Establishing a trading company in the UK

Thinking of joining a society of English merchants and starting trading, you will need to become a co-owner/partner in one of the previously created companies. Another option is to re-register a company for trading in England with a personal commercial idea, developed for a motivated audience.

There are several ways to register a business in the UK. Further, in the article we will consider main points, that should be taken a closer look, if you decide to establish a UK trading company.

How to start a trading business in the UK?

First, make sure, that the business is conducted legally. To do this, order individual advice of a specialized lawyer on registering a trading company in England. Subsequently, you can proceed to the next steps.

A choice of a legal form for a UK trading company

Below we have identified several key legal forms, that can be effectively used to conduct trading activities in Britain:

  • A general partnership: the presence of 2 or more managers. Responsibilities and profits are shared equally between partners. Each co-founder pays tax and debt payments (if any).
  • A limited partnership: this configuration functions like an absolute partnership, except that this form involves the payment of tax and debt payments by one partner, who is the sole manager.
  • A Limited Liability Partnership(LLP): partners are not liable for debts. Entering the Register in the Registration Chamber is a prerequisite.
  • A private limited company (Ltd): an independent legal entity. To register the Ltd in England, at least 1 director and 1 shareholder will be required.
  • A public limited company (PLC): such a company can be put up for public auctions. The min authorized fund is £50,000.

Limited Liability Companies are usually one of the most popular, so in this article we will consider these legal form as the main ones.

Assistance in preparing a business plan for a UK trading company

A proper preparation of a business plan for the UK trading business will help identify those parts, that were not initially given sufficient attention. It will be necessary to study market needs, prepare budget forecasts, determine equipment/machinery, costs, analyze a competitive environment.

You may find, that you need a license to do business in the UK. For example, a license to sell alcohol in the UK or to street vendors.

You must remember you need to obtain the insurance for a British trading company, especially, if you plan to order goods abroad or store/use a personal information of customers.

Choosing a name for your enterprise

It must be said right away, that there are restrictions, that apply to company names. First of all, a company cannot use the name of an existing company, as well as rude or obscene words or refer to the UK government, or indicate a relationship with government agencies. In addition, all limited companies must end with the word Limited or the abbreviation Ltd.

In general, planning to establish a trading company in the UK, there is no need to rush into a choice. This business sector has many participants, and the name should distinguish the company against the background of numerous competitors, who offer similar goods or services.

By the way, if the company was created in the form of an individual enterprise for engaging in trading activities in the UK, then you can use your last name or first name as a name.

It should, also, be noted, that only LLP must register their name. Companies, having another legal form, may register the name as a trademark in order to protect their activities from unfair competition.

Registering a trading company in the UK you must provide:

  • A commercial plan;
  • 3-5 options for names;
  • Documents on partners and beneficiaries (for LLP);
  • Documents for shareholders, directors and beneficiaries (for Ltd);
  • An information on the scope and geography of doing business.

It should be borne in mind, that founders of your firm must be of legal age, or at least 16 years old, and a legal entity cannot be a headmaster of the enterprise.

Registering a firm in HMRC

Any company, operating in the UK, must pays taxes. For these purposes, you should register your enterprise in HMRC (Her Majesty's Office of Taxes and Customs Duties). Registering a company for corporate taxation takes about three months. Such a company would have to file an annual tax return with the HMRC and pay a corporate tax.

Definition of job responsibilities

After registering a company in the UK, the director of the LLC must ensure, that the Registration Chamber is notified of any changes, that are being made to the company. He is also responsible for a preparation and signing of all reports, their timely delivery.

Secretaries are obliged to carry out scheduled tasks, such as, for example, preparing notifications about company meetings, keeping minutes of meetings, ensuring the transfer of the information about decisions and agreements to the Registration Chamber, among other things.

Using services of an accountant in the UK, you can ensure, that basic requirements, related to compliance with tax law, are met.

Obtaining registration documents

After approval of the application, the applicant receives a package of documents, which consists of: a certificate of registration, MOA, as well as share certificates (for Ltd).

Digitally stored documents must be backed up. For the storage of constituent documents are the responsibility of the director of the company.

UK trademark registration

The best way to protect a brand in the UK is to register a brand in Great Britain. Applying for trademark protection in the UK is possible not only for trademarks, but also for branding elements such as colors, moving images, sounds. A protection is provided for a period of 10 years with the right of extension.

You can obtain more detailed information on trademark protection in Britain during qualified advice on trademarks with YB Case specialists.

Final word

Planning to establish a company in the UK for trading activities, it is necessary to approach this task with all thoroughness and scrupulousness, and, if possible, provide yourself with the support of experienced lawyers.

Please note, that all the above information is published for informative purposes, and is not a consultation. If you have any questions, that are directly related to the topic of the article, you can identify potential solutions to them, together with YB Case experts, during a personal consultation on registering a company in the UK.

Our specialists provide accompanying services on registering companies in the UK/other countries of Europe/world, assist at all stages of opening corporate accounts in England or obtaining licenses for the trading business, and are ready to provide other professional services.

To find out more detailed information about the range of services of our company, as well as order legal advice on conducting trading activities in the UK, in any way convenient for you, through contacts, outlined in the form below.

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