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Registering in UK as an Overseas Company

As a company incorporated overseas, you would need to register at Companies House to set up a legal business in the UK. Check to see if you need to register as an overseas company in the United Kingdom.

Who Must Register as Overseas Company?

Registration would be necessary to establish a place of business for your company in the United Kingdom.

The same rules would also apply if you usually carry out a business from somewhere located around the United Kingdom.

Note: Not all types of companies can register as an overseas company in the UK. They include partnerships and unincorporated bodies. You can contact the Department for International Trade for further advice.

Who Does Note Need to Register?

There is no legal requirement to register your overseas company with Companies House if you do not have a base in the UK. The development of UK land or UK property would be an exception. In this case, you must contact HM Revenue and Customs to register for Corporation Tax instead.

Registration Forms for Overseas Companies

Use ‘Form OS IN01‘ to register the UK establishment of an overseas company. It contains a list of documents you need and the return address. Fill in the form and send it to Companies House within one (1) month of opening for business.

Companies House
Telephone: 0303 1234 500
Corporation Tax Services
HM Revenue and Customs
United Kingdom

Note: There is a £20 fee for registering an overseas company with Companies House. Send a cheque or a postal order with the form to cover the registration fees.

Making Changes to Your Company Details

You must notify Companies House within fourteen (14) days of any changes to company details, such as the:

  • Business name, address, or what it does.
  • Details of directors, secretaries, or other people with authorisation to represent the company.
  • Company constitution (a document created when you formed the company).
  • Company information (e.g. its accounting requirements or the powers of directors or secretaries).

Expert Help from Department for International Trade

The Department for International Trade (DIT) provides assistance for overseas companies looking to set up and trade in the United Kingdom. DIT services include:

  • Information about how business works in Britain.
  • Analysis of market opportunities.
  • Access to business and academic networks.

Department for International Trade
Telephone: 020 7215 5000
Information on call charges.

Help to Set Up in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland

Outside of London, Scotland is the most attractive location for foreign direct investment in the United Kingdom. Contact Scottish Development International (SDI) if you are searching for a new home for a UK based business in Scotland.

Scottish Development International
Telephone: 0800 917 9534

Further help setting up a business in areas around the UK is also available from:

Registering as an Overseas Company in United Kingdom