What Is a United Kingdom Company?
3E Accounting has the answer to the quintessential question of What is a UK Company? Read on to find out more.
Any well-read person would know that the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42. Thankfully, the answer to What is a UK Company? is a lot less confusing. In the United Kingdom, legally, a company is an entity or body corporate that runs a business. While all companies are considered businesses, the opposite does not apply as not all businesses are companies.
A Closer Look at UK Companies
Companies registered in the United Kingdom fall under the purview of the Companies Act 2006. By definition, a UK company can be:
- A body corporate
- An incorporated business organisation
- Limited or unlimited
- Private or public
- Limited by guarantee or shares
- A community interest
Companies are usually formed by like-minded people who wish to carry out a business or trade. What structure it takes depends on whether it is incorporated or not. Incorporation is a process whereby a business registers itself and acquires legal status and a separate legal identity. The concept of incorporation was introduced legally by the Joint Stock Companies Act 1844. It established the Companies House, which is the UK’s first registrar of companies.
Companies House registers to incorporate and dissolves limited companies. It maintains a public registry of all incorporated companies in the UK. Members of the public can view and search this registry for general company information. This includes the registered address, nature of business, directors and officers of the company, etc.
Companies and businesses in the UK can take different structures, depending on the nature of business, tax requirements, etc. The principal types of entities include:
- Sole Traders: an unincorporated structure that is usually run by a single person. It is the most basic structure and requires little in the way of setting up.
- Partnerships: these include general and limited partnerships and LLP or limited liability partnerships. Partnerships are formed by a Deed of Partnership between two or more people. The LLP, however, differs as it is a body corporate with a separate legal personality and is incorporated.
- Private Limited Companies: a popular, incorporated structure usually limited by shares of guarantee. Those limited by guarantee are more commonly employed by non-profit organisations or charities.
- Public Companies: an incorporated structure that is limited by shares. It can be listed on the stock exchange, and shares or debentures can be offered to the public.
- Private Unlimited Companies: members have unlimited liabilities, and it has the flexibility of being registered with or without share capital.
Overseas companies looking to establish a foothold in the UK can consider options such as incorporating a subsidiary or opening a branch office. It is also possible to purchase an existing UK company.
Still, wondering what is a UK company? Then get in touch with 3E Accounting and allow our team of professionals to provide an in-depth answer. We offer global industry experience and regional expertise to get you set up with the best. Contact 3E Accounting today to enquire about our innovative and customisable company formation packages. We offer cutting-edge business solutions designed to take your business into the 21st century.