28 May 2019

For non-UK entities looking to establish a presence in the UK but not looking to acquire a UK entity, enter into a UK joint venture or appoint an agent/distributor there are, broadly speaking, two options:

  • incorporate a private limited company (for example, as a UK subsidiary of an existing non-UK entity)
  • set up a UK establishment (more commonly known as a 'branch') of an existing non-UK entity.

The reasons for choosing one over the other will vary significantly from business to business. Typically our overseas clients choose to incorporate a UK subsidiary for their substantive UK business. However, some choose to establish a branch first and then incorporate a subsidiary once UK operations have grown.

The decision whether to incorporate a subsidiary or establish a branch will depend upon a number of factors - a summary of some of the key advantages and disadvantages of each option is set out in the guidance note.

Establishing a presence in the UK, (pdf, 0.34MB)

Key contact

Dominic Davis

Dominic Davis Partner

  • Corporate
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Joint Ventures

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