Are you a Cypriot entrepreneur, thinking of branching out and opening your business in the UK? If so, this article is just for you. We’ll give you the options available when starting a business in the UK and guide you through the steps you’ll need to take to successfully register your company in the UK.
If your company is already up and running in Cyprus that’s a great start. However, you’ll also need to do a bit more admin to get everything ready to run your business in the UK or another country. When forming your company in the UK you will need to register your business with Companies House (the official government registry of companies in the UK) as well as sign up to HMRC (His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs – the UK’s official tax authority). All the things you need to do to get your company off the ground can feel complicated, but this article is here to give you all the information you need before getting started.
Deciding what kind of business your company should be registered as
When planning to start a business in the UK, it is important to choose a form of incorporation that best suits your business needs. There are different types of companies that can be registered in the UK with the most common being sole trader, limited company or partnership.
Sole traders: This option is the most straightforward when setting up a company. However, any business debts you incur will become your personal responsibility. There are also certain accounting responsibilities you’ll need to take into account. More information on registering and becoming a sole trader can be found here.
Limited companies: This is a popular and flexible option for entrepreneurs who want limited liability protection. Forming a limited company means your personal and business finances will remain separate from each other. There are however more responsibilities with regards to reporting and accounting. People setting up limited companies will often get help from an accountant or other professional when forming the company, but you can also do it yourself. Make sure you know about all the responsibilities and legal implications associated with forming a limited company – you can read more about it here.
Partnerships: The simplest way for two or more people to run a business together is by setting up a partnership. All partners share accounting responsibilities and all partners are responsible for any business debts (losses, bills, etc.). A partner can also be a limited company and doesn’t necessarily need to be an individual person. To find out more about setting up a partnership and the various responsibilities it entails you can go here.
Now that you know the type of business you’ll register your company as, it’s time to choose its name
Deciding on the name of your company is about as tricky as choosing a name for your unborn child. You need something people will like and relate to, it should be easy enough to pronounce and spell for a wide variety of people, it needs to be unique and not get confused with anyone else and it’s a bonus if your chosen name has a special meaning to you. Some pointers when deciding on your company’s name include:
- Choose a name that is not too similar to another company's name. This will help avoid confusion and make it easier for customers to distinguish between them.
- Choose a name that is not too long. If the company name is too long, people may find it difficult to remember. Also make sure that the spelling of your company's name is correct in all languages (including English).
- Choose a memorable brand identity.Choose something memorable so that customers can easily recall their experience with your product or service when they see it again elsewhere on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter!
- Test it out in real life. Make a shortlist of your top names and get feedback from friends and family.
If your chosen name is already taken you’ll need to choose another one
Once you have chosen a business name, it's important to check whether it is available with Companies House. You can do so by searching on the Company name availability checker. If your chosen name is already taken or too similar to another company's name registered with Companies House, then you need to choose another one.
You can also check if a company name is available using the UK Trade Mark Office website which will tell you whether any trademarks have been filed for that particular word or phrase. You can also do this yourself by searching for 'trademarks' on Google and clicking through onto their search engine results page where they list all active trademarks in the UK and Ireland (which includes Cyprus).
Once you’ve chosen and confirmed your company’s name and decided which type of business structure best suits your needs – sole trader, limited company, partnership, etc. – then it's time to register as an employer or self-employed person at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Choose an address where official letters and documents can be sent
Once you have decided on a company name, it's time to choose an address where official letters from regulatory bodies will be sent. You can choose either a residential address (e.g., your home), business address or PO Box. If you opt for the latter, it must be registered with the Post Office and they will send out all correspondence on your behalf. This is obviously more difficult if you’re based in Cyprus and plan to run your UK business remotely. This is where a financial management service provider and a payments platform like wamo can be highly beneficial as its company formation service includes setting up a company in the UK with a virtual office address in just 2 days.
You can also add one or more trading addresses if needed
This is useful if you want to run your business from a different country or if you have offices in different countries. You can then add the addresses of these locations as well as a mail forwarding service that will forward all of your correspondence to the correct office based on where it's coming from.
When forming your company in the UK it is mandatory to determine its activities and register them with the Companies Registry
Once you’ve determined exactly what your company will do and you’ve registered its activities with the Companies Registry, you will be issued a certificate of incorporation, confirming your company as an active legal entity.
Check if any permits or licenses are required for operating your new UK business
It’s important to always be aware of any permits and licences needed while running your business. You want to make sure to maintain good legal standing for your company. You can always refer back to the gov.uk website for all regulations and further information on how to register your business. You can also register with the HMRC (UK tax authority) and Companies House (the government recognised register of companies) via the same website.
Another option is to start your business in the UK from Cyprus in just 2 days with wamo!
wamo has a company formation feature that allows you to register a UK company through Companies House, from the comfort of your home in Cyprus. The streamlined service will have your company registered within 2 days of submitting all necessary documentation.
This service is best suited to:
- Business owners (or soon-to-be business owners) in Cyprus or elsewhere outside of the UK who are interested in expanding their business into the UK marketplace
- Entrepreneurs in Cyprus who want an easy way to register a company in the UK
- Freelancers and sole traders who don’t have a registered business and can’t easily open a business account
The best part about using this service is you’ll be able to get a wamo business account at the same time. This means that you can have a registered UK company and a business account up and running within 48 hours of submitting your application.
To learn more about registering a UK company from wherever you are in the world, go here.
To learn more about our subscription plan offers, go here.