Information about UK Company Formation & UK business bank accounts for non residents

Information about UK nominee director services

Information about UK Company Formation for non-residents

CG Incorporations are professional UK Company Formation Agents providing efficient and cost-effective services to both domestic and international clientele, below are answers to some common questions around UK company formation and our nominee director services.

UK Company Formation Frequently Asked Questions

A:A UK limited company is a distinct entity in which the liability of its members or subscribers is limited, by shares or by guarantee. Limited company shareholders or directors are not responsible for any debts run up by the business and their personal assets cannot be touched. For sole traders, they are personally liable for business debts, so being a limited company offers an amount of protection for business owners.

When "Limited by shares", companies are usually businesses that make a profit. This means the company:

  • is legally separate from the people who run it
  • has separate finances from your personal ones
  • has shares and shareholders
  • can keep any profits it makes after paying tax

When "Limited by guarantee", companies are usually ’not for profit’. This means the company:

  • is legally separate from the people who run it
  • has separate finances from your personal ones
  • has guarantors and a ’guaranteed amount’
  • invests profits it makes back into the company

A limited company limited by shares, may be further divided into public companies and private companies. A limited company is registered at Companies House and must operate within the Companies Act 2006 [opens in new window].

Private companies: At least one director must be appointed to run the company. At least one director must be an individual. Appointment of a company secretary is optional.

Public companies: At least two directors and a secretary must be appointed. At least one director must be an individual and the secretary of a public company must be qualified.

A:YES: A non-resident can register a company in the UK. There is no nationality restrictions on the director or shareholder. However you do need a registered office address in the UK.

UK Company can be formed electronically at Companies House in few hours.

Contact us to form your UK company now ›

Requirements to set up a UK Limited company:

  1. Company Name: You need to make sure that your desired company name is available at Companies House, i.e. it's not the same as an existing name and does not contain any sensitive words. You can find list of sensitive words in the Annexes A-C at Companies House.
  2. Director: Only one director is required for the company formation. However there is no limit to the number of directors you can appoint. Atleast one director must be a natural person. You cannot be the company director if you are under the age of 16, un-discharged bankrupt or disqualified from acting as a company director.
  3. Shareholder: Only one shareholder is required. However there is no limit to the number of shareholders you can appoint. Can be an individual or a corporate body, can also be the director. At least one share must be issued.
  4. UK Registered office address -This address will appear on the public register. All statutory mails from Companies House and HMRC will be sent to the registered office address. However companies are not required to trade from this address.
  5. Service address - This address does not have to be in the UK. It is required by every director and shareholder of the company. It can be a residential address or the same address as the registered office. This address will appear on the public register.

With regards to bank account for the UK company, it does not need to be in the UK and account can be opened anywhere in the world.

If you are a non-resident interested in setting up a UK company and need assistance, CG Incorporations can help. You do not just make the payment and incorporate the company yourself. We form the company for you, we take all the necessary information, complete the company formation application and send it to Companies House.

Contact us to form your UK company now ›

For more information, please contact us at

A:Yes it is possible to register your company online.

Please contact us at if you would like us to incorporate your company.

A:You simply have to contact us with your chosen company name and we will assist you further. No signature is required as opposed to a paper based incorporation.

A:Private companies: At least one director must be appointed to run the company. At least one director must be an individual. A private company does not need to have a secretary.

Public companies: At least two directors and a secretary must be appointed. At least one director must be an individual and the secretary of a public company must be qualified.

A:You can not be a company director if:

  • you have been disqualified from acting as a company director (unless permitted to act for a particular company);
  • you are an undischarged bankrupt (unless permitted to act for a particular company);
  • under the age of 16.

A:There are a number of restrictions on your choice of company name. You can find list of sensitive words in the Annexes A-Z at Companies House.

Before choosing a name, it is important to ensure the name you would like to register is not the same as an existing name and is acceptable to Companies House.

A:Every company must have a registered office. This must be an address in England and Wales, in Wales (a "Welsh" company), in Scotland or in Northern Ireland. This must be a physical location where legal documents can be delivered to the company. You can not use a Po Box as your registered office address, you can however use your home address or trading address.

A:A company is dormant if it does not trade and has no accounting transactions.

A:Once a company has been incorporated, many directors make the mistake of thinking that that's all there is to it. Directors can be legally charged for not filing certain documents. If convicted, they will be fined up to a maximum of £5,000 for each offence and will also have a criminal record.

