United Kingdom: Investing

United Kingdom flag United Kingdom: Investing

Investing

Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
With a few exceptions, the UK does not discriminate between nationals and foreign individuals in the formation and operation of private companies. Some industries are partially government owned or controlled, for example the transport and energy sectors. Similarly, banking and insurance enterprises must obtain Financial Services Authority and government authorisation before operating in the UK. There are no laws or rules limiting foreign ownership and investment in the United Kingdom. Still, regardless of whether they are foreign or British, entities seeking to invest must abide by competition law, and regulatory approval may be required for acquisitions of large U.K. entities by investors.
Acquisition of Holdings
In the United Kingdom, a majority holding interest in the capital of a local company is legal. Depending on the market concerned there could be regulatory restrictions on foreign ownership of shares in UK companies, although the UK has traditionally operated a relatively liberal regime.
Obligation to Declare
The Enterprise Act 2002 governs the UK's foreign investment review regime. Grounds for intervention include public interest cases (section 42), special public interest cases (section 59) and protection of legitimate interests (section 67 and Article 21(4), Merger Regulation). The National Security and Investment Bill 2019-20 will strengthen the Government's powers to scrutinise investments, in particular those that may give rise to a national security risk.
Competent Organisation For the Declaration
Companies House
Requests For Specific Authorisations
Some industries are partially government owned or controlled, for example the transport and energy sectors. Similarly, banking and insurance enterprises must obtain Financial Services Authority and government authorisation before operating in the UK.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Department for International Trade
Invest in Great (Support for exporters and inward investors)
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Government Procurement Service, Government Procurement Service
Tenders Info, Tenders in the United Kingdom
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
Invest in Great Britain Guide (PwC UK)
Invest in UK Platform
SmallBusiness.co.uk (Advice and resource platform for individual entrepreneurs and small businesses)

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Latest Update: September 2022

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