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Belgium director of UK company

Belgium director of UK company

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Good morning

I have been contacted by a Belgium chap who wishes to open a UK based company.  This will be registered in the UK and will trade in the UK.  However, he will remain a resident of Belgium.  The bank have told him that by becoming a Director of a UK company, he automatically becomes a citizen of the UK.  Can anyone confirm whether this is true or not? 

Many thanks for your help on this one.

Mark

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03rd Dec 2013 09:50

from my textbook

A director of a UK company can be a non UK resident and live anywhere in the world and there is no requirement for them to live in the UK during or after their appointment as company director.

Directors are not Required to Visit the UK

There is also no requirement for a proposed director to have visited the UK at any point in the past. In short, a person living for example, in Germany who has never been to the UK can be a director of a UK company.

One of the few exemptions to this rule would be for example, where the person has a visa or work permit which prevents them from being a UK company director.

When filling out Form AP01, the non UK director will (as would a person living in the UK) put down the normal residential address on the form.

Visiting the UK to Open a Company Bank Account

One of the few instances of where a director may need to visit the UK is where the company intends to open a UK bank account. Banks are required to comply with both UK and European money laundering provisions.

In some cases a bank may require a company director to visit a UK branch, in other cases where the bank has a branch in the director's home country, the various money laundering and identification procedures may be satisfied by the director visiting this branch.

Company Residence for Taxation Purposes

Regarding the taxation, a company will be deemed to be subject to UK taxes (namely corporation tax) if it was incorporated in the UK. This rule applies irrespective of where the directors live or where key decisions affecting the business are taken.

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03rd Dec 2013 09:56

Quality of Advice

That advice reflects very poorly on the bank.  I have a client company with an Australian director. The only problem is a practical one in getting things signed before deadlines.  I'm not all that comfortable with emailed scans of the balance sheet.

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03rd Dec 2013 09:58

Untrue

To answer the question, it is certainly not true that a Belgian director of a UK company becomes a citizen of the UK.  Perhaps, the bank meant that he would have to file a UK tax return, but that is also not true.

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03rd Dec 2013 10:01

If it was the case that one could acquire UK citizenship by buying a UK company off the shelf and appointing oneself a director of it there would be no need for the UK Border Agency to exist.

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03rd Dec 2013 10:12

Thanks all for confirming.  I

Thanks all for confirming.  I was beginning to think I had missed some new, rather important legislation! 

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03rd Dec 2013 10:18

Bank staff knowledge

In 20 years experience of company formation and company secretarial , the knowledge of bank staff is poor . Many are still referring to the 1985 Act !

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that instaed of saying that they are unsure or don't know , they simply spout rubbish

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03rd Dec 2013 10:39

Obviously...

... being a director of a UK company, he HAS to file a UK Tax Return! :)

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By Xcast
to DJKL
03rd Dec 2013 11:00

Does that still apply if

he does not receive any income from that Company?

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to DJKL
03rd Dec 2013 16:40

Utter Rubbish!

Steve Kesby wrote:
... being a director of a UK company, he HAS to file a UK Tax Return! :)

There is no statutory requirement for the director of a UK company to complete a tax return unless HMRC decide to send him/her one.

HMRC policy regarding directors tax returns has no basis in law.

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03rd Dec 2013 11:11

@Steve

There is no statutory requirement for an individual to file a UK return merely by virtue of being a director - in spite of  HMRC website misadvice

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03rd Dec 2013 16:48

Check the smiley face

I believe Steve is well aware of the lack of legal basis for HMRC's policy on director tax returns. Hence the smiley at the end of his post.

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03rd Dec 2013 16:57

:)

I was expecting Euan and John to jump on me immediately!

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to Moonbeam
03rd Dec 2013 17:49

Moi?

Steve Kesby wrote:

I was expecting Euan and John to jump on me immediately!

No - I saw the smiley as well!

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03rd Dec 2013 17:42

@steve

sorry it was only me to do the jumping with frustratedwithhmrc

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