A:After registering a company, it is important to find out whether or not you need to register as an employer. Even if you're the only person working in your newly set up limited company you might still need to register as an employer as you'll be considered both an employer and an employee.

Contact us for help registering as an employer ›

You must register if:

  • the employee already has another job
  • they are receiving a state pension
  • you're paying them at or above the PAYE threshold
  • you're providing them with benefits
  • you're paying them at or above the National Insurance Lower Earnings Limit

If you meet one of these requirements then you must register as an employer and you will need to provide HMRC with the following:

  • name, business name, partner's name, company name (or charity/organisation name)
  • business or home address
  • a contact email address
  • a contact telephone number
  • the date of your first payday or, if earlier, the first date you made payments of expenses and/or provided benefits to your employees

Most employers can register with HMRC by telephone or online. The easiest way to register is via HMRC website as it gives you clear instructions on how to register. You will be unable to register online if you have a simplified PAYE scheme with more than 10 employees, your limited company has more than 9 Directors or you're in partnership with more than 10 partners. In that case you'll have to register over the phone, by contacting HMRC's New Employer Helpline. If your payroll is unusually different then you will need to register through an HMRC office.

Once you're registered as a new employer you'll need to familiarise yourself with the guidelines, forms and returns that are needed to perform your payroll. There is a payroll system that is available on the HMRC website that will allow you to file the forms and returns online.

Contact us for help registering as an employer ›

For more information, please contact CG Incorporations at

A:Directors can be legally charged for not filing certain documents. If convicted, they will be fined up to a maximum of £5,000 for each offence and can also have a criminal record. Therefore it is important to be aware of all the statutory deadlines.

Contact us for more information ›

  • Informing HMRC that your company is active: When your company starts trading, you must inform HMRC. You can do so by downloading the form CT41G (Corporation Tax - Information for New Companies) from HMRC website, completing the form and sending it to HMRC.
  • Data Protection Registration: Do you use personal information on a living and identifiable individual? If the answer is yes, then you need to register for Data Protection and notify the Information Commissioner's Office. Failure to notify is a criminal offence and carries a fine of up to £5,000.
  • Annual Return: An annual return is a general information about the company's directors, registered office address, shareholders and share capital. Every UK company must file an annual return to Companies House at least once every 12 months. It must be filed within 28 days of the anniversary of incorporation of a company or the anniversary of the made-up date of the last annual return.
  • Annual Accounts: Every UK company, whether it is trading or not, must file their annual accounts at Companies House. You must do so 9 months after your company's financial year ends.
  • Corporation Tax filing: Each year, your company is required to file a corporation tax return. You must pay any corporation tax that your company is liable by 9 months and 1 day after your company's financial year ends and you must do so electronically.

Contact us for more information ›

Apostille and Legalisation Service Frequently Asked Questions

A:An Apostille is an official Government issued certificate attached by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office to documents so they’ll be recognised when presented in another country that is part of the Hague Convention. Such certificates are often required by people for several reasons, including.

  1. Establishing an overseas contract or business venture
  2. Travelling to study overseas
  3. Travelling to work oversea

The Apostille clarifies that the seal, signature, or stamp on the said document is true and genuine and can therefore be accepted in countries other than the UK.  In other words, it is really just a stamp of approval.  Apostilled documents are thus deemed as being legal in any state that belongs to the Hague Convention.

A:Most institutions throughout the world will require validation of your documents and will request an apostille certificate before accepting them.  Apostilles streamline the legalisation of foreign documents. The country of origin of the document will validate it after it has been certified by a solicitor or notary and the Government of the country will then issue a dated certificate which has a unique reference for the Apostille.

A:Apostilles are provided by the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) in the UK.

A:It’s possible to legalise any document which has been issued by a UK government department. Some documents, such as company documents will need to be certified by a solicitor or notarised first before they can be apostilled.

A:Sometimes, (take for example a set of company incorporation documents), you’d probably need just one Apostille to validate them all. However it really depends on the type of document for which the Apostille is being produced. Usually when documents concern several corporate entities then an apostille for each will normally apply.

A:The time it takes to legalise a document varies from embassy to embassy, mainly due to differing procedures for submitting documents. It can be a very arduous, tiresome operation, often fraught with difficulties, so it saves time to use a professional to do it for you.

A: Apostilles certificates authenticate the document’s signature, stamp or seal and must include;

  1. name of document’s signatory and their capacity
  2. place date of issue and issuing authority
  3. details of the document’s seals/stamps and the stamp/seal of the issuing authority
  4. certificate number and the member of the issuing authority who signed the document

Legalisation gives official confirmation that the signature, stamp or seal on any document is genuine.  An official checks the document’s signature, seal or stamp against what is shown on their records. If they match, the legalisation certificate, or Apostille is given to confirm authenticity.

