UK Hero

The United Kingdom

The UK lives up to its reputation as one of the safest and easiest places in the the world to do business. With a robust market infrastructure, pro-innovation environment, and large talent pool, the UK boasts a global comparative advantage, especially in service sectors such as finance, information, and communication. But companies do need to pay close attention to everything from audit exemptions to pension requirements. 

At a Glance

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Good to Know

  • The UK has consistently been listed as one of Europe’s top destinations for foreign investment, with South East England, including London, singled out as best-of-class in fDi Intelligence’s flagship “European Cities and Regions of the Future 2022/23” ranking.

  • The UK offers a business-friendly environment for expansion, trade, and reliable investments. Standout features include a mature, high-spending consumer market, a liberal economy, and world-class talent. Combined with the language, legal system, funding environment, time zone, and lack of red tape, the UK is an ideal place to set up and grow a business.

  • A UK operation grants access to the second-largest talent pool in Europe, featuring a highly educated and specialized workforce. UK-based companies enjoy some of the most flexible labour laws and competitive labour costs in Western Europe. A meritocratic, points-based immigration system also makes it easier to attract and hire skilled foreign employees, both from the EU and non-EU countries.

  • *If you want to set up employee benefits, they have to be paid out of a local bank account via direct debit. So it is not a legal requirement to open a bank account in the UK but a practical requirement.

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Top Challenges

Pension Requirements

The local pension legislation can be challenging to follow without local knowledge. Every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a workplace pension scheme and contribute towards it. It covers not only who should be automatically enrolled and the different types/minimum contribution rates, but also requires monthly pension assessments, and more.

Audit Exemptions

By law, all UK companies require an audit but certain exemptions from this rule are available based on specific criteria, such as the size of both the company and the group as a whole. (‘Group’ refers to the consolidated position in an accounting sense). Most international companies setting up a UK subsidiary will not be exempt from audit due to the size of the Group. 

Intricate HMRC Reporting

Compliance with HM Reporting & Customs regulations requires attention to a myriad details. When operating a payroll under the PAYE Real Time Information, all remuneration paid to employees must be reported to HMRC on or before the date of payment by a RTI submission. Also, any share-based awards must have the schemes registered with HMRC and require annual ERS filings reporting to HMRC. 

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Next Steps

  • Are you eyeing the UK market? Our expert-led managed services and technical consulting are designed to support you every step of the way. With an unparalleled focus on the customer experience, we enable you to expand with ease.

  • When you partner with us, you gain immediate access to GateWay, our global expansion management (GXM) system. This pioneering platform allows you to effortlessly and compliantly manage your international operation.

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