Setting up in the UK from Australia

The historical ties between the UK and Australia remain strong and run deep. Aside from the odd cricket match we tend to get along pretty well too. Because of this, the UK has always been a very attractive place for Australians to do business. Click here to download our full guide to setting up in the UK.

Advantages of setting up your Australian business in the UK

Along with the common language and similar outlook on life, the UK has a reputation for low tax rates and political stability as well. This means it’s particularly attractive as a headquarters for doing business both in Europe and across the Commonwealth for Australia businesses.

If you want to be sure that your electronic communications and internet devices work effectively wherever you are, there are few countries that can provide the dependable service that the UK offers.

It’s also a country where new technology is developed at a rapid rate. The UK tech sector is very strong, which makes the country an excellent location for businesses that want to be at the cutting edge.

What do I need to be aware of with UK legislative frameworks?

As with setting up in any foreign country, setting up in the UK comes with its own challenges. There are many similarities between the legislative frameworks operating in the UK and Australia, but there are important differences too. Professional and legal advice is always key when setting up in a different country because there are tank traps to be avoided.

For example, the UK has two distinctive legal systems. What goes in Scotland, might not apply in the rest of the UK. There are particular differences in the way property is bought, sold, and owned for example, and this can present a real hazard for the unwary.

What do I need to set up my Australian business?

Essentially setting up a limited company in the UK is a relatively straightforward business, even if you are non-resident.

For the initial set up you will need:

  • a company name and an address in the correct jurisdiction (bearing in mind that the UK has several jurisdictions)
  • at least one director and shareholder - and these will need to be named individuals.

When these have been provided, it’s a simple matter of filling in the forms that can be done in hard copy and sent by post or completed online, ideal for businesses based in Australia.

The biggest trap for foreigners setting up in the UK is the issue of jurisdictions. Unlike Australia, the UK is made up of several different countries with frequently varying legal systems. Knowing where you’re located and which laws apply to you are vital.

Managing the day to day accounting function of Australian businesses

Having professionals like Clark Howes on side can be a huge advantage if you’re not used to working under UK law. We’ll guide you through your obligations and regulatory compliance requirements when it comes to filing your accounts and undertaking audits. After all, any UK business over a certain size must undertake an annual audit, and our audit services can give you a valuable insight into the way your company functions.

Are there differences between UK and Australian tax law?

The UK taxation system can also be difficult to navigate. Our tax accountants know their way around and are well placed to reduce your tax liabilities, while maintaining compliance with UK tax law. The UK has a variety of different taxation vehicles that apply to business, and there are further taxes levied on directors and contractors too.

Beyond that, we’ll help you to understand your position with regard to UK employment law so that your HR function can draw up UK-compliant employment contracts. We can help you round your visa and work permit issues, as well as guiding you through the UK immigration process. Our global outsourcing arm can help with managing payroll and employee reports.

In short, setting up in the UK can be relatively simple and highly beneficial for your business.

Wherever you are in the world, we can help you. Contact our expert International team to find out how we can help your Australian business.

Download our free guide to setting up in the UK

Our free guide to setting up a business in the UK aims to provide you with a framework to start your international expansion plans. Focussing on the practicalities of setting up a business in the UK, this guides offers an outline of the fundamentals such as how to set up a UK company, taxation structures and what your obligations as a UK employer might be.

Click here to download our full guide to setting up a business in the UK.

Jon Shepheard

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