A:If you intend to use any British documents abroad, for whatever reason, often before foreign authorities will accept them they will ask for your documents to be legalised.

This is a way of deeming them as genuine.  We usually legalise documents within 1-3 days.

Business Bank Account for Non-Residents Frequently Asked Questions

A:There are extremely strict Anti-Money Laundering laws within the UK and strenuous bank regulations regarding identity verification to prevent fraud, for anyone applying for a bank account from abroad.  Running background and credit checks takes a great deal of time for banks, so many will either make the process very hard or don’t offer business bank accounts for non-UK residents at all!

A: There are several available alternatives as follows.

  1. Digital business bank accounts are a flexible and secure alternative. They are perfect for international trade, plus they each provide a dedicated IBAN, UK account number & sort code. This provides non-resident directors a workable solution for their businesses, without the need to come to the UK bank personally and therefore works for the majority of businesses. Digital UK bank accounts enable you to make and receive payments GBP via bank transfers or credit card.  Accounts can be connected to HMRC for tax payments and you can conveniently withdraw funds using your local ATM.  However, some restrictions do exist with digital bank accounts, an example being that they are sometimes not offered in some high-risk countries.
  2. A traditional business bank account could still be an option to non-UK residents, although you’ll need to come to the UK with the necessary documents to open one and it will be more expensive.

A:Digital bank accounts are useful to those non-UK resident shareholders and directors who, for whatever reason, are unable to get to the UK.  The paperwork and procedures in setting up the account are handled by professionals making it an easy process for non-resident directors.

A:It usually takes 2-3 weeks to complete the process of setting up your digital bank account although this does vary and can often be faster. It’s worth noting that every UK bank has its own way of working and some applications may be delayed or even unsuccessful, as the bank makes the ultimate decision on this. 

A:Only you will have access to your new business bank account once it is opened.

A:After registering your company and applying for the UK bank account, you will need to receive the official documents from the bank, so you will need a mail forwarding address.

A:The exact documents required to prove this vary from bank to bank, although usually two documents will be needed to authenticate your identity and address. The documents below are usually accepted.

  1. ID card, driving licence or passport
  2. utility bill or bank statement (less than 3 months old) or tax bill
  3. mortgage statement or tenancy agreement

A:No legal requirement currently exists for a UK companies to have a business bank account in the UK, although opening a business bank account in the UK will win trust from suppliers and customers alike, so it is recommended.

London Registered Office Address Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! And the registered address must be a property within the UK. By law you must have a registered address for your business for any correspondence of official documentation, registration of taxation with HMRC and for the storage of your company's statutory registers for inspection.

Official Government mail is classed as mail from these departments:

  • Companies House
  • HMRC
  • Department for Work & Pensions (DWP)
  • The Pensions Regulator (TPR)
  • Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
  • The Courts
  • Office for National Statistics
  • Government Gateway

No it isn’t! A registered office address is the main ‘official’ address for the company where all official or legal correspondence for a limited company should be sent (see above for details). Contrastingly, a business address is used as a contact point for other types of correspondence from banks, suppliers and customers and utility providers will be sent. Business addresses could be either your trading location or your own residence although your company's business address doesn’t need to be the same as the registered office address.

You can certainly change details of your registered office at any time, although you must ensure that your new location is still in the UK. When accepted by Companies House, your change of address will then show up on the public record within hours.

Unfortunately no, your registered address needs to be somewhere where delivered documents and other sensitive material from governing bodies are able to be signed for, so a PO Box wouldn’t be suitable as your registered office address. PO Box mail can be forgotten, so important legal documents will be overlooked.

Our Registered Office Address Services can provide clients with a seamless, affordable and high-quality service. We’ll provide a Registered Office Address from which your company can be registered. We’ll help your company to create an established corporate image by using an address closely accessible to London. Our expert’s great communication skills will provide help to you whenever it’s needed.

Our Registered Address Services can be bought as either a stand-alone product or as part of our company formation service. We can also provide a professional Mail Forwarding Service which enables you to use our address as your own trading address. A Directors Service Address is also available, which allows you keep your own address away from the public domain. (See below for details.)

It’s an address that’s assigned to your company. Your yearly fee legally entitles you to utilise this address for your company. It is merely a postal address that may be used to manage any official correspondence from HMRC and Companies House. However it isn’t somewhere that you can use as office space.

