Providing services and setting up a business

Steps to take if you want to provide a service or set up a business in the UK.

Providing a service

Licence Finder

If you want to provide a service in the UK, you must check what authorisations and licences you will need to obtain.

Read the guidance on the Provision of Services Regulations for businesses and Competent Authorities for further information on providing services in the UK.

Get your qualifications recognised

You’ll need to have your non-UK professional qualification officially recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in the UK.

Check the UK list of regulated professions to find out if your profession is regulated in the UK.

Then contact the relevant UK regulator to find out how to get your professional qualification recognised.

Visit the UK Centre of Professional Qualifications (UK CPQ) website for further information on regulated professions in the UK. You can contact them via email at

The UK CPQ provides practical assistance and advice to

  • professionals who qualified overseas and are interested in working in the UK
  • UK professionals seeking to practise overseas

If you’re a regulatory body for a UK regulated profession

You can read the following guidance:

The Recognition Arrangements team supports regulators and professional bodies to pursue recognition arrangements with their counterparts from other countries. The team is working with regulators to facilitate recognition arrangements, including encouraging engagement with Irish counterparts to uphold the UK’s commitments under the Common Travel Area.

You can contact the team at for further advice.

Set up a business in the UK

What you need to do to set up in the UK depends on your type of business, where you work and whether you take on employees, agency workers or freelancers to help.

Find out how to set up a business in the UK, including:

  • the different types of business structure in the UK
  • how to register your company
  • any licences you may need to run your business
  • registering for tax
  • employing people in the UK

You can also get help and support for your business in the UK.

Published 31 December 2020