Setting up a business in Scotland


Find, in this article, all that you need to know if you are looking forward to set up a business in Scotland.

The United Kingdom is deemed to be one of the most business-friendly countries. If you are planning to set up a business there, relating formalities should be quite easy to handle provided you comply with existing conditions. In fact, you are just a few steps away from making your dream come true.


To set up your business in Scotland:

  • start by checking the availability of the name you have chosen for the company
  • fill in a IN01 form
  • register your company at the Companies House (fees of £30 apply). Note that online registration facilities are available.
  • Obtain a VAT number at Her Majesty Revenue and Customs if your company's annual turnover exceeds £82,000 and to be able to settle the Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
  • Sign a civil insurance contract for your employees.

Types of companies

Before starting, you have to determine which type of company you would prefer to set up:

  • the independent company
  • the limited liability company
  • the partnership.

According to British laws, all foreign entrepreneurs wishing to set up a business in the country must live there.

In the case of a limited liability company, the foreign entrepreneur also has to set up the company's head office in Scotland and appoint at least one administrator on the spot.

Conditions and formalities

To set up an independent company, you must:

  • be the holder of a National Insurance (NI) number. Application must be made upon your arrival into the country.
  • Register the company at Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • choose a company name or start running the business under your own name.

In the case of a limited liability company, you are required to:

  • appoint at least one person as the company Director
  • have at least one shareholder
  • register the company at the Companies House
  • name the company
  • provide the company's address
  • draft the company's statutes (rules and regulations)
  • register the company at tax authorities so that you can pay corporate tax.

In the case of a partnership, you are required to:

  • register yourself for self tax assessment
  • name the company according to certain regulations
  • make the company work individually
  • share profits among partners.

Open a bank account

You also have to open a bank account in the company's name. You can choose among the following:

  • open a bank account in the UK provided you have a postal address on the spot
  • use a bank account that you have already opened in your home country
  • open a new sterling bank account in the UK from your home country provided you have a postal address in the UK.

 Useful links: – Work in Scotland Forum 
Scottish Development International
Companies House
HMRC – Her Majesty Revenue and Customs

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