Step-by-Step Company Formation in the UK as a non-resident

5 months ago   •   4 min read

By Laine Redpath

You're a business owner, and you want to register your company in the UK. You've heard it's hard and expensive to do this if you're not a UK resident, but what if I told you it’s actually relatively easy to do and that there's a way to start your business without being here? With our step-by-step company formation service, you can set up your company while taking advantage of tax breaks and other benefits that come with registering overseas. This guide will explain how it works:

Step 1: Decide and register a company name.

First, you need to choose a name for your company. Choose something unique and easy-to-spell/pronounce. Make sure that the name isn't too similar to an existing company name or trademark; you don't want to be confused with them. Register your company with Companies House. Every UK business must be registered with Companies House. If you use wamo’s company formation service this will be done for you.

How to check company name availability in the UK?
The first step in setting up a company in the UK is choosing a company name. Find all the details about choosing a company name on the wamo blog.

Step 2: Register your company.

You should now have a company name which has been registered with Companies House. You can then use this same company name when registering your VAT registration number with HMRC. If you are a non-resident and do not have any physical presence in the UK, may be best to appoint an agent to help you through the process of starting up your UK business and an account to ensure that you keep on top of all the tax and bookkeeping requirements from running a company here. Whichever way you choose to do it, ensure that you get  guidance and advice on all aspects of starting up your new business from obtaining funding through registering for VAT and PAYE payrolls etc…

Step 3: Appoint directors.

Now that your company is up and running, you need to appoint directors. Directors assist in the management of your business and act on behalf of the shareholders. If you're forming a limited company, then it's essential that you appoint at least two directors. One director can work alone but it's always better if there are at least two in charge to avoid any conflicts of interest. You don't have to be present when appointing directors but they must fulfil certain requirements:

  • They must be over 18 years old
  • They cannot be bankrupt or otherwise insolvent (meaning they're unable to pay creditors)
  • Their name cannot appear on any official list maintained by Companies House as being subject to an undischarged bankrupt order

Step 4: File your Confirmation Statement (formerly Annual Return).

After you have formed an Ltd company, and appointed a director, secretary and shareholder, your next step is to file a confirmation statement at Companies House. The confirmation statement will confirm that the company has been registered with Companies House and that each of its officers are authorised to act on behalf of the company. If you need help filing this document, please contact us today for further assistance.

Step 5: Register for taxes.

  • VAT: If your business turnover is over £85,000, you must register for VAT. If your business is a sole trader or partnership and you sell digital services to EU countries or any other country outside the UK, even if the goods are sold from within the UK, this is also a requirement.
  • Business registration: Once your company has been formed and registered for tax purposes, it should be registered as an employer with HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) within two months of starting work.
All you need to know about taxes for small businesses
Have questions about the taxes you need to pay for your small business? Detailed information on small business taxes is on the wamo blog.

Step 6: Open a business bank account.

You'll need to open a business bank account in order to receive payments. You can do this through the bank that you have chosen for your company formation, but there are other options. If you create your UK registered company using wamo’s company formation service you will be able to open a business account at the same time. Note that if you use a regular bank it can take up to two weeks for the bank to verify your identity and process your application for setting up an account. When this process is complete, they will give you login details for accessing their online banking service so that you can manage all aspects of your finances remotely from anywhere in the world!

If you have a company in the UK and need a business account, you can open an account online with wamo in just 10 minutes.

You can start your business in the UK without being a resident with wamo!

Meet wamo, the easiest way to start a company in the UK without being a UK citizen. Registering an account with wamo takes just 10 minutes and in all it takes just two days to get both your new UK company and a business account up and running. For more information, visit the wamo website or download the app from Google Play or the App Store.


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