How to start your business in the UK?

In recent years, many French people decided to settle in the United Kingdom, not to work in the City or catering as has been the case historically, but to become entrepreneurs. The UK’s attractiveness to business creators is growing, especially since the coming of the Socialists to power. Whether for reasons of flexibility, taxation or infrastructure, London has assets that France no longer has. Some even ahead of their installation on the other side of the English Channel by setting up a company in London and did not come to England until several months later.

Whatever the case may be, the questions asked are often the same. Here are the different stages of the entrepreneur who wants to start their business in England:

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The creation of the companyTHE FOUNDATIONS OF A COMPANY IN ENGLAND This is the simplest step. It is enough to create a company to have decided on the name of the company and to know the details of the directors (managers) and shareholders. The process is completely electronic and you get the equivalent of the K-bis within 3 hours.

The direct address In fact this step is prior to the previous one since an English company must have an address in England. If you do not yet have a definitive address, you will need a direct address. Most training officers or accountants are able to provide you with a local address. One must be wary of the overly prestigious addresses in central London, however, because practically no SMEs have the means to have offices. In this case it is obvious that this address is just a P.O. Box…

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Opening a bank account Opening a bank account is sometimes more difficult, especially for a company whose director is non-resident. Can branches allow the opening of an account in this case and those that allow it require to take an RV often up to 2 weeks in advance. Moreover, banks do not have an obligation to open an account and it may happen that the bank that has decided to reduce its risk in an industry may refuse to open the account. You have to take another RV… Paradoxically, it is often easier to open an account in a foreign bank than an English bank.

Getting a local phone number It is often necessary when the company was created to make business cards for its leaders. Business cards with a single phone number that is a mobile, whether English or even worse French is not a good idea. Any self-respecting business has a fixed telephone number, and which also corresponds to the company’s address. Fortunately, there are inexpensive solutions to solve this problem. For English residents, is a VOIP operator with one of the best price-quality ratios on the market. And for those who have not yet set foot in London, has a very attractive and simple virtual number offer to implement.

Obtaining a VAT numberTHE FINALIZATION OF THE CREATION OF AN ENGLISH COMPANY Optional as long as the turnover does not exceed £79,000, it may be advantageous despite having a VAT number especially if the company has a lot of expenses subject to VAT. But as with opening a bank account, the process can be more complicated than expected. Because there is a lot of VAT fraud, applications from companies whose director is non-resident are scrutinised by the HMRC (English tax authorities). And it is common to have to justify the actual existence of its activity before you can obtain a VAT number.

Getting equipped with accounting software Although you can start your business without the help of an accountant, it is important, however, to set up an account book management software as soon as possible. To capture costs, issue invoices etc… Many offers exist on the market, the best known being Sage and Quickbooks for classic offers or Kashflow, Xero or Quickbooks Online for offers hosted in the cloud (our preference).

The rest… of course, this is just the beginning. Today thanks to the web and especially Google you can know almost everything! Unfortunately quantity is not always synonymous with quality; but used wisely, the web is a remarkable tool. Whether to find a foot a terre or recruit staff, many solutions exist at competitive prices ( or for example).

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