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Incorporate Online for Non-UK Residents

UK Company Formation and Banking FAQ

  1. Are there any restrictions for a non-UK resident to be a Director of a UK Limited company?
  2. How long does a UK company registration take?
  3. Are there any restrictions on my company name when incorporating a UK Company?
  4. What additional documents and information are required for UK company formation?
  5. How long will it take to receive my order by post?
  6. Can I change any information on my UK company formation form application?
  7. Is it possible to receive a refund if we change our mind after submitting and paying for a UK company formation?
  8. Why are your UK company formation packages for non-residents more expensive than for UK residents?
  9. Is there a requirement to have Company Secretary for a UK company?
  10. What is a Nominee Director in a UK Limited company?
  11. Can I open a UK Business bank account being a non-UK resident?
  12. Can a UK registered company open a bank account elsewhere apart from the UK?
  13. Is it possible to open a UK business bank account without physical presence?
  14. What is a Service Address and how it can be useful to me?
  15. What is the Annual Return and what information is required to submit it?
  16. What is a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code and can it be obtained?
  17. What is a Single Alternate Inspection Location (S.A.I.L.) and its purpose?

  1. 1 Are there any restrictions for a non-UK resident to be a Director of a UK Limited company?

    There are no legal restrictions for a non-UK resident to be a Director, Shareholder or Secretary of a UK Company. The only complication is that it becomes more challenging to open a UK business bank account for a UK Company with a foreign Shareholder/Director. UK Companies Limited has good working relationships with some banks and can offer a solution. We can offer you a bank introduction to UK business banking, subject to completion of our questionnaire.

  2. 2 How long does a UK company registration take?

    UK company incorporation does not usually take more than one working day (subject to the cut off time at Companies House, 3pm GMT time). We will e-mail the incorporation documents to you on completion and post the package as soon as possible. UK company registration can be delayed, if you do not provide us with the documents we require in advance or immediately after making a payment.

  3. 3 Are there any restrictions on my company name when incorporating a UK Company?

    Yes there are name restrictions when choosing the name for a UK companies. These restrictions are reinforced by Companies Act 2006 and Companies House rules. The full list of words that cannot be used in a UK company or UK LLP can be found on the Companies House website: http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/about/gbhtml/gbf2.shtml

    Listed below are the main categories, which are classed as sensitive for UK company registration purposes.

    • Royal
    • Group
    • British
    • Banking
    • National
    • International
    • Holding(s)
    • Insurance

    UK incorporation does not allow registering companies with similar names.

    If you use our dedicated search engine it will tell you if your name is available or indeed sensitive or same as.

  4. 4 What additional documents and information are required for UK company formation?

    The information that you will need to hand for Limited or LLP formation are. You will need to check that your chosen UK Company name is available for registration. Similar names to the existing registered companies will be rejected by Companies House.

    • Directors details, i.e. your residential addresses and a service address if required
    • Company secretary details (it is no longer a legal requirement), the same for the UK company Director
    • The identity details for all directors, shareholders and the Company Secretary of the UK Company. (It is no longer a legal requirement to have a company secretary)
    • Shareholder details of the UK Limited company, including their residential address
    • A UK registered office address, which is included in all our UK company registration packages for UK companies and UK LLP
    • Supplementary products and services (add-ons) we offer that you might require can be added during company formation process
  5. 5 How long will it take to receive my order by post?

    We normally dispatch printed incorporation documents not later than 3 working days after the UK company incorporation process is completed at the Companies House. It takes between 3—5 working days for us to order a company seal, 5 days for document Apostilation (minimum) and around 3 working days for your documents to be Notarized. Please add a few extra days for the courier delivery, as it can take 3—5 working days (depending on where you live). We will provide you with the tracking number when the UK company incorporation documents are dispatched to you.

  6. 6 Can I change any information on my UK company formation form application?

    It is possible to change the details on your UK company incorporation form but only until we submit the details to the Companies House. Please contact us as soon as you have realised that there is a mistake.

  7. 7 Is it possible to receive a refund if we change our mind after submitting and paying for a UK company formation?

    It is not possible to receive a refund if you change your mind after the UK company formation documents are submitted to Companies House. Due to the bespoke nature of our UK Company registration, such services are exempt from a ’cooling off’ period and you may not cancel the order once it has been started. Please read our Terms and Conditions before you order.

  8. 8 Why are your UK company formation packages for non-residents more expensive than for UK residents?

    UK Companies Limited specialises on non- residents as Owners/Directors of UK companies. We can provide additional services unlike other UK company registration agents working on the domestic market who do not, as there is no such requirement, for example provide Notarisation and Apostilation of the Documents. Our Global packages always include courier service delivery and registered office address. UK Companies Limited is very competitively priced.

  9. 9 Is there a requirement to have Company Secretary for a UK company?

