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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.

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.

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Doing business in the UK

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

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