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UK business relocation

We understand the detailed processes involved in relocating your business to the UK. With our accounting expertise and global reach, we can help you make your business relocation a success.

Our UK business relocation services

We offer a range of services, including:

  • UK business registration and provision of a registered office

  • UK bank account setup

  • Payroll, VAT and Corporation Tax registration

  • Immigration advice and solutions, including Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa applications

  • Accounting services and tax advice

  • Facilitating international money transfers

  • Advice on working regulations and legal structures in the UK

  • UK company secretarial services

Why you should bring your business to the UK

The UK is an investor- and entrepreneur-friendly country, making start-up costs for businesses lower than in most other developed countries. There is also very little red tape to stop you from setting up a business in the UK.

Many businesses that want to secure a foothold in European markets begin by establishing themselves in the UK. As a small, densely-populated and wealthy country, it’s easy to find a large customer base.

Finally, if needed, you can hire local staff from a well-trained and skilled population.

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About our UK business relocation service

We support international citizens and businesses with their financial and migration needs. We have operated in this space for over two decades and have an expert understanding of navigating international finance and migration.

To successfully establish operations in the UK, you’ll need a pioneering outlook and an experienced network of local support. Our UK business relocation service provides just that - services that take the logistical and administrative hassle out of moving your business abroad.

UK business relocation FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions we have received from entrepreneurs who want to start a business in the UK.

1. Should I open a branch or set up a subsidiary?

There are tax advantages to operating as a foreign branch, in that branch losses can usually be offset against the parent company profits. However, this requires filing of the parent company's accounts in the UK. Setting up a subsidiary could be a better route commercially. For a more detailed comparison of branch vs subsidiary read our article on this subject.

2. How quickly can I set up my company’s UK bank account?

Opening a UK bank account can be troublesome. There are certain formalities to be met from a "know your client" and anti-money laundering perspective. As a chartered accountancy firm, we are also obliged to adhere to these procedures and regulations. Usually, the proofs obtained when we gather information to act on your behalf will also be acceptable to a banking provider.

We anticipate that the process of opening an account should take no more than two months from start to finish. However, we usually open a designated Managed Trust Account for you to use in the meantime.

3. Do I need to be a UK resident in order to setup a UK bank account?

You do not have to be a UK Resident in order to set up a UK bank account. To open a bank account as a non-resident, you will need proof of identity that has been notarised. There are strict requirements involving who can, and how they can, do this.

If there are no UK-based management or directors, you may be required to have a company secretary as part of the application process. In our experience, unless there is a suitable “business case”, opening a bank account can be a difficult and lengthy procedure.

4. Do I need to be a UK resident to be a director of a UK company?

It is not a requirement to have a UK-based director of a company.

5. What is an EORI number, and how do I obtain one?

EORI is a European Union scheme that helps traders communicate with custom officials when importing and exporting.

6. What is National Insurance/NIC?

Contributors to National Insurance qualify for certain benefits, including State Pension. Anyone who is aged between 16 and state pension age may have a liability to pay National Insurance contributions.

You may be required to pay these contributions if you:

  • Work for an employer (an employed earner)
  • Are self-employed and make a profit

The class paid is dependent on your employment status, how much you earn and whether there are any gaps in your National Insurance record.

7. What is a company secretary in the UK?

Private limited companies are not obliged to appoint a company secretary unless the company's articles contain a reference to this position. Existing private limited companies may retain a company secretary if they wish, and newly established companies can opt to appoint one. If you're running a public limited company you must, by law, have a company secretary.

The company secretary usually acts as the chief administrative officer of the company, leaving the directors free to concentrate on running the business. The company secretary doesn't have to be a director but they do share some of the directors' legal responsibilities. However, ultimate responsibility for ensuring the company is properly administered remains with the directors.

One of our principals will take this role for the UK companies we act for. With our address as the registered office (legal, not trading) we combine the two roles and ensure that official documents from HMRC and Companies House, are received and dealt with in a timely and professional manner. 

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Cape Town

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25 Richefond Circle
Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

United Kingdom


One Croydon
12-16 Addiscombe Road
Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



9 Yarra Street
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VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

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