Supply chain · 8 August 2016

Surprising European country provides most non-UK entrepreneurs starting new businesses

The founders of more than 14,000 newly-registered UK firms come from Poland

Thousands of foreign nationals are choosing to set up companies in the UK to avoid bureaucracy at home, a new study has found.

More than 170,000 entrepreneurs from overseas registered a firm with Companies House in 2015 according to online startup solutions provider Made Simple, representing a 160 per cent increase in five years.

The highest proportion of non-UK startup founders to establish a new business came from Poland, with over 14,000 registered firms.

Ireland provided the second highest proportion, with 12,500 businesses registered via the government-backed agency, while China claimed third place with more than 11,500.

The findings reveal the extent to which Britain is increasingly viewed as one of the best places in the world to set up a company.

Indeed, a study by the World Bank concluded last year that the UK was considered the sixth easiest country in the world to start a new business, with Poland entering the list at number 25, and China at number 84.

Increasingly held back by red tape in their own country, the study suggested that entrepreneurs from around the world are attracted to the UK’s transparent and relatively low-cost business environment.

Identifying the perceived prestige that comes with owning a UK-registered company, Made Simple CEO Howard Graham added: “The process is extremely straightforward and affordable compared to other countries.

“The infrastructure and support available to firms registered in the UK is far superior to what you get elsewhere in the world, and registering with Companies House means that your business is locatable online, making it more transparent,” added Graham.

Other countries to make the top ten list in terms of numbers of foreign entrepreneurs registering startups in the UK include India, Romania, Italy, France, the US, Germany and Pakistan.

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.