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Open a Branch in the UK

Updated on Monday 14th May 2018

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Foreign investment in UK is very popular, as many investors wish to extend their business on the state's territory, or benefit from an economically developed environment. Setting up a company is a popular procedure, as limited liability companies are easy to establish. However setting up a company branch may prove to be a profitable business. A branch of a foreign company set up in the UK is not regarded as a separate legal entity from its parent company, and the liability falls exclusively on the parent company.

Preliminary activities prior to registering a company branch in the UK

A company branch must be registered with the Companies House same as a regular company. However, prior to that, the articles of association of the branch and specimen signatures must be notarized. The founders must also prepare the foundation deed and open a bank account in which to deposit the minimum working capital and obtain a bank certificate. Also a representative must be authorized through power of attorney to manage the company and carry out administrative procedures.

Our UK company formation agents can help you register a branch office.

Registering a company branch in UK with the Companies House

Even if the company branch is not considered a separate legal entity from the parent company, it still needs to be registered in order to function in UK. The founders must submit an application containing the articles of association of the branch, a proof of existence of the parent company, consisting of a certificate of registration, specimen signatures of the Management Board of the branch, legal address and bank certificate proving the minimum capital has been deposited. The process can be completed online, with payment of a small fee. The certificate of registration for the company branch is usually issued in one working day, but there is a possibility for a request of additional information, which may cause a small delay.

After registration of the company branch in UK, the founders must apply at HMRC for VAT and PAYE taxes. After submitting the application the company is issued an activation PIN number within a week which needs to be activated online within 28 days. The employees also need to be registered for insurance and health funds.

Setting up a company branch in UK from abroad

Many entrepreneurs invest in UK mostly due to a favorable economic environment, and also an encouraging attitude towards foreign investment. Setting up a company branch in UK requires a representative authorized through power of attorney to carry out the incorporation process. Also the branch must have a registered office in UK.

How long does it take to set up a company branch in UK?

The incorporation process of a branch is simple and straightforward and due to the newly introduced electronic system the procedures take little time to complete. Drafting and notarizing the branch's documents is completed in one day, same as depositing minimum capital in the bank account and obtaining a deed. Registering with the Companies House is done in one or two days, as well as registering for tax purposes. A company branch in UK is usually completed in 10 days.

Please contact us for assistance in setting up a branch in the UK.



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