Register as an overseas company

Business: Limited 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 can’’t register as an overseas company in the UK, including partnerships and unincorporated bodies – contact Department for International Trade  if you need advice.

    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 21 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, eg 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

    File accounts

    You must file your company accounts and tax return with Companies House and HMRC even if you don’’t have to file them in your home country. If your company is in the European Economic Area (EEA) you only need to file accounts if you have to file them in your home country.

    You should do this within 3 months of the deadline for filing your accounts in your home country. You must send a £20 filing fee with the form. If you don’t, your accounts will be returned and not filed.

    If you don’’t file accounts on time, you could be prosecuted.

    When you file your accounts with Companies House, you must also download and fill in form OS AA01 and send it with your accounts. On the form you will need to say if the accounts have been:

    • prepared under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
    • audited, and if they were audited under Generally Accepted Auditing Standards

    Help from Department for International Trade

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

    Telephone: 020 7215 5000

    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

    You can also get help with setting up in:

    You must register as an overseas company in the UK to do business legally – find out about what you need to do