Banner triangles

Doing business in the UK

A guide to setting up, running & managing a business in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom remains a key location for companies with international aspirations.  

Compelling reasons for establishing a commercial base here include: 

  • a new and distinct market for your goods or services 
  • a skilled workforce 
  • proximity to continental Europe 
  • access to UK know-how and technology 
  • excellent employee relations 
  • familiarity of the English language
  • a government keen to attract inward investment.

Following the 2016 EU Referendum, in March 2017, the UK government served formal notice to exit the EU pursuant to article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union.  The UK was expected to formally leave the EU in March 2019, but this has since been extended to 31 October 2019 (and may be extended further to 31 January 2020).

Until such time as the UK formally leaves the EU, the “Four Freedoms” (free movement of goods, services, persons and capital) continue, EU regulations with direct effect in the UK continue to apply, new EU directives will be transposed into UK law (assuming the date for implementation is within the exit timeframe) and the UK courts will continue to have regard to decisions of the EU courts.

To take full advantage of what the UK has to offer you will need to understand the commercial environment in which you will operate. Our guide gives you a general overview of some of the key considerations when deciding whether to establish a business presence in the UK.

This guide covers seven key areas:

The UK comprises four nations: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  England and Wales are a single legal jurisdiction and Scotland and Northern Ireland each have their own separate legal jurisdictions. This guide applies to England and Wales only, except where otherwise stated, and references to the UK should be understood accordingly.  Shoosmiths has an office in Edinburgh and an office in Belfast should legal advice in Scotland or Northern Ireland be required.

The Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey mainly) and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK and have separate legal systems.


Download icon
Doing business in the UK

A guide to setting up, running & managing a business in the United Kingdom.

Download the guide

About Shoosmiths

Get in touch

Not sure who to contact? Let us help you find the right lawyer.

Insights

Read the latest articles and commentary from Shoosmiths or you can explore our full insights library.