The United Kingdom despite being a relatively small Island was once the largest empire in history encompassing almost a quarter of the world’s land surface until the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s. This domination has left its mark worldwide in the form of language, culture and legal systems.
Historically the UK has a very rich history filled with battles and wars both at home and abroad. Internal disputes helped to develop the parliamentary system, in particular that unlike much of the rest of Europe Royal Absolutism did not prevail and the British constitution would develop on the basis of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary systems. Britain’s strong military (for which it retains a reputation today), along with its large navy and interest in discovery led to the acquisition and settlement of numerous overseas colonies particularly in North America. The North America colonies broke away from Britain during the American War of Independence and went on to become the USA. The UK through its military conquests became the principal navel and imperial power of the 19th century with London being the largest city in the world. It was not until after 1875 that the UK’s monopoly became challenged by the likes of Germany and the USA. Britain still posses fourteen Overseas Territories including Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Cyprus all well know jurisdictions for company offshore formation
. The UK also has three crown dependencies being Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man each with strong reputations in the offshore business environment.
Britain has always been a major force in Europe. After the end of the Second World War the UK was one of the Big Three Powers and was an original signatory to the Declaration of the United Nations. The UK then became one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. In 1973 the UK joined the EEC (European Economic Community) and was one of the twelve founding members in 1992 when this became the EU (European Union). The UK plays leading roles in the EU, UN and NATO as well as being an influential member of other European organizations such as G7, G8, G20, the OECD, the WTO, the Council of Europe and the OSCE. In addition to this Britain also has a close relationship with both the United States and France and shares weapons and technology with both countries.
As well as world domination physically, the UK has also dominated intellectually. Many of the world’s modern technologies including the telephone and computer can be attributed to British inventors. Britain remains at the forefront of this industry coming after only the United States and China for scientific research papers. Britain has also contributed largely to the world through theology and literary works with many world renowned writers that continue to impress today giving the UK the right to be described as a ‘cultural superpower’. The universities of England are among the top universities in the world repeatedly having four rank in the top ten and Cambridge and Oxford continually battling for the top spot.
London is the capital city of England and along with New York and Tokyo is one of the three command centres of the global economy. New York and London are the world’s largest financial centres and London has the largest city GDP in Europe. Heathrow airport which is one of three major airports located in London has the most international passenger traffic of any airport in the world. Edinburgh which is the capital of Scotland is also one of the largest financial centres in Europe.
The UK’s economy is the sixth largest in the world and the third largest in Europe. Despite pressure from Europe Britain refused to bow down and did not adopt the Euro as its national currency instead choosing to remain with Pound sterling which is the world’s third largest reserve currency after the US Dollar and the Euro. Tourism is very important to the British economy with London being one of the most visited cities in the world. The industrial revolution started in the UK and it dominated international trade well into the 19th century and manufacturing remains a significant part of the economy today. Areas of particular importance to the UK economy are the automotive industry, the aerospace industry and the pharmaceutical industry. Agriculture is intensive and efficient by European standards. The UK is rich in a number of natural resources.
Corporate Advantages of the UK
As the UK is one of the major powers in Europe and has a very respected business infrastructure it makes this a popular choice when considering company formation when a certain degree of respectability is required. The UK is not considered a tax haven like some of the other more popular destinations for Incorporating an offshore company, however the UK has been reducing its corporate tax and introducing more favorable regimes when it comes to attracting foreign investment including formation of UK companies. – Read more regarding the UK tax and other advantages to UK offshore formation
The Capital Gains Tax regime in the UK is quite complex. There are also introducing new regimes concerning Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax. Assistance should always be sought when dealing with UK tax planning– for further information on capital gains tax please follow this link
– for further information on Stamp Duty Land Tax
Another distinct advantage to the UK is its double taxation treaties network. The UK has over 120 existing double taxation treaties with more under negotiation. This makes it one of the widest double taxation networks in the world. – Click here for further information on double taxation treaties with the UK
UK Registry and Laws
Companies formed in the UK are registered with Companies House under the Companies Act 2006 Law. The UK has had its company registration system since 1844. Companies House has developed a modern system and this can be used electronically for speed and efficiency. Companies can be registered within the day.
There are numerous filing requirements for companies and property in the UK which can be daunting, but Chesterfield can take the burden and ensure that everything is filed correctly. – for more information about company or property registration please follow this link
Banking in the UK has been around since the 17th century. The Industrial Revolution and England’s dominance of the seas led to London’s early domination of world banking. This has continued to the modern day with London being an important financial hub.
UK Banking has robustly coped well with the global crisis. Britain also boasts of many international banks on its shores.
The UK is a popular choice for banking due to its reputation and expertise. – Read more about UK banks
The UK is the world’s sixth largest economy and has a reputation for a modern and respected tax regime. VAT returns can be done and paid online therefore it is a very current system in line with advancing technology.
VAT was introduced to the UK in 1973 after the UK joined the European Economic Community. Registration is compulsory for businesses whose taxable turnover exceeds £77,000. This is the highest VAT registration threshold in the world. Businesses that do not exceed this threshold may choose whether or not to register. – More information about UK VAT
The usual choices when it comes to setting up a UK business are as follows;
- Sole Traders
- Business Partnerships
- Limited Company
- UK Trusts
The Limited company is the more popular choice as this offers limited liability and the other two choices do not. Sole Traders and Business Partnerships are liable principally to income tax whereas a Limited Company pays corporation tax .
A Limited company can also be used for several purposes such as a UK Holding Company, UK Royalty Company or a UK Agency Company. These have various advantages. Please note though that the rules concerning UK taxation are very complex. Chesterfield are on hand to give expert structural advice prior to the incorporating of your offshore company in order that you may use your company to its full advantage.
UK Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property Law or IP law as it is more often referred to is the Legal entitlement in connection with creative ideas and works such as literary works, artistic works, designs and inventions.
The UK are seeking to expand Intellectual Property growth and have introduced a Patent Box which is a regime which is specifically designed to give tax relief to profits made from Intellectual property. – More information regarding the Patent Box please follow this link.
UK Intellectual Property Law is in line with the European Union and the UK joined the World Intellectual Property Organization in 1970 and is party to numerous treaties. A recent decision that London should host a new patent court shows an exceeding amount of confidence in the strength of the UK’s Intellectual Property regime. - More information regarding UK Intellectual Property
Residency in the UK
The rules concerning residency in the UK are changing . The government is in the process of introducing a series of conclusive tests to determine UK residency. – for further information regarding the UK residency test please follow this link
Chesterfield and the UK
Chesterfield have had an office in London for many years. Our staff are expert at UK Corporate Services and related services and are able to assist on many facets including dealing in UK property acquisition and management .
Chesterfield can help you every step of the way from initial structuring including UK Company tax structuring and UK Company Asset Protection. To Incorporating a UK Offshore Company, Opening a Bank Account, Providing UK Corporate Services including dealing with the UK Companies House and any UK VAT Registration