UK Company Formation...

Everything you need to know about setting up in the UK.

UK Company Formation Wizard

Use our helpful tool to see what's required to set up your company in the UK.

Setting Up in The UK

A practical guide to what’s involved, and what you can expect to happen during this process.


Get answers to commonly asked questions about company formation, accounting and taxes.

Our Services...

From accounting to personalised telephone answering – everything your company needs to thrive in the UK.

UK Company Formation

Company formation, memorandum and articles registration and appointing Directors and Shareholders.

Legal Compliance

Covering various business operations such as company secretary, registered office, handling post and more.

Outsourced Finance Office

Complete administrative support for your UK company designed especially for foreign businesses.

Bank Account Opening

Operate from day one with an EBS Client Account that can be opened immediately.

Virtual Office Service

UK business address, personalised phone answering service, mail handling, access to the meeting room.


Hot Desking Service

Co-working space and hot desking services offering a flexible and collaborative working environment.

Advisory Services

Advice on formation, directorship and other relevant rules and regulations related to setting up in the UK.

Brokerage Services

A single entry point to services frequently required in the early stages of company development.

About EBS...

Find out more about EBS, how we operate and what we stand for – or simply get in touch with us.

Who we are and how we work

We work exclusively with foreign-owned businesses in the UK and understand the problems they face.

Our Team

Behind every successful business is a great team - meet the team that makes up EBS.

Contact Details

Our address and contact details. If you need to get in touch with us, you can email us here.

Who we work with...

Explore our case studies and see how we work with foreign companies, helping them set up in the UK.

What's happening in the Industry

We’ve created and curated some helpful news articles relating to EBS and the industry in general.

Join our mailing list

Sign up to our mailing list to get news and updates straight to your inbox.

Helpful Guides and Documents

We’ve created some helpful guides and documents covering topics such as Britain’s History and Geography, The Legal System, Formalities and more. 

Join our mailing list

Sign up to our mailing list to get guidance articles straight to your inbox.

Get in touch with us...

We’d love to hear from you! – if you have any questions, please get in touch with us on phone, email or social media, and our friendly team will be pleased to help.

Head Office

EBS Ltd, Innovation Centre, Gallows Hill, Warwick, CV34 6UW

London Office

EBS Ltd, 118 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5EA

Manchester Office

EBS Ltd, Elliot House, 151 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3WD


Does a Director need to be a UK resident?

No. The UK company Director can live anywhere in the world and doesn’t have to reside in the UK. 

What is a minimum share capital to set up a company in the UK?

UK limited company must issue at least one share of any nominal value. For example, you can register the company that issues one share at GBP 1.

Read more about setting up requirements in our Practical Guide: Setting up in The UK

What is Company Secretary and do I need to have one?

Company secretary is the “administrative officer” of the company, who can liaise with UK authorities on behalf of your UK company.

You do not need to appoint a company secretary, but it is advisable for companies whose directors don’t reside in the UK.

Find out more about our Company Secretary service.

What are the differences between registered office address and business address?

You must provide a registered office address, which is the official address of the company, when you set up a limited company. This is an address where all official communications, including all letters addressed to your business, will be sent.

Registered address must be:

  • a physical address in the UK (not post-office box)
  • in the same country your company is registered in, for example a company registered in Scotland must have a registered office address in Scotland.

The registered office does not need to be the place where the company carries on its day-to-day business ( business address) so it could, for example, be your accountant’s address.

You do not need a business address to start trading in the UK.

Can you assist with bank account set up?

Yes. We can help you to open a bank account for your UK company. More information can be found on our Bank Account Opening page:

Bank Account Opening

Can you help with the accounting processes for our UK company?

Yes, our company offers a complete administrative service called Virtual Finance Office for your company in the UK.

EBS can provide a monthly bookkeeping and management accounting service, customised to your requirements, for a fixed fee. The fee will depend on the number and complexity of transactions, your reporting requirements, and any additional needs that you may have. We can provide you with direct access to the accounting system so that you can, for example, raise quotations or check on outstanding debts.

Read more about our outsourced finance office service

What is the VAT threshold in the UK?

The VAT threshold in the UK is a turnover over 85,000 within 12 months period.

What are the company tax rates in the UK?

The corporation tax rate is 25%.

Companies with annual profits of up to GBP 50,000 will continue to be charged tax at 19% and companies with profits over GBP 250,000 will be charged at a flat rate of 25%. 


Vat rate is 20%.

When do we need to file the Annual Accounts?

Annual accounts must be filed 9 months after a book closing day, which is a last day on the month in which your company was formed in the UK.

We can assist you with preparation and submission of the year end accounts and corporation tax return. Learn more about our Outsourced Finance Office service.

What are the employment taxes in the UK?

The rate of employer’s social costs, known as National Insurance or NI in the UK, is 13.8% of salary above GBP 9100 per year. There are no social costs on salaries below this level.

The company does not pay social costs for all employees under 21 and apprentices under 25, until their earnings reach GBP 50,270 per year.

UK companies do not have to pay to the tax authorities the first GBP 5,000 of their social costs, in a process referred to as a “holiday”.

What are the personal taxes in the UK?

The tax free Personal Allowance is GBP 12,570. The table below shows the tax rates you pay in each band if you have a standard Personal Allowance.

