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General Business Information

Flag of United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain. The United Kingdom has the world’s sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and eighth-largest by purchasing power parity. It was the world’s first industrialized country and the world’s foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. [Source: Wikipedia]

As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a founding member of NATO and the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy. The UK is also an active member of the EU, although it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946. It has been a member of the European Union (EU) and its predecessor the European Economic Community (EEC) since 1973. It is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G8, the G20, NATO, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

United Kingdom

The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is the third largest economy in Europe after Germany and France. Over the past two decades, the government has greatly reduced public ownership. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil resources, but its oil and natural gas reserves are declining and the UK became a net importer of energy in 2005. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, are key drivers of British GDP growth. Manufacturing, meanwhile, has declined in importance but still accounts for about 10% of economic output. [Source: Wikipedia, The CIA World Factbook]

Fast Facts



Time zone



94,060 sq. mi. (241,930 sq. km.)




Temperate. Overcast more than 50% of the time.

Official Languages



British pound sterling (£)


Constitutional monarchy

GDP per capita


Labor force


Unemployment rate


Main trading partners

Germany, US, France, Netherlands, China, Belgium, Ireland

Weights and measures


International dialing code


Internet domain suffix


Doing Business rating

10 (of 189)

Starting a business rating


[Source: The World Bank, CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia]

Market Entry Strategy

United Kingdom on the map

The first step is to determine which type of business you wish to establish.

  • Sole Trader: You’re a sole trader if you’re running your own business as an individual. You can keep all your business’ profits after you’ve paid tax on them. (Disambiguation): You can hire staff. “Sole trader” means you’re responsible for the business, not that you have to work alone.
    You will be responsible for:
    1. any losses your business makes
    2. bills for things you buy for your business, like stock or equipment
    3. keeping records of your business’ sales and spending
  • Business Partnerships: Are operated as if self-employed, but all partners share responsibility for the business. Each partner pays taxes on their share of the profits.
  • Limited Companies: Every limited company has “members” – people or organizations who own shares in the company. Directors are responsible for running the company. Directors often own shares, but they don’t have to. Most limited companies are “limited by shares” and most companies are private companies. Shareholders’ responsibilities for the company’s financial liabilities are limited to the value of shares that they own but haven’t paid for
    1. In a private company limited by guarantee, directors or shareholders financially back the organization up to a specific amount if things go wrong.
    2. In a private unlimited company, directors or shareholders are liable for all debts if things go wrong.
    3. In a public limited company, shares are traded publicly on a market, like the London Stock Exchange.

Establishing a Business

  • Sole traders must register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and follow certain rules on running and naming their business.
  • A Business Partnership and its individual partners must register for Self-Assessment with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and follow certain rules on running and naming the business partnership.
    1. You’ll need to choose a “nominated partner” – the partner responsible for managing the partnership’s tax returns and keeping business records.
    2. The nominated partner must register the partnership and themselves for Self-Assessment.
    3. The other partners register separately, they usually do this after the partnership is registered.
  • All limited companies must be registered (incorporated) with Companies House. To do this you need:
    1. the company’s name and registered address
    2. at least one director
    3. at least one shareholder
    4. details of the company’s shares – known as ‘memorandum of association’
    5. rules about how the company is run – known as ‘articles of association’

American Corporate Services offers experience and expertise for astute investors who wish to establish offshore businesses. Whether an investor wishes to immigrate or simply to establish a business entity, our network of professionals has the ability to advise, assist, direct and enable clients to understand and navigate the process for UK company formation.

Our services include everything you need for starting a new business in UK. In addition to helping to establish a UK business bank account, helping you set up your business to conform to UK accounting standards and to comply with UK taxes, we also offer boutique amenities such as UK secretarial services. We can even help you to create a UK virtual office that will appear to others as though you are actually in UK, even though you may be just about anywhere else on the globe at the time. Our business is making your investment a success.