Yes, we can set up a Registered Office Address for any client, regardless of the type of business you’re in or whether your company has been set up by us. Sign up to our very affordable service and register your company now.

Trademark Registration Frequently Asked Questions

A:Trademarks are signs used by an individual, business organisation or other legal entity, to distinguish its goods and services from those of competitors. It can be for example words, logos, design, image, phrase or a combination of these elements.

A:You can only properly protect your business name if you register it as a trademark, simply forming a new company will not be enough.

Trade mark registration allows you to put the © Copyright, ® Registered or ™ Trademark symbols on your logo or brand for the goods or services that it covers and stops others from using your brand identity or specific Trademarked terms or graphics. It gives you the automatic right to take legal action against anyone who uses your trademark without your permission. Some trademarks go on to be worth millions so you can sell it or franchise it as it is your property.

Leaving your trademark unregistered can mean that another business may register your company name as a trademark and therefore acquire the legal rights to use your business name.

A:The only way to register your trade mark is to apply to The Intellectual Property Office.

When applying, it is important that you conduct a search to check no one else has registered for the same or a similar trade mark for the goods or services. Get your trade mark right and list all the goods and services as you can't amend after your application has been submitted.

A trademark is registered for ten years, after which it will need to be renewed every 10 years in order to maintain the owner rights over it.

A:Registration usually takes round 4-6 months if the examiner doesn't raise objections and it isn't opposed. However, it can take longer if any objections are raised by owners of similar registered trademarks or by The Intellectual Property Office.

A:Trademarks are registered in one or more of 45 classes, with goods in Classes 1 to 34 and services in Classes 35 to 45.

Nominee Director Frequently Asked Questions

A:A Nominee Director is a Director appointed to the board of a company to represent the interests of his appointor on that board & to protect anonymity.

A:Yes, nominee directors can be hired for many legitimate reasons.

A:Yes, all our nominees are British citizens residing in the UK.

A:Yes, we can provide nominee's proof of identity and proof of address. There will be an additional fee for this.

A:Yes. We offer exclusive nominee director services so your nominee will not take any other appointments and will be appointed just for your company. Prices for exclusive nominee directors start from £2500pa and depend on the nature of business and turnover.

A:No, bank account information is only available to the Beneficial Owner.

A:We do not provide bank signatory services as its too risky for both the Nominee and the client.

A:The nominees have no control over the company and they do not actually get involved in the management of the company.

A:Nominee Director Services: We provide a Director Appointment and Indemnification Agreement to the client defining the limitations of the nominee director's role and also authorising client to deal with the day to day running of the business and management of the company's activities. This document protects both parties (nominee director and beneficial owner). It’s important to note that the risk can be not just to nominee director but also to beneficial owner if you are not careful. We try to make the risks minimal by making sure both parties sign this document after nominee director has been appointed. We also provide you with Power of Attorney, stating that you have unlimited authority to act for the company and are the beneficial owner(s) of the company.

Nominee Shareholder Services: We provide a Declaration of Trust to the client confirming that we hold the shares in trust on behalf of the beneficial owner and deal with the shares only in accordance with the instructions of the owner, and that the owner can take the shares back at any time they wish.

A:Yes, we do. However there will be an additional fee as our nominee will have to travel to the notary's office to get it notarised.

If you require just a Power of Attorney signed by our nominee director then its free of cost.

A:No, our Nominee Services may be used for companies registered in other countries. The price will vary depending on the nature of business and turnover.

A:Your information will not be available to the general public as your information won't be entered on Companies House files.

A:We will require certified proof of identity and proof of address (utility bill/bank statement not older than 3 months) on the beneficial owner. Please visit below for more information:

Due Diligence Requirements >

A:Please note that all UK Companies and LLPs will need to keep a register of people with significant control ('PSC register') and this information needs to be filed at Companies House (new legislation introduced by Companies House from 30 June 2016). The details of PSC will be public. PSC can be an individual or a company.

A:Sorry, we do not provide Nominee PSC services as its not legal. We only provide Nominee Director and Shareholder services.

Tax and Accounting Services Frequently Asked Questions

A:Every company is legally bound to keep extensive records of its assets and liabilities, (ie income, expenditures). They will help you or your accountant when you submit the annual accounts, so keep them safe!

A:You can, although expert help will ensure that a business can minimise its tax burden by providing effective tax planning and timely and accurate tax compliance, such as the filing of tax returns. By using an accountant you won’t be at risk of the HMRC penalties and interest incurred due to late submission of tax returns and late payments of tax, as the accountant will take care of it all.

