Who can be company director in the UK?

The company director role implies a high level of responsibility, significant management experience and in-depth knowledge of a lot of matters. The UK government passed a law called the Companies Act. It regulates the requirements for prospective company directors, the scope of their responsibilities and duties.The Act was last revised and amended in 2006. Important provisions regulating the activities of directors are included in a separate paragraph. This article talks about the main aspects to be considered when appointing a UK company director.

Requirements for company director

In the UK, there are no restrictions on the citizenship of a future director. Neither does it matter whether he is a UK resident or not. However, the applicant must be older than 16 years of age. Apart from experience and knowledge in a particular area, the following criteria are particularly important:

  • The candidate must have never breached administrative or criminal law;
  • The prospecting company director must be a discharged bankrupt;
  • The candidate has not been previously dismissed from the director position in any company.

While legal entities are allowed to manage the company, it is important to appoint at least one individual.

Nominee management

The UK government allows companies to employ nominee directors. This is especially convenient for those entrepreneurs who live outside the UK and have businesses in two or more countries at once. A nominee director has clearly defined powers determined by the owner of the company. He is also registered at the Companies House and is personally liable for the company’s activities on equal terms with other directors.

It can be difficult sometimes to find a competent person who can defend the company’s interests and meet all the legal requirements. However, corporate management advisors can assist in this matter: their experience in management, headhunting skills and brilliant knowledge of legal requirements will help you solve challenging tasks.

Director’s duties and personal liability

Companies Act 2006 codifies powers and responsibilities vested in the director of a British company. Any manager regards as their main duty to lead the company to uppermost prosperity:

  • To increase the production of goods and scope of services supplied;
  • To improve the quality of products;
  • To expand its share in the sales market;
  • To minimise their harmful impact on the environment;
  • To uphold occupational health and safety standards;
  • To supervise the necessary reports are filed timely.

If tax returns are filed or taxes are paid late, it is the director who is liable. If an accountant makes a mistake in the company’s accounts, the director will get penalised. Besides, the director is in charge of building goodwill and monitoring publications in various sources. The UK authorities watch the companies and their directors; this makes the economy stable. For this reason, incorrectly submitted data can not only wreck the director’s career but also lead to imprisonment.

Equality before law

No allowances are made to directors of small companies. They are equal to directors of large corporations in the eyes of the law. However, the Companies Act can be applied to establish justice, if for some reason the owners of the company demand some actions to be taken which could potentially harm the company.

We must say that it is much easier for directors of larger companies to make decisions and follow the right path forward. They often have several assistants and advisers who consult on relevant matters. Small companies, on the other hand, due to their small budgets and staff, often have limited access to a comprehensive pool of knowledge on a certain issue.

Corporate consultants can assist with management issues and help you get all the paperwork done – contracts, reports, etc. Such consultants have experience liaising with all UK public authorities, they know the law and the latest changes in legislation. They will protect the director and owner of the company from unnecessary stress, and the company will be more stable and secure.

FAQs about company directors

Does a director need to file a personal tax return?

Every director of a company registered in the UK has a personal tax liability.

The tax year in the UK begins on April 6 and ends on April 5 of the following year. At the end of each tax year, the director must prepare their personal tax return and submit it within 9 months to the UK tax authorities.

Can a director approve deals with companies owned by their relatives?

The UK legislationdoes not prohibit such deals. However, other members of the board must be notified and approve them too.

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