I am a US entrepreneur – how can I register a UK company and get a Sponsor Licence?

14 Dec 2023, 13 mins ago

Step 1: Understand the Basics

Before diving into the registration process, it is crucial to familiarise yourself with the basic requirements and terminology.

  • Company Registration:
    • Choose a business structure (e.g., limited company).
    • Select a unique company name.
    • Provide a registered office address in the UK.
    • Appoint at least one director and a company secretary (optional).
    • Define the company’s share structure.
  • Sponsor Licence:
    • A Sponsor Licence is required for businesses looking to hire workers from outside of the UK.
    • It is issued by the UK Home Office.
    • A Worker licence (for skilled or long-term employment) or a Temporary Worker licence (for specific types of temporary employment) may be relevant, depending on your business needs.

Step 2: Company Registration Process

  1. Choose Your Business Structure:
    • Decide whether you want to register as a sole trader, partnership or limited company.
    • For international expansion, a limited company is often recommended due to limited liability.
  2. Company Name and Address:
    • Choose a unique and appropriate company name.
    • Provide a registered office address in the UK.
  3. Company Directors and Secretary:
    • Appoint at least one director.
    • Appoint a company secretary, if desired.
  4. Share Structure:
    • Define the company’s share structure and issue shares.
  5. Register with Companies House:
    • Submit the required documents and forms to Companies House.
    • Pay the necessary registration fees.
  6. Taxation and VAT Registration:
    • Register for Corporation Tax with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
    • Consider registering for VAT if your taxable turnover exceeds the threshold.

Step 3: Applying for a Sponsor Licence

  1. Determine the Type of Licence:
    • Decide which type of licence is required for your business based on your hiring needs.
  2. Gather Required Documentation:
    • Prepare essential documents, including business registration details, financial statements and HR systems.
  3. Compliance with Immigration Rules:
    • Ensure that your business is ready to comply with the obligations that accompany sponsoring workers.
  4. Maintaining Compliance:
    • Once granted a Sponsor Licence, it is crucial to adhere to your sponsorship duties and reporting obligations.

Expanding your business to the UK is an exciting venture, but it requires careful planning and adherence to legal requirements. By understanding the steps involved in registering a company and obtaining a Sponsor Licence, US entrepreneurs can navigate the process smoothly and lay the foundation for a successful business presence in the UK. Remember to seek professional advice to ensure compliance with the latest regulations and requirements.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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