Guide to company formation in the UK from Canada as a non-resident
Communication Team
Communication Team

December 01, 2022

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Guide to company formation in the UK from Canada as a non-resident

The UK is a rich land of opportunities, and with Canadian businesses planning to expand their operations in the country, there is no better time than now to form a company in the UK. This is because the UK government has been introducing a number of benefits for Canadian businesses including low taxes, a pool of talented employees, and business-friendly infrastructure.

The best thing about building your Canadian business in the UK markets is that you can do this entirely online. In fact, you can run your business online as well, without the need to travel to the country.

The process is pretty simple and does not take long. First, you will need to register with the UK Government as a company.

The registration process is very simple and takes only a few days. You just need to provide some basic information about your business and pay the required fees. After that, you are ready to start trading in the UK markets!

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of establishing your Canadian business in the UK. So let's get this started!

Canada and the UK Relationship

There has been a long and robust commercial relationship between Canada and the United Kingdom. The UK is Canada's fourth largest commercial partner globally and its most important partner in Europe. Trade in merchandise between the two countries reached $27.8 billion in 2020.

With vibrant networks of researchers, universities, and R&D-intensive businesses, Canada and the UK also have significant relationships in science, technology, and innovation. An agreement between Canada and the UK on science, technology, and innovation was inked in 2017 to further solidify these ties. In fields including agritech, advanced manufacturing, smart grids, artificial intelligence, quantum technology, and polar research, this agreement has sped up collaboration and commercialization.

The best things about having a business in the UK

There are a number of reasons why Canadian businesses should consider setting up shop in the UK. Firstly, the UK government offers some great benefits for companies that operate in their market. These benefits include low taxes, easy access to European markets and excellent business infrastructure.

Plus, the UK market is one of the most entrepreneurial in Europe, making it a great place to start and grow your company. There is a strong demand for Canadian products and services in Britain due to its vibrant economy. So if you're looking to take your business global, then the UK is definitely an attractive option!

How to open a company in the UK from Canada

The following steps are typically used by Canadian businesses when making this move:

1. Pick a name of your business: The first step is to decide on a business name. It's important that your chosen name is catchy and easy to remember since it will be the first thing people see when browsing your company website or reading about you online. If you're not sure what name would suit your business, try using a keyword analysis tool to help you find an appropriate option.

2. Prepare corporate documentation: Once you have selected a suitable business name, it's time to prepare all of the necessary corporate documentation (corporate legal entity documents, accountancy records etc). This can take some time and effort but is essential if you want to open a company in the UK from Canada without any trouble.

3. Get a virtual office address: Next, you'll need to get a virtual office address in the UK. This is an online designation that indicates to the public that your company is based in the UK.

4. Obtain an operating licence: Once everything is prepared and paperwork has been filed, it's time to obtain an operating licence from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). This document confirms that your business meets all of the required standards and regulations set by HMRC. If you don't have this licence yet, be sure to contact customer service at HM

4. Register your business: Once you've completed all of the above steps, it's time to register your business with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). This can be done by visiting their website or contacting them directly via telephone or email. Make sure to provide all of the relevant information required, including your corporate documents and contact details for both yourself and your designated representative.

Related: How to set up a limited company in UK

Documents required to open a business in the UK

There are a few key documents that you will need when opening a company in the UK, these include:

  • Business registration document
  • Corporate legal entity documentation ( such as articles of association, memorandum and Articles of Settlements)
  • Bank account information for your designated representative(s)
  • Contact details for yourself and your designated representative(s) - Identification documents (such as passport or driving licence) for yourself and your designated representative(s)
  • Proof of funds (such as bank statements, invoices or letters from clients/customers)
  • Proof of ownership or control over the company's registered office and any physical assets used in its business

Now that you know what the requirements are to open a company in the UK as a non-resident, you can get started right away. If you wish to speed up your process of getting things done, wamo can help!

Established for small and mid-sized businesses like yours, the company is a holistic financial management platform that can help you to create a UK company registered with Companies House and to open a business account, all from one place and all within 48 hours!

You can also expect excellent customer service from the team if you get stuck anywhere in the process. To get started with wamo, all you need to do is download the wamo app from Google Play or the App Store or head over to the homepage of wamo's website and follow the streamlined process to qualify.

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