaces are separate.

Although the UK confirmed in 2020 that crypto assets are property, it has no specific cryptocurrency laws and cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender.  In other words, cryptocurrencies are not regulated in the UK, meaning people are not protected by consumer protection laws if their funds are lost for any reason.

However, firms carrying out specific cryptoasset activities (including recognized cryptocurrency exchanges, advisers, investment managers, and professionals) that have a presence or market product in the UK, or that provide services to UK resident clients, must register with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for AML/CTF purposes.

Average Professional Fees:

Usually the basic package to incorporate your business in UK includes:

  1. Formation of Company;
  2. Company Registered Address;
  3. Registered Agent;
  4. CH yearly Reports.

The cost involved starts at: $399



  1. Local Nominee Director;
  2. Local Operative Director;
  3. Virtual Office;
  4. Mail Forwarding Services;
  5. Bank Account Introducing Service;
  6. Bookeeping Service;
  7. Accounting Service;
  8. VAT Reports;
  9. EORI Application;
  10. VAT Application;
  11. Audit Service;
  12. FCA Licence;
  13. Real Estate Brokerage;
  14. Recruitment Service;
  15. Immigration and Visa Service;
  16. Taxes Regime Service;
  17. Copyright Services;
  18. Technical support for your warehouse system.

If you already know the service you will need, book a call back with one of our Team Members and we will get you a bespoke quote.


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    • Get acquainted, analyse your situation;
    • Evaluate how to incorporate your business in UK;
    • Let you have a clear idea about tax system and main corporate Issues in the UK after Brexit;
    • Evaluate the possibilities you have to emigrate to UK;
    • Develop a strategy to let you succeed in UK;
    • Have a clear idea about your obligations in UK;
    • Draw up an action plan for you or your business to relocate to the UK.

    After the call you will get an email with a comprehensive quote and a step-by-step road map.

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    Having been in business for so many years, I have seen plenty of different cases so I can easily tell which structure would be best suited for specific requirements. Below I have selected the most popular solutions.


    Do you just need to register a UK company that is not going to trade? Do you need a British holding company?

    In this case you should opt for our UK Basic package which includes:

    • Incorporation of LTD Company in England and Wales
    • Registered Office
    • Registered Agent
    • CH yearly Reports
    • Consulting Service 1h/year
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    Are you a freelancer or running a small digital business? Are you out of VAT scheme and do you have up to 50 transactions per year? Does your annual turnover not exceed £85.000?

    Our UK Standard package would suit you the best. It includes:

    • Incorporation of LTD Company in England and Wales
    • Registered Office
    • Registered Agent
    • CH yearly Reports
    • Virtual Office with possibility to book a meeting room (2h/year)
    • Director Service Address
    • Secretarial Service
    • Mailbox and Mail Forwarding to your email
    • Consulting Service 2h/year
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    Or $199/month

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    Are you doing an import/export? Or you are planning to be an Amazon reseller? Do you need a VAT and EORI numbers? Or maybe you wish to apply for a UK residence permit?

    Then, you should definitely opt for our Full UK package which includes:

    • Incorporation of LTD Company in England and Wales
    • Registered Office
    • Registered Agent
    • CH yearly Reports
    • Virtual Office with possibility to book a meeting room (2h/year)
    • Director Service Address
    • Secretarial Service
    • Mailbox and Mail Forwarding to your email
    • Full Accounting Reports (CT-Return and Balance)
    • Consulting Service 2h/year
    Now only $3,990/year

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    Or $399/month

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    How Can I Help you?

    Unlike lawyers and accountants who focus on theory, I’ve done most of the stuff for myself and I know what works – and what doesn’t – especially in the UK as I have been operating for the last 15 years and I am an FCA Approved Person for more than 5 years.

    Working as CEO of Astorts Group, my team and I have received many inquiries and helped hundreds of clients to find a cost effective way to operate in the UK, to have all corporate and legal issues sorted, to file their accounts with CH and HMRC, to relocate their business to the UK, to buy properties or emigrate to the UK, to apply for FCA Licence like SPI, API, EMI, SEMI, Credit Broker, Investment Advisor and many more.

    My main focus is all about getting you across the “finish line” as easily as possible, so you will leverage my network and my experience to successfully get where you wanted.

    Companies Support

    Take your chance to learn from who have done most of the stuff he is talking about for himself and he knows what works – and what doesn’t – in the real world.

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    Why to entrust Alex?

    Alex is an entrepreneur, fintecher, investor, blogger and author based in London and operating mainly in Europe, Asia and Oceania.

    London Sydney New York
    Alex is an UK FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and NZ FSPR (Financial Service Provider Register) Approved Person and has great experience as director of regulated companies.
    Alex uses to dedicate part of his life to inspire others and help them achieve the most out of their lives.

    Since he was 20, he had successfully founded and managed several companies operating in the field of management consulting, wealth management and fintech.

    Alex is Member of Institute of Directors in London, Member of Changer Club in Riga, Member of Fintech Association of Hong Kong, Member of Singapore Fintech Association, Member of Non Executive Director Association in London and Member of Alumni Network of Draper University in San Francisco.