A:You’ll usually receive a letter from HMRC informing you that your company tax return is due. This is known as a ‘notice to deliver a company tax return’. If you have received this and you fail to file your return on time, your company will be subject to a flat rate penalty of £100. If you overrun by 3 months, you’ll be charged a further £100 penalty. If tax returns are consecutively late for 3 or more accounting periods, this penalty increases to £500 with an additional £500 charged if you file your return more than 3 months late.  These penalties escalate significantly the later you file your tax return.

A:Tax bills are determined by what profit you make as a business. This is basically all you have earned minus any business expenditure you have incurred.

A:Essentially anything deemed as a business cost is tax deductible. Examples of this include:

  1. premises rental
  2. car travel expenses – simply reclaim the VAT related to your business usage, (if your car is also used for personal use)
  3. IT equipment, Business calls and Internet access
  4. any running costs such as the price if your stock
  5. business trips- If you have an overnight stay, reasonable expenditure, including lunches are allowed
  6. property running costs- if you use part of your home solely for business purposes.

A:We’ll certainly endeavour to prevent you from paying more tax than you need to! For a start, in moving from a sole trader to a limited company, you’ll avoid having to pay Class 4 National Insurance Contributions. Although everyone’s situation is different, especially if you are self-employed, you can minimise your personal tax bills by trying to limit the amounts drawn from the company, for example in salaries or shareholder dividends.

A:With the help of our UK Tax Consultants and Accountants, CG Incorporations can provide quick, efficient and cost-effective financial advice at a competitive rate.

By managing your HMRC risk assessment status we can minimise your stress, worry and time, by dealing with HMRC directly on your behalf. We help you identify the most tax efficient route to accomplish your goals and minimise your tax liability.

If you are due to pay Corporation Tax, but don't meet HMRC requirements and deadlines you could face a penalty. However, you might also be missing out on tax credits or refunds to which you may be entitled or even be paying too much tax.

CG's competent tax accountants can deal with the complex UK tax system, helping you to avoid corporation tax penalties and advise you on how you can minimise your tax exposure, by ensuring you don’t pay any more tax than is legally due.

A:If you're a UK resident and have income and/or gains abroad, you may be able to claim relief or exemption from foreign tax and avoid paying tax twice.

For some countries you're required to provide a 'certificate of residence'- a letter confirming you were a UK resident for a particular period.

We can help you get a certificate of residence from the HM Revenue & Customs.

Contact us for more information ›

A:What is a Corporation Tax? Corporation tax is a tax levied in the United Kingdom on the taxable profits made by limited companies and other organisations including clubs, societies, associations and other unincorporated bodies.

Contact us for help with your corporation tax ›

How much corporation tax does my business pay?

If your company or organisation is based in the UK, you'll have to pay Corporation Tax on all your taxable profits - wherever in the world those profits come from. The corporation tax rate is 20% on profits upto £300k. For profits above £300k, the rate is 23% but will be reduced to 21% from April 2014. If your company isn't based in the UK but operates in the UK - you'll only have to pay Corporation Tax on any taxable profits arising from your UK activities.

Telling HMRC when your company is active:

On completion of the incorporation process, you are legally obliged to inform HMRC when your company starts trading. The company directors are responsible for ensuring that the corporation tax liability is accurate, and your annual tax return is filed on time. You can deal directly with HMRC or you can appoint someone to deal with HMRC on your behalf for your Corporation Tax affairs.

Corporation Tax return:

Each year, your company is required to file a corporation tax return. From 1 April 2011, all returns must be filed online for any accounting period ending after 31st March 2010. If you submit your return late or the contents are inaccurate, you will be fined a penalty. You must pay any corporation tax that your company is liable by 9 months and 1 day after your normal due date and you must do so electronically.

Contact us for help with your corporation tax ›

A:Self Assessment involves completing an online or paper tax return. There can be several reasons to why HMRC may need a person to complete a tax return - for example if you're self-employed, a company director, a trustee or if you have foreign income.

Contact us for help with your self assessment ›

You need to register for Self Assessment before you can get a tax return. HMRC will send you a Unique Taxpayer Reference by using the information you provide and will send you a letter each year, usually in April, telling you to complete your tax return. If you received your Unique Taxpayer Reference but have not received a letter telling you to complete a tax return by the end of April, you should contact your Tax Office.

