Can a non-resident UK citizen operate as a sole trader in the UK?

Thousands of new businesses are incorporated in the UK each year, excluding freelancers and sole traders. The Companies House keeps a register of all the businesses. If you are planning to establish your business in the UK, you must know that it can be a complicated process.

To start or establish your business in the UK, you must do proper research about it. Your business’ foundation is an important factor to consider. It will play an important role in determining whether or not you can be successful.

Can a non-resident UK citizen operate as a sole trader in the UK?

Can a non-resident UK citizen start the business?

If you are a non-resident UK citizen, you have the flexibility to start or register the business as a freelancer or sole trader. Various business registration processes can assist you in the process. You need to contact a consultant if you do not know where to start your business.

To register your business in the UK with the Companies House, you must have an official legal address. The official document must have that address. Furthermore, the government authorities can also use the document for contact purposes.

For self-employed people, they are primarily working from home. Therefore, these individuals can use this address for registration purposes. They may put themselves at risk of disturbances and intrusions. It is your official address where the authorities may contact you.

As a non-resident UK citizen, you must know how to start a business. You can operate as the sole trader or limited company. Understand the fee structure for the business. Once you know the structure, you can start the business accordingly.

Requirements of registering the UK business as a non-resident one

Irrespective of where you live and which place’s passport you hold, you can actively start your business in the UK as a non-resident. However, the main requirement is that you set up the physical address. The official and government authorities will further be contacting you at that address.

If you do not live in the UK and yet want to register the business, you may consider using any relative’s or virtual office address. Various companies help with business registration. Therefore, you can use those services to get in terms with the registered address.

The business consultants can also help you with communications with HMRC. Therefore, if there is any urgent tax-related query, you can work on solving it. If there are issues with paperwork, professionals can help you solve them.

Key considerations when starting a business as a non-UK resident

If you plan to start your business in the UK as a non-UK resident, you must comply with the rules. Since you will be the sole trader, you must submit the required documents. Therefore, some of the common documents that you must submit include:

  • Company Name.
  • Self-assessment registration with HMRC.
  • National Insurance Number.

Apart from the documents, there are other specific concerns that you need to focus on. Before you set up your company in the UK as a non-UK resident, you must consider the following factors:

Visa consideration

All EU citizens were allowed to start a business in the UK without a visa. However, times and situations have changed ever since Brexit happened. After the transition, new rules began to come in. All non-resident UK professionals need to apply for a work visa. Before setting up their business in the UK, they must be familiar with the procedure and eventually set up the visa and apply for the business setup.

Tax consideration

Whether you’re operating as a sole trader or a limited company, you need to be familiar with the taxes. Suppose your company has been incorporated outside of the UK. However, you must know about it as a permanent establishment.

You must register with Companies House and pay the corporation tax as a limited company. As a sole trader, you may need to pay income tax based on the tax you generate. If your business has been making income from various consumers in multiple countries, you need to pay tax for the share that you make in the UK.

Get a business bank account

You must get a business bank account. Even when operating as a sole trader, you must have a separate business bank account to keep a record of your transactions.

The non-UK residents can operate their businesses in the UK. However, they must know how to open a bank account. Furthermore, it will also prevent the risk of higher transaction fees. Starting as a small business or sole trader, you can transfer the earnings to your domestic account. Nonetheless, the only condition is that you will be eligible for higher international charges.

Follow all the tax filing laws

Even while operating as a non-UK resident sole trader, you must be familiar with the tax filing laws. You need to comply with the regulations for each year and quarter. The filings are, however, separate entities. Your consultants can help you understand the extensive procedure of filing.

Various companies, even the ones belonging to UK residents, depend on their accountants for filing the taxes. The accountants can also help you with the procedure of registering the business. You can get your entire business-related work done without worrying about endless paperwork.

Since your accountant will manage everything, you don’t have to worry about huge filing. They will not miss a date. Therefore, there is no way you will suffer from the huge penalty.


When you’re starting your business as a sole trader, all you need to do is comply with the laws. These professionals can assist you in the process of getting started. You might as well hire an accountant to look into the process and help you with the business setup. Make sure that you file the application and register with complete transparency. Any kind of discrepancy or misinformation can lead to your business being penalised.

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