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Open a Branch in the United Kingdom

Introduction to setting up a branch in the United Kingdom

Foreign investors looking to establish a branch company in the UK can benefit from a strong economic environment and a positive approach to foreign investment. The process of setting up a UK branch must be done in conjunction with the UK Companies Act 2006 which regulates company law. Although the UK generally favours foreign investment, there may be some restrictions for countries outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).

What are the accounting requirements for a UK Branch?

The branch must apply to HMRC to register for VAT and PAYE taxation. Quarterly VAT returns and annual tax returns must be filed.

Accounts of the branch are not required by Companies House; however the accounting requirements for the parent company differ depending on whether the company was incorporated in an EEA or non-EEA state.

If the parent company is required to prepare, disclose and deliver its accounting documents under its national domicile law then the same applies in the UK and must be filed with Companies House. No audit is required unless stated under the parent law.

What are the formalities regarding UK branches?

– A certified copy of the parent company’s Certificate of Incorporation
– A certified copy of the parent company’s Certificate of Good Standing
– A certified copy of Memorandum & Articles of Association of the parent company
– If the parent company is required to prepare and deliver accounts under its domicile law a copy of the parent company’s latest set of accounts are required

These documents must be submitted to the Companies House in order to register the British branch.

All documents must be notarised by a lawyer and translated into English by a certified translator if the originals are presented in a language other than English.

What office facilities are available when registering a branch?

There are three main types of office available in the UK:

– Virtual offices in Central London provide off-site communication including telephone, fax and mail forwarding facilities
– Registered offices provide a correspondence address for the branch
– Serviced offices include all necessary business services and are ready for immediate occupation by the branch

What we do for you?

We will handle every aspect of the branch formation for you. Using our expert knowledge we can offer a branch formation package in which we take care of branch registration, issue of the certificates of registration, local directors, local representative and place of business in the United Kingdom, tax registration, VAT registration, and translation of documents into English (if required).

Our unique one stop solution for all European formation requirements also offers formation packages to set up multiple branches. The benefits for establishing multiple branches include further increased exposure and global presence, and we can organise everything for you.

A summary of UK Corporate Taxes is available here.