The UK attracted more foreign direct investment (FDI) than any other country in Europe between 2015 and 2018, with nearly four thousand projects bringing in more capital investment than second and third placed Germany and France combined).
The Department of International Trade said 2018 was the highest level of inward stock since records began. The department welcomed the news that the greatest growth from any country came from Indian investors, rising 321% to £8bn. Stocks from Asia totalled £128bn, with investment from Japan increasing 71% to £78bn.
But this was still a small proportion compared with the amount of investment coming from the US, which increased by 19.5% to £351bn.
The above figures include multinational as well as owner managed businesses who set up their operations in the UK during 2015 to 2018.

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Why UK

UK offers great incentives and flexibility to foreign entrepreneurs wanting to set up businesses in the UK. Some of the key advantages are:
– You can own 100% of your business with no requirement for a local shareholder – You do not have to be a UK resident to become a Director of a UK company – There is no withholding tax on profits remitted abroad – UK has one of the lowest Corporation Tax rates among the developed countries of just 18% – There are no personal taxes to pay in the UK if you are not a UK tax resident. This means that you can take dividends tax free – The credibility of a UK company is second to none. A company with a UK registered office address gives you a springboard to globalise your business.
You can have your business set up and operational within 3 to 4 weeks provided you choose the right advisors who have knowledge and experience of helping foreign businesses setting up UK operations.

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Potential Challenges

Most entrepreneurs face challenges when they want to open a bank account for their UK company and do not have a UK residential address. There is no government restriction which prevents banks from opening a bank account for companies with non resident UK directors. The issue seems to be with the UK banks who are reluctant to take on businesses where Directors are not a UK resident.
Therefore it is important that you choose the right advisors when setting up a UK company to make sure they will not leave you in a lurch when it comes to opening a UK bank account for your company. Banks are more inclined to set up a bank account for businesses who are recommended by an accounting or law firm who has an ongoing relationship with the bank.
The advisors you choose should be able to help you not only with getting a bank account operational in 2 to 3 weeks, they should also be able to advise you on various complex tax rules relating to VAT and PAYE (a system of collecting taxes on salaries paid in the UK) as they apply to your business.

Conclusion

The UK remains the best destination for internationalising your business. It’s easy and simple to set up business in the UK provided you choose the right advisors who can remove the roadblocks and guide you through the UK tax and reporting system offering you proactive advice.
Realise your business potential by expanding your operations into the UK!

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