The deadline for paper tax return is 31 October. If you want to send your tax return online, you will be given an extra 3 months and the deadline will be extended until January 31. You'll be charged a £100 fine and can expect to be charged interest if your tax return isn't received on time.

Contact us for help with your self assessment ›

A:Balance sheets are basically a summary of the financial dealings of a company or individual. This may be a business partnership, corporation, PLC (private limited company) or a sole ownership.

A:These are the financial statements of a company, showing their revenues, costs and expenses which have been incurred during a set time, usually over a quarterly or yearly period. They provide comprehensive information about whether a firm can generate profit by increasing revenue, reducing costs, or both. It shows the revenues are transformed into the net income or net profit. It is therefore a basic trading summary - how much has been spent running the company and how much has sold.

A:Cash flow statements are basically financial statements that demonstrate the amount of cash entering and leaving a company. They show how well the company generates cash to fund operating expenses and pay its debts.

A:Statutory accounts keep your records updated with Companies House. They also enable shareholders see how your company is performing and therefore have an important role in the running of your business.

A:Yes, UK directors must register for self-assessment and file personal tax returns. Any taxable income, for example shareholder dividends must be disclosed to HMRC. Penalties apply for late submissions and late payment.

A:Yes, of course! Even if you haven’t registered your company with us, you can still use CG Incorporations as your accountancy firm. (We may need you to provide a few details, i.e. company name, UTR number and Companies House authentication code).

A:Yes you do. Even if your trading has been limited a corporation tax return must still be filed. Why not contact us for a quote? Our prices are very competitive.

A:One of our experts will contact you and answer any questions. We will also need your proof of identity and proof of address (not older than 3 months).

A:An annual return is a general information about the company's directors, shareholders, nature of business (SIC code) and registered office address. It must be filed within 28 days of the anniversary of incorporation of the company.

All UK companies must file an annual return to Companies House every 12 months. If not filed on time, Companies House will issue a penalty.

You can see the list of SIC codes here:

CG Incorporations Limited can help you in filing your Annual Return for £50.

Contact us for help filing your annual return ›

VAT Registration Frequently Asked Questions

A:What is VAT? Value Added Tax (VAT) is a form of consumption tax that's charged on more or less to all goods and services that VAT-registered businesses provide in the UK. It is also charged on goods and some services that are brought into the UK from other European Union (EU) countries or countries outside the EU.

Contact us for help with VAT ›

Do I need to register my business for vat?

A business must register for VAT if the turnover for the previous 12 months has gone over the 'VAT threshold' (currently £82,000). If your turnover does not exceed the current VAT threshold, you can still register for VAT voluntarily.

How does VAT work?

VAT-registered businesses charge VAT when they provide goods and services to either business or to a non-business customer. When VAT-registered businesses buy goods or services they can generally reclaim the VAT on their expenses. If you're not VAT-registered then you can't reclaim the VAT you've paid on your purchases.

When a UK vat-registered company do sales with other EU countries, you should not charge vat if the customer has an EU Vat number, but you need to declare this on EU sales List. Any customers who do not have EU Vat number, you should charge vat on the invoices and you need to pay this vat to HMRC when you do Vat returns.

VAT Return:

Every VAT-registered companies must submit VAT Return (usually every 3 months) and ensure that payment of the VAT due has cleared to HMRC.

VAT rates:

There are three rates of VAT, depending on the goods or services the business provides: standard - 20 %, reduced - 5 % and zero - 0 %. There are also some items that are exempt from VAT or outside the UK VAT system altogether.

Contact us for help with VAT ›

A:It isn’t compulsory to register for VAT registration unless your turnover has exceeded or is predicted to exceed £85,000 in the near future. You can register at any time either as a sole trader or a limited company.

A:Definitely! Being VAT registered enables companies to claim back the VAT that they pay to their suppliers, but you will also need to charge VAT on your customer sales. There is also the facility to backdate VAT claims, (if you’ve retained a valid VAT invoice) for up to 6 months on services and up to 4 years on goods, for business related purchases.

A:There isn’t a lower limit for VAT registration, so if your turnover is less than £85,000 you can certainly make a voluntary VAT registration should you wish. Many companies choose to do this, especially if they are start-ups, as it gives the impression that the enterprise is a well-established company. It also promotes customer confidence and trust and increases the company’s credibility with suppliers.

When you register for VAT your business will be able to reclaim VAT on business related services or goods. Examples of this include:

  • Vehicles used only for business
  • Fuel and maintenance for the above
  • Staff travelling
  • Phone plans used for business calls

For more information see the government website.

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UK Company Formation & Nominee Director Information