    Companies Act 2006 abolished a legal requirement to have a company secretary for a UK Limited Company. The company secretary’s duties of a private limited company automatically fall on the Company Director. We at UK Companies Limited strongly advise that you appoint a person knowledgeable in UK legislation to make sure you submit your annual returns at Companies House, just as an example. Important Notice: Should you opt for a UK private limited company Nominee Director, the price for the service does not include UK Company secretarial duties.

  10. 10 What is a Nominee Director in a UK Limited company?

    By law a UK Company must register directors with Companies House. Our Nominee Director Service for UK companies provides anonymity and confidentiality for the Director. UK Companies Limited provides Nominee Director Services subject to a satisfactory completion of our Due Diligence procedures. This is not a standalone service and can only be ordered when using our UK company formation services.

  11. 11 Can I open a UK Business bank account being a non-UK resident?

    You can open a UK business bank account being non-UK resident. More than likely, you will be required to visit the bank, unless they know you as a personal banking client already. UK business banking is generally very difficult to obtain for non-UK residents, especially remotely. We do not offer our business bank account Introduction Services unless you incorporated with us. We can, however, offer you our Bank Introduction Service to open a UK business bank account, if you used our UK company registration services, but did not choose it at the time of the UK company formation.

  12. 12 Can a UK registered company open a bank account elsewhere apart from the UK?

    There is no legal requirement for UK registered companies to have a bank account in the UK. The process of opening a bank account in the UK is very complicated and a physical presence is required in the majority of cases. You may therefore consider opening a bank account in your country of residence and choose the bank you prefer to work with. Please ask the bank for the document requirements for your UK Company and we will endeavour to assist with legalisation or Apostilation of the documents to meet your requirements.

  13. 13 Is it possible to open a UK business bank account without physical presence?

    It is not possible to open a UK Business Bank Account without visiting a bank in the UK. Apart from UK business banking, we can also provide you with the Bank Introduction Service to banks in Cyprus and Latvia.

    It is becoming a rare exception to open a UK Business Bank Account without visiting a bank in the UK. You will be most likely required to visit the bank or its representation in person in order to open a UK business bank account. The rules are changing very frequently, so it is best to discuss your case with us in advance. To open a UK business bank account is ultimately a bank’s decision. There is no legal requirement for UK registered companies to have a UK business bank account. Some of our clients open the bank accounts for their UK companies in the country of their residence or trade. Please ask the bank of your choice for a list of document that will be required from your company. You can order them from us separately, in addition to the package you choose.

    Apart from UK business banking, we can also provide you with the Bank Introduction Service to banks in Cyprus and Latvia.

  14. 14 What is a Service Address and how it can be useful to me?

    Owners (Shareholders), Directors and Secretaries of private limited companies and members of LLP’s are required by law to provide the address where legal documents are to be sent to from Companies House, HMRC and other official institutions. This information is publically available from Companies House. Most of our clients prefer to keep their private residential addresses from the public records by choosing a Service Address (that can be your registered address) at a small fee. UK Companies Limited provides such service to its UK company formation clients only.

  15. 15 What is the Annual Return and what information is required to submit it?

    Your Annual Return is a legal requirement, you need to inform the Companies House, and if there have been any changes to the Company since Incorporation or since the last Annual Return.

    An Annual Return is not the filing of your accounts. It is a Statement of the structure of your company as of the date of filing.

    If you made any changes to the Registered Address, issued or transferred any shares, made any changes to Directors, Shareholders and Secretary, you must reflect this on your annual return. You will also need to inform Companies House on what your current business activities are.

    We provide full hands off service of filing of annual return for our existing clients. We will take all the relevant information from our system. You would need to inform us of any changes to your company structure, if any, via e-mail (i.e. in writing).

    We will also need to know your type of activity to inform the Companies House of your Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code and Single Alternate Inspection Location (S.A.I.L.).

  16. 16 What is a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code and can it be obtained?

    The United Kingdom Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (SIC) is used to classify UK Limited companies and UK LLPs by the type of economic activity in which they are engaged.

    It is important information that needs to be disclosed on the Annual Return.

    Please note that only the codes on the condensed Companies House list below can be used on the Annual Return.

    Condensed SIC List

  17. 17 What is a Single Alternate Inspection Location (S.A.I.L.) and its purpose?

    The law requires directors to disclose the address where the company records and registers are kept. This is so that General Members of the Public can inspect these records if they so choose, after giving the required “Notice.”

    The S.A.I.L address must be in the same Jurisdiction as where the company was incorporated. For example, if you incorporated in England your S.A.I.L address must be in England. An Accountant’s office is frequently used for this purpose. Our Registered Address service does not cover S.A.I.L. but it can be purchased as an additional service to be renewed annually.

by Elena Genovese