How to start a business in UK as a non-resident?
Communication Team
Communication Team

November 10, 2022


How to start a business in UK as a non-resident?

If you're a non-resident, you can start a business in the UK. But there are some legal requirements which must be met. Here's how to get started:

First of all, do people want what you’re selling?

To set up a business in the UK you must have a good or service to offer that people want to buy. The product or service must be unique enough to distinguish you from competitors. If there is no demand for your product then it will not make sense for anyone to buy it will be a much bigger challenge to turn your idea into a success. You should also consider whether there is an existing market for your product or service in the UK before setting up a company here as this can save time and money later on if sales are slow at first. It’s a good idea to look at how much competition there is within this sector - if there are lots of other similar companies selling similar products then yours may struggle without being able to differentiate itself from them quickly enough!

Register your business in the UK

Registering your business in UK is done through HMRC and Companies House. The registration process is free and can be completed online or at a local office.

  • Provide personal details such as your name and address. You will also need to give details about the type of business you want to start and its headquarter’s location, along with information on other directors of the company if applicable.
  • Choose a unique name for your company that does not infringe on any trademarks owned by others or violate trade names (i.e., don't use "The Olive Garden" if there's already an Olive Garden restaurant).

Create a company name and brand

You need to create a company name and brand. What is a brand? A brand is more than just the name of your business. It helps people identify with what you do, where you are located and who to contact if they have questions about your company or products.

For example, you might be thinking about creating an online shop for selling earrings and necklaces. You could call this ‘MyFirstEarringsShop’ or ‘MyFirstNecklaceShop’ but since there are millions of other businesses using these names already, it may not be easy getting found on search engines like Google when someone searches for these keywords in the future (unless there is some other keyword that makes it more distinctive). This can be especially true if someone else has already registered a domain name using those exact words when they first thought up their business idea (and often they will because they want people who are searching online for such things).

Choose something more meaningful so that people can immediately relate with your business and what you’re about as soon as they see your company logo whether it’s on social media, on Google results or on a sticker out and about in London - even while you are wherever you are in the world!

Find a location for your business

Most people who start a business in the UK from elsewhere or as a non-resident are running a digital, e-commerce business so this doesn’t often apply. In that case you will need to have a registered virtual office in the UK when you make your application to Companies House (if you do this through the wamo app, a virtual office is included!). If, however you are looking to start a more traditional brick and mortar business, you’ll need to find a suitable location. A location should be accessible to your customers, convenient for you and your employees, secure and safe, easily accessible by public transport (if applicable), and have good internet access (if applicable).

It’s more likely that you’ll be registering an e-Commerce business. When you register for a new UK company and a business account with wamo, you’ll get to take advantage of our ‘Business Starter Pack’ - this includes 3 months of Shopify at $1 / month. In terms of a ‘location’ for your digital business, it doesn’t get much better than Shopify. By creating a Shopify shop you showcase your product on one of the world’s largest online shopping platforms. The advantage to doing this is that trust comes built-in, so potential customers don’t have to decide whether they can trust your website or your business or not, if it’s on Shopify they are already familiar with the process and with the brand. This is becoming more important as online fraud has become a major issue worldwide and consumers are more and more wary of shopping with independent vendors.

Need to pay tax and VAT (if applicable)

You will still be liable for income tax. This is a flat rate of 20% on most types of income including profits from your business activities. You may also need to pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs) if you employ someone or work through an intermediary such as a limited company. If you are self-employed, the amount of NICs you pay depends on how much profit you make and whether or not you have other employees working for your business. There are also other taxes that must be paid including VAT or sales tax which will vary depending on what services or products your business provides. You must also make sure that any property used for running the business is properly valued by HMRC so that they can charge their appropriate rates in order to cover local amenities like rubbish collections and street lighting e.t.c.

Licence and permits

If you're opening a business, there are some licence and permit requirements that you'll need to attend.

  • Business licence: You will need to apply for a business licence from your local council if you want to start a company or operate an existing company in the UK. You can find out what kind of licence you need by checking with your local council.
  • Registering for VAT: If you sell goods or services in the UK, then it's likely that you'll have to register for VAT (Value Added Tax) as part of your business registration process. This is paid at 20% on all goods sold or services provided at retail value—and it's not refundable! The tricky thing about this requirement is that even if only one person buys something from your shop, then technically speaking that counts as selling "goods" because they were bought with money; therefore, it may be necessary for everyone involved with running the store (including the owner) register for VAT!

Open your business in UK with wamo just in 2 days and get a business account too

If you want to start a company in the UK and grow your business globally, wamo is ready to support you ate very stage. As a holistic financial management platform, wamo can provide you with company formation and entire financial services in the UK which includes company address registration, business account opening, and virtual debit cards etc. Registering for a wamo business account takes all of 10 minutes and filling out the application forms using the wamo app is easy. Once you’ve completed applying for both, you won’t have long to wait: you’ll receive confirmation of your new business account and your new UK company certificate of registration in just two days!

We provide a ‘Getting started pack’ that is purposefully so good, you shouldn’t be able to resist finally getting your business dreams off the ground:

  • Company Formation process from start to finish for just £99.00
  • 3 months of wamo subscription-fee FREE (whichever package you choose save between £19.99 - £99.99/ month for 3 months)
  • 3 months of Shopify at $1 / month - easily get your goods or services seen on one of the world’s largest online shopping platforms.

This starter pack will have you up and running in no time! If you’re in Singapore and are ready to create a business presence in the UK, we are ready to help you make that happen. A wamo team member is always available to answer any questions you might have. We are more than just a bank account, we will work hard to understand your needs and to get to know your business.

Read: How Can I Reach Customer Support Services

To open an account with wamo, all you need to do is Download the wamo business app from Google Play or the App Store.

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