After you’ve completed the company formation in the UK and registered it as a corporation based in any of the jurisdictions of the UK, the company stays registered until you decide to dissolve or liquidate the company. What this means is that you won’t be able to move the company outside the UK.
So to answer the question in a black-and-white manner, you cannot move your UK-limited company to a different country. But there are ways to go around this, and we’ve got exactly the right guide for you in this article.
Now, there are 2 different ways to go about this situation. Firstly, you can decide to dissolve the company entirely, ending its registration to the UK. After, you set up and register your new company in your preferred country, then you can transfer the assets of your old company to the new one.
In this case, you’re simply closing one down to open another but the core assets remain the same.
The second shunt you can follow is to set up a new company in a different country of your choice, all you need to do afterwards is maintain the same company name. In essence, you’re expanding your company by setting up a second base or branch. This way, you don’t lose your existing customer community.
The downsides to this method are the cost and time it takes making this method more or less limited to big corporations who actually have the intention of setting up a different branch in a new location.
Using either of these methods provides you with an alternative means of trading through your existing UK limited company, regardless of whatever country you decide to move to.
When it comes to setting up an overseas branch, you do need to take note of certain guidelines that are important for establishing your existing UK limited company trades elsewhere.
Guidelines to the Overseas Branch Approach of Trading Your UK Limited Company
Trading through your existing UK limited company doesn’t have to involve any of the aforementioned methods of moving your company to a different location. In fact, you don’t have to move at all, you just simply need to have knowledge of the factors involved in trading in a different locale.
One of the most important, if not the most important, is the knowledge of the tax treatment of a UK limited company that conducts its trading activities abroad. Even within these tax regulations exist different conditions specific to different situations.
If your company is a UK limited company trading overseas, it is still regarded as an extension of UK trade. However, there are certain tax guidelines to take note of:
- A company registered in UK is subject to 19% corporation tax on all profits made as well as gains from the UK and abroad.
- Owning a fixed business place gives your business a taxable presence in the country. This means that your company needs to be registered with the tax authority in the overseas country.
- When your profits are gained from both the UK and overseas, your company is given double taxation relief, however reliefs are restricted to the amount of UK tax on your overseas profits.
- Just like taxations, losses can be relieved against UK profits.
But, if you’re a non-UK resident
- You’re obligated to pay personal tax for any income made during your time in the UK.
- Other contributions like national insurance, registration with PAYE are required of you.
You’re probably wondering, “How do I know if I’m a resident or non-resident of UK?”
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration before concluding on your residential status in the UK or abroad. But, for the purpose of this article, we’ll be looking at one factor; the length of time spent during the tax year.
When is the tax year you may ask? This runs from the 6th of April to the 5th of April the following year. So, how do you know if you’re a resident of the UK?
- If the number of days you spend exceeds 183, then you’re automatically a UK resident.
- If the only home you own is in the UK and you have lived, owned, or rented that property for at least 91 days. A minimum timeframe of 30 days within the tax year is also required.
Now that you know the factors that make you a UK resident, let’s find out what makes you ‘not’ a resident of the UK.
- If the number of days you spend per tax year runs below 16 in the UK. Also, if you’re yet to be classed as a UK resident at all, then anything less than 46 days during the tax year makes you a non-resident of the UK.
- If you also work outside the UK on a permanent basis, for at least 35 hours per week, you’re classified a non-resident of the UK.
But what if you don’t want to move abroad, sometimes you could just be looking to move your UK-limited company from one region of the UK to another (i.e. from England to Scotland). Do the same policies and regulations apply? Well let’s find out.
Moving Your Company within the UK
If your intention is solely to move your company’s residency from one part of the UK to the other, the good news is the complications involved are less and this makes it a lot easier to carry out.
Firstly, just like with the overseas approach, you cannot move your company’s location away from the jurisdiction it is registered in. What you can do is transfer the activities of that company to the part of the UK of your choice.
Before We Leave
The following are important for moving your company’s trading activities within the UK:
- You need to maintain a registered office address in the current location where your company is registered
- You also need to set up a new business address in the part of the UK you wish to move to.
What this helps with is the establishment of relationships with new clients without having to lose the already existing ones. You also get to provide your company with a suitable address in the new locale for the purpose of receiving important correspondences.
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