Know these answers BEFORE you establish a company in the UK

Have a look at this if you are considering setting up a company in the UK. We’ve collected the most frequently asked questions about company matters, banking and accounting that you should keep in mind.

Company matters

What documentation will I receive once my company has been registered?
You will receive an email with the registration certificate and related company documents.

When can my company pay dividends?
The shareholders may choose to pay an initial yield once the company has accumulated a profit, e.g. shareholders may receive a dividend of up to £81,000 if the company has made a profit of £100,000 (after deduction of expense). The remaining amount covers corporation tax, which is to be paid from the net profit.

Where is wages from the company taxed?
It is typically taxed in the country where the beneficiary lives.

Must I have a director in England if I have an English company?
No, you do not.

Must I have a company secretary for my English company?
No, it is not mandatory. We will, as a part of our administration service, make sure all public authority demands are covered.


What are the requirements for opening an English company bank account?
You must live in the EU.

How long does it take to establish an English bank account?
Opening a bank account typically takes a few weeks.

Should I be in England to open a bank account for my company?
With some banks yes, but no visit is required if you use our nominee services where a UK-resident Director is provided .

Can I open accounts outside the UK for my company?
Yes, CPIE’s cooperation with overseas banks would allow you to do this.

In which country is my corporation taxed if I have a bank account outside the UK?
Your company is taxed in the UK. If you establish branches in other countries, for example a Danish Branch, they will be covered by the UK double taxation agreement.

Accounting and auditing

Are the annual accounts included in the fixed price?
The cost of the annual accounts will be an additional service. We work with a number of accountancy firms with many years’ experience in our recommended company structures with foreign ownership.

When should I VAT register my company in the UK?
If you expect the turnover of the company to reach £83,000 in a 12 month period, it is time you register for a VAT number.

How often should VAT accounts be submitted in the UK?
Every third month.

How much does it cost to submit a VAT return in England?
This depends on the company’s scope of practice. We work with accountants who can help you.

Should I file annual accounts if my English company is inactive?
No, that is not necessary.

Must I submit payroll accounts in England if the company does not have any employees in the UK?
No. You will not have to do any of that.

What other accounting costs will I need to pay?
The annual accounts are the only mandatory submissions in the UK. Other auditing costs depend on the size and turnover of your company, and if there are any additional expenses.

Other services

What do I do when the company receives letters from the British authorities?

CPIE Services will receive and process mail sent to your company by the British authorities. If you need to have the mail forwarded, we offer a mailing service where we will typically forward messages once a week, or as agreed.

Dictionary – words you should master

Annual Accounts
Annual accounts are submitted each year to the company registry Companies House. You must also report your annual accounts (Dormant accounts) even if there has been no activity in the company.

An annual tax return must be submitted to the British tax authorities HM Revenue & Customs, but not if your company has been inactive.

Ltd. = Limited/private company limited by shares. A limited company does not offer shares for sale to the public. A limited company must have at least one director.

Company Register
It is a legal requirement in the UK that every company have a list of shareholders, directors, owners, property loan, etc. The register shall always reflect the company’s actual conditions and must be kept at a UK address.

Confirmation Statement
Companies House requests an online annual update of company information. This includes details about directors, shareholders, and the company’s business etc. The filing of the Confirmation Statement is a service included in the UK company package.

Director/Board of Directors
The director(s) is (are) officially responsible for ensuring that the company’s activities are legal and properly managed. Shareholders can always replace the director(s) through an extraordinary general meeting.

Registered Office
All companies in the UK must have a contact address. Here, it is very common to use your accountant’s address or an administrator’s address so they receive all important letters from authorities, like Companies House and tax authorities (HMRC), thereby ensuring official documents are promptly acted upon.

Share Capital
The share capital of an English company (Limited) is normally £100, but it can vary.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
You file the company’s Annual Accounts and Tax return to HMRC. It is also here that you will be registered for VAT. If the company is VAT registered, this return is filed every 3 months.

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