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Establishing Business in the UK

The UK is a popular destination for businesses due to its central global location, which acts as a bridging point between the Americas and Asia and as a gateway to Europe and the European Single Market.

Following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (“EU”) in a referendum on 23 June 2016 (“Brexit”), the UK government triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the legal basis for leaving the EU, on 29 March 2017. Brexit negotiations are expected to last for a two-year period, during which EU laws would continue to apply to the UK and the UK will continue to have full access to the EU Single Market. It is also expected that the UK and the EU will look to agree a transition arrangement following the UK’s formal exit, expected in March 2019.

Despite the inevitable uncertainty Brexit has brought, the UK continues to attract record inward investment. Based upon the Ersnt & Young UK Attractiveness Survey 2016, the Financial Times’ Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”) Report 2016 and the OECD’s FDI in Figures (2016), the UK ranks first in Europe for FDI projects in total and for FDI projects from high-growth markets.

The UK continues to have a particularly strong services sector and has world-leading expertise in providing financial and legal services. There is also a blossoming technology sector with many tech start-ups continuing to choose the UK as their base.

This guide provides an overview of key initial considerations that should be taken into account when deciding whether to establish a business in the UK. It is provided for informational use only and does not constitute legal advice. The information herein should not be relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without seeking specialist advice. We would be delighted to offer more specific and tailored advice on request.

Information provided in this guide is correct as of 1 April 2017.


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