Many of the large foreign corporations have a base in the UK even though they were incorporated outside the United Kingdom (e.g. McDonald’s).
Even so, as a foreign company in UK, you must file your tax returns with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
As a rule, the same obligations would also apply to filing annual accounts with Companies House as an overseas company.
Filing Tax Returns
You must file a Company Tax Return with HMRC in the UK as an overseas company. The online service converts accounts into the required format (iXBRL) so there is no need to buy any accounting software.
Filing Accounts with Companies House
Companies with an establishment based in the United Kingdom need to send accounting documents to Companies House if it was (either):
- Incorporated outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).
- Incorporated in one of the EEA countries and required to file accounts in that country.
Along with the accounting documents an overseas incorporated company must also include:
- Its accounts for the financial period.
- The directors’ annual report.
- A completed OS AA01 form.
- Any auditors’ reports (where applicable).
- The administration fee of £20 (make cheques payable to ‘Companies House’).
Note: Being incorporated in an EEA country, and not required to file the report there, means there is no need to include an auditor’s report.
There are time limits for sending the documents to Companies House. You should send them within:
- Three (3) months of the deadline for filing accounts in the country of incorporation for your company.
- Thirteen (13) months of the end of the accounting period (for companies that do not file accounts in their home country).
- Thirteen (13) months of the first anniversary of becoming a registered company (for a first accounting period longer than 12 months).
UK Government collections contain postal forms for overseas companies to file with Companies House. The forms also contain the addresses needed to send them.
One of the downloads available is the ‘OS AA01 – Statement of details of parent law and other information for an overseas company’.
Note: Failing to file accounts in the UK as an overseas company on time can result in a prosecution and a fine.
Where to Get More Information
You can contact Companies House for help with the registration and filing obligations of an overseas company if you open an establishment in the United Kingdom.