Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Clarkslegal international

Setting up in the UK

We offer innovative, cost-effective and high-quality legal services and business support to businesses seeking a presence in the UK.

Our in-depth legal expertise and commercial experience coupled with our extensive high level contacts with professionals and trade bodies, means we have a proven track record in consistently offering clients a comprehensive support service in locating business in the UK. We can help with all of the following: 

Company Structure 

Choose the right structure for your business; partnership, limited liability partnership, incorporation of independent company or subsidiary, joint venture, investment, or branch. In addtion we can provide support with structuring strategic cross-border acquisitions of private companies (business or shares), takeover of public companies and joint ventures.

We can offer advice on company secretary and registered office, including monitoring statutory registers and filings at Companies House.

Business Premises

Our team can advise on short-term flexible business accommodation options and services contracts and acquisition of freehold business premises. We can also support with reviewing and negotiating business leases and agreements for lease. For construction contracts and licences for alteration we can provde advice should you wish to carry out any fit-out works to leasehold premises.

Commercial Terms 

We can help with developing initial commercial agreements, such as trading terms and conditions. We can also provide expert support with protecting and registering your intellectual property rights in the UK.


Our experienced and certified immigration lawyers can advise on acquiring visa permission, settlement and British nationality for individuals and their family members. We also advise high net worth individuals on acquiring Tier 1 Investor & Entrepreneur visas and overseas businesses on sending a representative to the UK to establish up a business presence. 

Building your team 

If you need to recruit from overseas we can provide legal advice on skilled migrant workers visas for your organisation to recruit migrant workers. We can also provide support with conducting right to work checks in respect of your workforce. Find out more about sponsoring skilled migrant workers

Our team can providing an HR professional to assist you to recruit and train your workforce and we can offer support with preparing contracts, HR policies and procedures for your executive management team and employees.

Disagreements & Problems

Our leading dispute resolution team can manage disputes to avoid formal litigation. We can represent clients in the High Court and County Court, arbitration, adjudication and mediation.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What UK visas are available for foreign investors?
A. There are a myriad of possible visa options available to non-EEA nationals who intend to invest in the UK’s economy. Foreign investors will need a visa before they can travel to the UK to establish or takeover a business. In some circumstances, foreign investors may be able to come to the UK as a Visitor to secure funding before applying for a visa.

Q. I want to invest in a UK business, do I need a visa?
A. Yes, if you are a non-EEA national. The Tier 1 Investor visa route allows foreign investors to invest in UK businesses with a hands-off approach.

Q. Can I bring my family with me?
A. Your eligible family members (spouse, civil partner and children under 18 years old) can apply to join you in the UK as your dependents.

Q. Do business/investor visa routes lead to British nationality?
A. Yes, you can typically settle in the UK after 5 years but there are ways to settle earlier via accelerated routes.

Company & Commercial

Q. How easy is it to set up a company in the UK?
. Very! To set up a private limited company, you will need to provide us with some information to help us guide you on the rules relating to setting up a new company: 

  • name and a UK address (a P.O. box is fine)
  • details of at least one director and one shareholder (this can be the same person)
  • details of the shares in the company

Engaging Staff

Q: What are the ways of engaging staff in the UK?
A: Broadly, there are three ways of doing so: as employees, as workers or as self-employed contractors. Different rights attach to each category so it is important to decide which is right for your business, and to put the correct contract terms in place to reflect this.

Q: Do I need to give my employees written terms of employment?
A: Yes. The law in the UK state that an employer must give a written statement of terms, setting out particular information. Such terms are most commonly set out in contracts of employment. The law states that generally this must be done within two months of the employment starting, however it is better to do this before an employee starts, to prevent disputes later on.

Business Premises

Q. I have to pay tax on property transactions in the UK?
 Yes, whether you are buying residential or commercial property then Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) is usually payable. SDLT needs to be paid within 30 days of completion of the property purchase and a SDLT1 form needs to be lodged with HMRC. Non-compliance can lead to fines and interest as well as possible criminal charges. VAT can also be payable (in certain circumstances) as an additional 20% on the purchase price of commercial property.

Q. I take a commercial lease in the UK will I be expected to offer up anything as security to the landlord?Q. I have to pay tax on property transactions in the UK?

A. This will depend on the landlord’s assessment of the “covenant strength” of the party intending to take the lease. If for example you want to take the lease in the name of a new company, that has not traded and does not have any assets, then the landlord would probably, at the very least, be looking for a rent deposit equal to 6 month’s rent to be held for the duration of your occupation under the lease. They may also seek individual or company guarantors as well as or in addition to the deposit.

Legal Disputes

Q. Is the Court system in the UK business friendly?

A. UK Courts are efficient and the High Court contains specialist divisions to address particular business needs including Business and Property, Technology and Construction, Intellectual Property, and Financial. A particular attraction of UK Courts is the ability to recover legal costs based on the Defendant’s conduct (except in smaller claims). This puts additional pressure on Defendants to pay their debts rather than raising spurious defences. Likewise, Claimants who bring nuisance claims can be dealt with by strike out applications and be required to pay costs.

Q. Once I start doing business with UK suppliers and customers, what legal protections do I have if they don’t deliver or pay?
The public details of every UK company are published online and are free to access, so you can check the financial viability of any supplier or customer before dealing with them. The flexibility of UK contract law means that businesses’ lawyers can negotiate a variety of favourable deals to cover their particular risks and can rely on the UK Courts to enforce these decisions. If the deal is properly written, you should be able to give your business the security and protection it needs, and can enforce your businesses’ rights effectively and efficiently.