Starting business in England from abroad


Well, I want to register a business in England from abroad. Because I don't have a registered address in UK, I am planning to use one of these formation agents from the official list and plan to use their addresses for registration purposes.

But I have no clue about the companies on the list. I will be glad if you could tell me about which ones are the leaders in this field, and help me for my spesific condition.

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asked Jul 10 '12 at 21:52
192 points
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4 Answers


You also need to get your post which you will receive on that address. Do you need to open UK Bank account for your business. How will you manage your annual return (Not VAT Return) and how will you file you company accounts?
Think about these issues.

answered Jul 11 '12 at 12:22
Shahid Nadeem
11 points


If you're planning to run a company from abroad, you should first contact the possible agents and ask whether they can store annual accounts for you which you will have to prepare at least every six months and store at your registered office address. I didn't realise that and now have to change the office address.

I've recently contacted Capital Business Links LTD, and am really impressed with their attitude. They're not official Companies House agent, but they can also register a company for you and provide you with a registered office address. They charge 90 quid a year, so a bit more than for example the Companies Made Simple, but they forward any kind of post to your e-mail address. They always forward statutory post and a reasonable amount of other mail. At least you might be sure that none of your letters will end up in a bin.

answered Jul 11 '12 at 13:31
452 points


I did not find any useful review about these companies on internet, therefore, I checked their reputations by their google and alexa ranks. (I know it doesn't mean much, and being popular is also doesn't mean they service better) Anyway. I found Companies Made Simple, and used their service.

My first impressions are:

  • Their packages seemed comprehensive, their website and services seemed proffesional. They respond your messages within a day. Even though some of their competitors were responded in an hour, anyway.
  • Their prices are irritatingly non-stable. For example, if you want to buy package X which is 100 GBP. Don't buy that! Go for the low priced Y package. When you are registering, they will give you the "opportunity" to register package X for 90GBP, for example. The difference is not something to mention, but irritative.
  • If you will want to refund something, you will not be able to refund it if you don't buy another package. They will also charge you for an un-mentioned "administrative fee" for the refund process.
  • You will not have a bank account, anyway, if you are not a UK resident. There were some other companies who was offering bank accounts for foreigners as well, I wish I had tried one of those.
answered Jul 12 '12 at 18:58
192 points


It's an relatively simple thing to do, any of these should be able to do it with little difficulty. Ultimately, all they are doing is registering the company, acting as company secretary and providing a correspondence address for you in England.

If you intend to trade any reasonable amount, you might consider finding an accountant since they can deal with all this in one place (including your accounting), that's what my accountant does.

answered Jul 10 '12 at 21:58
David Benson
2,166 points
  • Thanks for your response. Could you tell me what you exactly mean by "reasonable amount"? I read somewhere that if I don't earn more than £67,000 for a year, I don't need to register for VAT. I don't expect to earn more than that for the first year. Do you think that I still need an accountant in this case? – Noway 10 years ago
  • The VAT threshold is £77,000 per year in the UK, although you can register voluntarily if you expect to be claiming back a lot of VAT on purchases. – Steve Jones 10 years ago
  • VAT isn't so much the problem, the corporation tax return is the hardest part. I use and that does the VAT returns for me, in fact. My accountant also charges me less for having the book-keeping so well presented using it. By "reasonable amount", I'm saying you're obviously not going to get an accountant for 1k a year if you earn 3k... – David Benson 10 years ago
  • @David I had some really bad experiences with accountants, so taught myself to do it all. As I suspected, it is trivial, and a spreadsheet is all you need. So far, I've run three Ltd companies and never had an issue doing the accounts (and my personal tax return) myself. Saved quite a few grand over the years, which is nice, but also it helps me to be better at business if I handle it all myself. Of course, IMHO, YMMV, etc. – Steve Jones 10 years ago

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