Register as an overseas company

You must register an overseas company with Companies House if you want to set up a place of business in the UK.

Who must register

You must register if you set up a place of business in the UK or if you usually carry out business from somewhere in the UK.

Some types of company cannot register as an overseas company in the UK, including partnerships and unincorporated bodies. Contact the Department for International Trade if you need advice.

If you do not have a base in the UK

You do not need to register with Companies House.

If you’re developing property or land in the UK, you need to contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to register for Corporation Tax.

If you’ve disposed of an interest in UK property or land, you need to register for Corporation Tax online.

How to register

You must fill in form OS IN01 and send it to Companies House within 1 month of opening for business. The address is on the form along with what documents you need to send.

You must send a £20 registration fee with the form. You can pay by cheque or postal order.

Changes to company details

You must tell Companies House within 14 days if your company details change. This includes:

  • name
  • address
  • what the business does
  • details of directors, secretaries or people authorised to represent the company
  • company information, for example accounting requirements or the powers of directors or secretaries
  • company constitution (one of the documents made when you formed the company)

Contact Companies House for help.

Companies House
Telephone: 0303 1234 500
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Help from the Department for International Trade

Overseas companies looking to set up business in the UK can get help from the Department for International Trade. You can get information about how business works in the UK, analysis of market opportunities, and access to business and academic networks.

Department for International Trade
Telephone: 020 7215 5000
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Setting up in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

You can get help from Scottish Development International (SDI) if you’re looking to set up business in Scotland.

Scottish Development International
Telephone: 0800 917 9534
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You can also get help with setting from:

  1. Step 1 Check if setting up a limited company is right for you

    1. Check what a private limited company is

    How you set up your business depends on what sort of work you do. It can also affect the way you pay tax and get funding.

    Check if you should set up as one of the following instead:

    1. Get help deciding how to set up your business
  2. Step 2 Choose a name

  3. Step 3 Choose directors and a company secretary

    You must appoint a director but you do not have to appoint a company secretary.

    1. Find out what directors are responsible for
    2. Check who can be a director or company secretary
  4. Step 4 Decide who the shareholders or guarantors are

  5. and Identify people with significant control (PSC) over your company

    For example, anyone with voting rights or more than 25% of the shares.

    1. Find out what counts as a PSC
  6. Step 5 Prepare documents agreeing how to run your company

    You need to prepare a 'memorandum of association' and 'articles of association'.

    1. Find out how to create a memorandum and articles of association
  7. Step 6 Check what records you'll need to keep

  8. Step 7 Register your company

    You'll need to register an official address and choose a SIC code - this identifies what your company does.

    1. Check the rules for company addresses
    2. Check what your SIC code is
    3. Register your company with Companies House

    Most people can register for Corporation Tax at the same time as registering with Companies House.

    If you cannot, register separately with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after you’ve registered your company with Companies House.

    1. Register with HMRC for Corporation Tax