The United Kingdom maintains a policy of encouraging foreign direct investment (FDI). Usually, the government doesn’t discriminate between a United Kingdom national and international national when it comes to forming and operating a private company. But there are a few exceptions to this rule such as the limitations placed on foreign ownership in a few strategically privatised companies like BAE Systems (aircraft and defence) and Rolls Royce (aerospace). No foreign shareholder can hold more than 15% of shares of these companies. On the other hand, if a foreign investor wants to invest in the power generation and energy sector, he or she should obtain the necessary environmental approvals. Radio and television broadcasting in the country need the appropriate licenses to proceed. Other than that, there are no restrictions when a foreign individual is investing in a UK business. This article provides information on the UK laws of investing.
The United Kingdom is committed to minimum limits on foreign investment as a member of the OECD or The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The country strives to maintain the OECD Codes of Liberalization at all times. The UK law requires that at least one director of any private company registered in the United Kingdom should be an ordinary resident in the United Kingdom. The country doesn’t have a formalised investment review body to assess the quality of foreign investments. But when it comes to areas that are sensitive to the national security of the country, an ad-hoc investment review is conducted by the relevant government ministry.
Proactive investment policies of the United Kingdom Government seek to facilitate foreign direct investments in the country. They offer overseas private companies access to widely integrated markets in the UK. The business registration process is a clearly defined online process. It is highly efficient. But there are some types of businesses that are not allowed to register as an overseas firm in the UK. In fact, registration as an offshore company is needed only when the market has some physical presence in the United Kingdom. Once you register an overseas company in the United Kingdom, you have to register for the corporation tax within three months time. In fact, any foreign national can set-up a business in the United Kingdom in as little as thirteen days – whereas the European average is 32 days.
This has helped place the UK in the first place in Europe as well as the sixth place in the world.
The country provides a welcoming environment to foreign investors. In fact, the international equity ownership is restricted only in a limited number of sectors such as air transportation. The foreign equity ownership in the air transportation sector in all European Union member countries is limited to forty-nine percent for investors from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).
London is considered one of the world’s leading financial capitals. In fact, the low taxation in the country makes the environment investor-friendly. That is why you need to consider investing in the United Kingdom without further delay. The article above provides information on the UK laws of investing.
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