Donald Reid Group

Setting Up in the UK

Britain is open for business. Firms wishing to set up a UK operation will find a welcoming, professional environment, which has relatively few barriers to entry.

Well-developed infrastructure

The UK has a well-developed infrastructure with good links to other EU countries and the rest of the world. London has five international airports and good railway links with the rest of the UK. There is also a well-developed motorway and road network.

A top ten manufacturer

The UK is one of the ten largest manufacturers in the world, with a particular specialism in the life sciences, ICT and creative sectors.

Technological expertise

The government is committed to growing businesses in the technology sector – with the goal of being the European digital capital. Tech City has been established in East London, intended to be a hub and incubator for fast growing hi-tech industries. To the west of London the Thames corridor, known as the UK silicon valley, has a particularly high density of technology companies – in sectors as broad-ranging as film, space and motorsport. Read recent blog Why should foreign firms invest in the Thames Valley?

Highly educated workforce

The UK can boast some of the best universities in the world - Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial being ranked in the top ten worldwide – resulting in a highly skilled, motivated workforce.

So how can we help you set up your UK operation?

With many years of experience in helping international firms set up their UK organisation and working with these subsidiaries on an on-going basis, DRG is well placed to provide sound advice and long term support to your local operation.

Establish the best legal structure

Whilst initially you might test the market through an agency with a local partner, when decide to have a physical operation in the UK, you will need to decide whether to set up a branch or a subsidiary. Read our blog "Setting up in the UK. Branch or subsidiary FAQs"

Find your local advisors

You will need to find a range of local advisors and partners who are experienced in working with international firms. At DRG, we have a good network of local partners – from banks to expatriate tax and employee benefits experts.

A sound tax planning strategy

From the outset, you should have a clear tax planning strategy. Your entry strategy and legal structure should take into account tax efficiency, your long-term aspirations and any available exemptions, allowances and incentives.

Your local finance function – inhouse or outsourced?

Initially, you might prefer to outsource your local finance function to DRG Outsourced Finance. We have an excellent knowledge of the complexities of UK legislation and can help you with the day-to-day running of your finance department.

Bank accounts and insurance

The requirements of UK and foreign banks do differ. We have good links with a range of UK banks and can help you open your bank accounts. We can also put you in touch with professional indemnity cover and employers liability insurance providers.

Your team on the ground

Should your UK team include expatriate staff, we can put you in touch with experts on immigration, visas, tax equalisation, employee remuneration and relocation.

Should you be considering setting up a UK operation and would like advice on foreign direct investment, please do get in touch. We would love to hear from you. 


Jun 24, 2018
Jun 22, 2018
Jan 23, 2018

International Trade Post Brexit Event

What will international trade look like following Brexit? Come and listen to Tom Josephs, Director of Policy, Department for International Trade, Professor Trevor Williams, former Chief Economist at Lloyds Bank and a panel of drawn from SMEs and academia to discuss international trade following Brexit.



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