Establish a UK business base

The UK has a wide range of properties, a straightforward planning process, and incentives to help businesses set up and expand.

The UK has a straightforward planning process, and incentives to help businesses set up and expand.

Last updated 03 February 2020

Leasing or renting property in the UK

The UK has lots of properties for lease or rent for business purposes.

Small companies and entrepreneurs often choose serviced offices to take advantage of their flexible infrastructure (such as internet access) and rental agreements.

Larger companies might want to build, extend or change the use of premises. The UK has a straightforward planning process and one of Europe’s most efficient ways to get a construction permit.

Local planning authorities approve almost 90% of planning applications and 75% are completed within 3 months.

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Business clusters

Businesses from the same or complementary industries are often located together in business clusters - centres of excellence and innovation across the UK.

Locating your business in a UK business cluster could help you to:

  • access a larger pool of skilled labour
  • improve your supply chains
  • share knowledge, ideas, research and development costs

Examples of clusters are the Thames Valley for motorsport and the Midlands for aerospace.

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Enterprise zones

Enterprise zones offer a broad range of support to help businesses establish and expand in the UK. There are more than 50 existing or planned zones in England and Wales, with 16 Enterprise Areas in Scotland and several in Northern Ireland.

Businesses in these locations can benefit from simplified planning application processes, various financial advantages and a business-ready infrastructure.

During the transition period

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and entered a transition period until the end of the year. There will be no significant changes to setting up a base in the UK.

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Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Enterprise Zones

Plain English guide to the planning process