Investment Opportunities in the U.K.

Overview by

Protection of Foreign Investment

Bilateral Investment Conventions Signed By the United Kingdom
The UK has concluded 106 Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with other countries, of which 94 are in force. More information is available on the website of UNCTAD.
International Controversies Registered By UNCTAD
There is one case of controversy registered, that of Eurotunnel versus France and the United Kingdom.
Organizations Offering Their Assistance in Case of Disagreement
UKinvest , UK trade and investment
Westlaw , Legal information service
Member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency

Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  United Kingdom OECD United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 10.0 6.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 7.0 5.2 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 7.0 6.8 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 8.0 6.0 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Foreign companies establishing British subsidiaries generally encounter no special nationality requirements on directors or shareholders, although at least one director of any company registered in the UK must be ordinarily resident in the UK.
Acquisition of Holdings
In the United Kingdom, a majority holding interest in the capital of a local company is legal.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Companies house
Find Investment Service Providers in the United Kingdom on

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Investment Aid

Forms of Aid
The Invest in Britain Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade provides its services in order to inform foreign companies on aids to set up in Great Britain. Companies zones have been created to encourage industrial and commercial development. These zones allow companies to benefit from tax exemptions. Companies can contact the Department of Trade and Industry to obtain further details relating to the different regions.


The main form of support is the Selective Finance for Investment scheme in England, which aims to encourage significant investment in projects that lead to long-term improvements in productivity, skills and employment. It is a discretionary grant that may be offered to overseas companies (and UK owned companies) opening a new operation, or expanding/ modernising an existing operation in an Assisted Area. It is available to both manufacturing and service projects meeting certain criteria. See

Privileged Domains
Services, R&D.
Free Zones
There are 6 Free Zones: Liverpool Free Zone, Prestwick Airport Free Zone, Ronaldsway Airport Free Zone (Ballasala, Isle of Man), Southampton Free Zone, Tilbury Free Zone, Port of Sheerness Free Zone.
Organizations Which Finance
UK trade and investment.

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Investment Opportunities

Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
OGC, Government Procurement Service
Tenders Info, Tenders in United Kingdom
Ted - Tenders Electronic daily, Business opportunities in EU 27
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide

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Finding Assistance For Further Information

Doing Business Guides
United Kingdom Commercial Guide 2010 - Buy USA

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