Unveiling Legal Procedures: UK vs Delaware

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Unveiling Legal Procedures: UK vs. Delaware


When it comes to setting up a business, choosing the right jurisdiction is crucial. Each jurisdiction has its own legal procedures and regulations to abide by. In this blog post, we will compare the legal procedures in the United Kingdom (UK) and Delaware in the United States. Understanding these key differences will help you make an informed decision about where to establish your business.

Legal Procedures in the United Kingdom:

The legal procedures in the UK follow a common law system based on precedents and statutes. Starting a business in the UK involves several steps:

1. Choose the Business Structure:
– Sole Proprietorship: A business owned and operated by a single individual.
– Partnership: A business owned by two or more people.
– Limited Liability Company (LLC): A separate legal entity with limited liability for its members.
– Limited Company (Ltd): A private-held company with limited liability for its shareholders.

2. Register your Business:
– Register with Companies House: All businesses except sole proprietors must register with Companies House.
– Obtain a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number: You will need this number to pay taxes and file returns.
– Register for Value Added Tax (VAT): Depending on your annual turnover, you may need to register for VAT.

3. Draft and Execute Necessary Legal Documents:
– Memorandum and Articles of Association: These documents outline the company’s purpose, rights, and responsibilities.
– Shareholders’ Agreement: If you have multiple shareholders, it is essential to have an agreement that outlines their rights.

4. Compliance Requirements:
– Submit Annual Accounts: All companies must prepare annual financial statements and submit them to Companies House.
– File Annual Returns: Companies must file an annual return, including company information and shareholder details.

Legal Procedures in Delaware:

Delaware is a popular jurisdiction for businesses, known for its business-friendly environment and robust corporate laws. The legal procedures for starting a business in Delaware are as follows:

1. Choose the Business Structure:
– Limited Liability Company (LLC): A flexible business structure offering limited liability for its owners, known as members.
– Corporation: A separate legal entity with shareholders, directors, and officers, providing limited liability to its shareholders.

2. File Certificate of Formation:
– LLCs and corporations must file a Certificate of Formation with the Delaware Secretary of State.
– The Certificate of Formation includes details such as the company name, registered agent, and purpose.

3. Create Necessary Legal Documents:
– Operating Agreement (LLCs) or Bylaws (Corporations): These documents outline the internal operations and structure of the business.
– Shareholder Agreement (Corporations): If you have multiple shareholders, it is advisable to have an agreement that outlines their rights.

4. Compliance Requirements:
– Annual Franchise Tax: Both LLCs and corporations are required to pay an annual franchise tax to the Delaware Secretary of State.
– Annual Reports: Companies must also file an annual report to maintain their good standing.

UK vs. Delaware Legal Procedures: Key Differences

1. Speed and Ease of Setup:
– Delaware is known for its quick and straightforward setup process, often completed within a few days, while the UK’s process may take longer.

2. Privacy:
– Delaware allows businesses to maintain anonymity by not disclosing shareholder details publicly, whereas UK company details are available for public inspection.

3. Legal Flexibility:
– Delaware offers more flexibility in terms of corporate structures and governance arrangements compared to the UK.

4. Tax Considerations:
– Both jurisdictions offer attractive tax benefits, but the specific tax implications will depend on individual circumstances and the nature of your business.


Choosing between the UK and Delaware as the jurisdiction for your business involves considering various factors, including legal procedures. While the UK follows a common law system with more formalities, Delaware offers a streamlined process and benefits tailored for businesses. By understanding the key differences in legal procedures, you can make an informed decision and set your business up for success. Remember to seek professional legal advice before making any final decisions.

Note: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

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