Detailed Analysis: Tax Planning Using a UK Company Post-Brexit

Detailed Analysis: Tax Planning Using a UK Company Post-Brexit

Are you looking to navigate the post-Brexit corporate landscape with strategic precision and tax efficiency? Connect with our expert team for tailored advice and solutions that align with your business objectives. Discover the potential of UK corporate structures in achieving your global ambitions. Contact us today!

1. Key Attractions of the UK for Business and Tax Planning:

Non-Tax Haven Status: The UK’s positioning as a legitimate and reputable jurisdiction for business is a significant advantage. This status is beneficial for companies looking to avoid the stigma associated with tax haven countries.

Legal System: The UK’s legal system, particularly the Companies Act 2006, offers a robust and transparent framework for corporate governance, crucial for international investors and stakeholders.

Cost-Effectiveness: The cost of setting up a company in the UK remains relatively low. This is particularly advantageous for start-ups and SMEs looking to establish a presence in a reputable jurisdiction without substantial initial outlay.

Tax Treaty Network: The UK’s network of double taxation agreements is one of the most extensive globally. These treaties, listed on the HMRC website, facilitate cross-border trade by preventing double taxation of the same income in two different jurisdictions.

2.Impact of Brexit on Tax Planning:

Post-Brexit, the UK’s departure from the EU necessitates a revaluation of structures, particularly for businesses with significant EU operations. However, it opens opportunities for new trade agreements and tax treaties outside the EU framework.

3. Traditional and Contemporary UK Tax Structures:

Agency and Subcontracting Companies: The use of UK companies as agents or subcontractors remains a viable strategy. For example, a UK company acting as an agent for an offshore entity can facilitate trade while maintaining tax efficiency.

Holding Companies: The taxation of foreign dividends received by UK holding companies, as per the Corporation Tax Act 2010, has become more favourable. This change makes the UK a more attractive location for holding company structures.

Trusts and Partnerships: UK trusts, governed by the Trustee Act 2000, and partnerships under the Limited Partnerships Act 1907, offer flexible structures for asset holding and investment, appealing to international clients for estate planning and asset protection.

 4. Recent Developments and Improvements:

Tax Exemptions on Foreign Dividends: As per the Finance Act 2009, foreign dividends received by UK holding companies are generally exempt from UK tax, enhancing the attractiveness of the UK as a holding jurisdiction.

Corporate Flexibility: UK company law allows structuring to mitigate international tax challenges, such as creating voting structures to avoid withholding taxes on dividends paid to UK entities.

5. Corporate Relocation Post-Brexit:

Cross-Border Mergers and Directorship Changes: While EU cross-border mergers are now more complex, appointing UK directors to non-UK companies can establish UK residency, bringing tax and operational benefits.

Use of Unlimited Companies: The formation of a UK unlimited company, mirroring the name and operations of an overseas company, offers an innovative solution for businesses seeking continuity with UK advantages.

6. Emerging Trends:

Increased interest in UK limited partnerships and LLPs from South America signifies the global appeal of UK structures. These entities are used for investment holding and trading, demonstrating the flexibility and attractiveness of the UK post-Brexit.

1. Example of Using a UK Holding Company for Tax-Efficient Dividend Receipt:

Scenario: A multinational corporation, headquartered in Germany, wants to streamline its dividend flow from various subsidiaries across Asia and Africa.

Strategy: By establishing a UK holding company, the corporation channels dividends through this entity. Under the UK’s tax regime, as per the Corporation Tax Act 2010, foreign dividends received by the UK holding company are generally exempt from UK tax. This is particularly advantageous if the dividends originate from countries with which the UK has a double taxation agreement.

Outcome: The UK holding company acts as an efficient conduit for dividends, reducing the overall tax liability and simplifying the tax structure for the multinational corporation.

2. Example of a UK Agency Company in International Trade:

Scenario: A Middle Eastern investor wants to trade goods internationally, seeking a reputable yet tax-efficient base.

Strategy: The investor sets up a UK company to act as an agent. This UK company buys goods from various international sources and sells them to end customers, but the profits are attributed to an offshore company based in a jurisdiction with a favourable tax regime.

Outcome: The UK company, while providing a reputable front for international trade, allows the majority of the profits to flow to the offshore company, minimizing the tax burden while maintaining a strong corporate image.

3. Example of Using a UK Limited Partnership for Investment Holding:

Scenario: South American investors seek a flexible structure for holding investments in European real estate and tech startups.

Strategy: The investors establish a UK limited partnership, benefiting from its transparency and lack of direct taxation at the entity level as per the Limited Partnerships Act 1907.

Outcome: The partnership holds investments efficiently, with profits and gains flowing through to the partners based on their individual tax statuses. This structure provides flexibility and tax transparency, ideal for diverse investment portfolios.

4. Example of a Non-UK Company Establishing UK Residency for Tax Purposes:

Scenario: A technology firm based in Singapore wants to leverage the UK’s extensive tax treaty network.

Strategy: The firm appoints UK directors and establishes substantial management and control in the UK, thereby shifting its tax residency to the UK without relocating its operations.

Outcome: The firm now benefits from the UK’s tax treaties, reducing withholding taxes on international payments and accessing favorable tax rates, enhancing its global operational efficiency.


In conclusion, despite Brexit, the UK continues to offer a stable, reputable, and flexible environment for international business and tax planning. The adaptability of UK corporate structures and the country’s extensive tax treaty network remain key advantages for businesses looking to navigate the complexities of international tax planning.

Are you looking to navigate the post-Brexit corporate landscape with strategic precision and tax efficiency? Connect with our expert team for tailored advice and solutions that align with your business objectives. Discover the potential of UK corporate structures in achieving your global ambitions. Contact us today!

Dr Clifford J Frank :

Ms Yuliya Shevd :

Tel: +44 207 129 1180

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