BandTaxable incomeTax rate
Personal AllowanceUp to £12,5700%
Basic rate£12,571 to £50,27020%
Higher rate£50,271 to £125,00040%
Additional rateover £125,00045%

Employees also pay social costs on their salary. There is a free allowance of the first GBP 12,570 up to which no social costs are paid. Then the employee pays 10% of salary up to GBP 50,270 per annum, and 2% on all salary above that.

What is Auto-enrolment?

Companies employing people in the UK are almost always required to open a pension scheme that meets certain criteria and enrol all employees in the scheme. There is an exception available if the only employee is a director of the company who chooses not to take a pension.

EBS will help you open a suitable scheme and operate it in a legally compliant manner, including making required declarations to The Pension Regulator.

As an employer, you must choose how you will calculate your employee’s earnings. There are four main ways of doing this:

  1. Qualifying Earnings. This includes all basic pay, overtime, bonuses and commissions that an employee earns, in-between certain minimum and maximum amounts (in 2021/22, this is between £6240 and £50270). The minimum contribution is 8%, of which 3% must be paid by the company.
  2. Pensionable Earnings – Tier 1. This includes all basic pay, excluding overtime, bonuses and commissions, with no minimum or maximum levels. The minimum contribution is 9%, of which 4% must be paid by the company.
  3. Pensionable Earnings – Tier 2. Calculated as 85% of total earnings, including overtime, bonuses and commissions. This amount must be more than the basic pay. The minimum contribution is 8%, of which 3% must be paid by the company.
  4. Pensionable Earnings – Tier 3. This includes all basic pay, overtime, bonuses and commissions that an employee earns, with no minimum or maximum levels. The minimum contribution is 7%, of which 3% must be paid by the company.

Both the company and the employee can choose to pay more than the minimum contributions.

These Government approved schemes, often called “auto-enrolment schemes”, allow the company to meet their legal obligations in a simple way. Their investment and risk policies may not suit every individual employee. Such employees can choose to “opt-out” and make their own pension arrangements, or to transfer any accumulated funds into a personal scheme.

What is PAYE?

PAYE means Pay As You Earn, and it is a UK government system to collect Income Tax and National Insurance from employment. As an employer, you normally have to operate PAYE as part of your payroll.

Our team can assist your business with PAYE registration. Read more about our Outsourced Finance Office Service

Do you offer a payroll service?

Yes we do. Our payroll service includes everything you need to make employing your UK workers easy.

We will:

  • Register your company for payroll taxes
  • Help you meet your legal pension obligations
  • Set up our online payroll system to your preferences
  • Assist with HR and employment matters
  • Process the monthly payroll, making the required declarations to the authorities and pension scheme
  • Make salary, tax, and pension payments
  • Process the annual ‘year-end’ calculations and declarations

Read more about our Payroll Service.

Do you offer a virtual office service?

Yes we do. Our office cloud service includes:

  • business address
  • mail handling and forwarding
  • a landline telephone number, with calls answered and handled in your company name
  • free use of our meeting room

Learn more about our Virtual Office Service.

Can you provide a meeting room or hot desking?

Yes, we can. Our meeting room, which is available for all of our clients, can be booked to hold meetings for up to eight people.

Learn more about our Virtual Office Service.

I want to undertake research and development in the UK. What incentives are available for me in the UK?

Small and medium sized companies ( SME) can claim 186% of qualifying R&D costs against taxable profits and if this results in a loss for tax purposes, these losses can be carried forward and set off against future profits indefinitely.

Loss making companies can give up their claim, a process known as surrendering, and instead receive a payment from the UK government of 14.5% of the claim.

Alternatively, Corporation Tax losses can be taken back into the previous year and generate a refund of taxes already paid.

Does my company need an audit?

The Directors of the company are responsible for determining whether, in respect of each accounting period (year), the company meets the conditions for exemption from an audit. These are set out in s382 of the Companies Act 2006, and apply to companies satisfying two or more of the following requirements:

  1. Turnover in that year of not more than GBP 10.2 million.
  2. Balance sheet total in that year of not more than GBP 5.1 million.
  3. Average number of employees in that year is not more than 50.

The Directors are also responsible for determining whether, in respect of the year, the exemption is not available for any of the reasons set out in section 478 and 479 of the Companies Act 2006; namely that at no time during the year was the company:

  1. a public company;
  2. an authorised insurance company, a banking company, an e-money issuer, an investment firm subject to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) or an Undertaking for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) management company;
  3. carrying out an insurance market activity;
  4. a special register body as defined in section 117(1) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 or an employers’ association as defined in section 122 of that Act;
  5. a member of a group that exceeded the group exemption limits; or
  6. a member of an ineligible group

The exemption is available only if the Directors sign a declaration as required by section 475(3) of the Companies Act 2006 on the balance sheet stating that:

  1. for the year in question, the company is eligible to take advantage of the audit exemptions;
  2. the shareholders (called Members) have not required the company to obtain an audit of its financial statements for the year in accordance with section 476 of the Companies Act 2006; and
  3. the Directors acknowledge their obligations for complying with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 with respect to accounting records and preparation of accounts.

Ask us a question

If you have a question we haven’t covered, please get in touch with us and let us know how we can help.

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Warwick Office

EBS Ltd, Innovation Centre, Gallows Hill, Warwick, CV34 6UW

London Office

EBS Ltd, 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JQ

London Office

EBS Ltd, Elliot House, 151 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3WD​

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