• Access and hire global talent & deploy them anywhere in the world
  • Remove restriction from only hiring from local markets
  • Enter any international market without the requirement of opening a local entity

As one of the world’s largest national economies with a broad scale of new business opportunities, the United Kingdom is the perfect fit for your Global Expansion plans. However, Brexit did make expansion into the UK a bit more complex. The UK is renowned for its progressive vision and was amongst the instigators of the Industrial Revolution during the 19th century. Although Brexit initiated a turbulent period, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union is expected to turn the tide and lead to a rapidly growing and robust economy. With London as one of the world’s largest financial centres and a strong Services Industry led by Financial Services, the UK offers a market full of opportunities for your company to thrive.

Using a PEO service in the United Kingdom means there is no need to set up a legal entity, including all tax registrations and complicated paperwork. You can start doing business within days. At Bradford Jacobs, we aimed to gain expert inside knowledge on UK payroll, taxes, labour laws, and other local regulations. By utilising our sources, you can start your Global Expansion hassle-free and at a low cost. We can provide specific support for payroll, taxation, Human Resources, and compliance issues as you expand your operations and enforce your workforce.

If you are ready to start your global success with us, you can add new international talent to your company within days. We have the connections and network to locate talents that meet your needs and wishes on all levels. Without creating a UK subsidiary, your new employee can benefit your business in the United Kingdom in days instead of months. But incredibly important: we ensure your company complies with all regulations and laws, areas in which you can incur severe penalties would you fail to adhere. Your chosen candidate is hired through our agencies in the United Kingdom and remains under your control.

Quick Links

United Kingdom – The Economy

The UK’s long history of being a globalised economy, largely market-oriented and a social market – combines a capitalist ecosystem with social policy reforms. The country has been ranked as the 9th most competitive market in the world out of 140 countries, according to the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report, which the World Economic Forum publishes.

The UK can be characterised as a world-renowned business, which includes a highly educated workforce, attractive tax rates and incentives, and low labour and administration costs. The UK’s GDP in 2020 amounted to approximately £1.96 trillion, taking a hit from the previous year, which amounted to about £2.17 trillion.

The country has a long history of being an international trading economy at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Solid commercial services, communications, manufacturing sectors, and high-quality logistics and infrastructure create an attractive environment for any business owner seeking to expand their business.

However, The UK also has its sights set on preparing for the future, embracing innovation, sustainable consumption, and technological modernisation to reach a net zero economy whilst maintaining its strengths.

There are several options for businesses to trade worldwide in both simple and affordable ways. The UK’s geographical position benefits from access to diverse marketplaces in Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania. Trading in the UK opens businesses to over 70 airports, 40 major ports, and the 4th most extensive rail network in Europe, which links major cities to mainland Europe via the world-class Eurostar rail service.

Small and Medium-Sized Companies in UK

In the UK, there are 5.58 million businesses in the private sector. Out of that total, SMEs account for 99.9%, and they employ less than 250 employees. SMEs account for three-fifths of local employment, engaging around 61% of the total labour workforce, which amounts to about 16.3 million people. SMEs turnover in 2021 amounts to an estimated £2.3 million, which is around half of the turnover in the UK private sector. Small and medium businesses have a great impact on the economy, with their contributions increasing every year.
No. of States/Provinces
4 states (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland)
Principal Cities
London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Gateshead, Leeds, York
Local Currency
GBP (British Pounds)
Major Religion
Date Format
Time Zone
Country Dial Code
67.22 million
Border Countries
Tax Year
6th April - 5th April of the following year
Minimum Wage (National)
£4.62 per hour (£4.81 in 2022)
Minimum Wage (Living)
£8.91 per hour (£9.50 in 2022)
Taxpayer Identification Numbers
Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) / Company registration number (CRN)
Leading Sectors
Finance and banking, information technology, construction, oil and gas, government, healthcare, manufacturing
Main imports
Crude and refined petroleum, vehicles, packaged medicines, computers
Main exports
Machinery including computers, vehicles, gems and precious metals, mineral fuels including oil, electrical machinery, pharmaceuticals
Main trading partners
European Union, USA, Germany, Netherlands, France, China, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Italy
Government Type
Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Current Prime Minister
Rishi Sunak

The Main Sectors of the UK Economy

The country focuses on the following key sectors, which all have a significant influence on the country’s economy:

  1. Finance: This sector contributed about £132 million to the economy in 2018 and employs over 24,000 people. The United Kingdom is also the largest financial hub in Europe, with its assets being worth over £4 trillion.
    Some of the largest financial companies in the world, such as Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst and Young (EY), and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have offices in London, with the industry employing over 24,000 people.
  2. Construction: This sector is seen as one of the major pillars of the UK’s economy, as it contributes to most jobs (with approximately 1 million employees) and the largest gross value (adding approximately £138 billion annually). This industry not only encompasses building construction, but also fulfilling maintenance, repair, and the completion of new building and infrastructure construction contracts.
  3. Agriculture: Farming plays a crucial role in the overall UK economy, contributing an estimate of £9,435 million in 2020. About 60% of the food that is eaten in the UK is locally grown.
  4. Travel & Tourism: According to the Office of National Statistics, the tourism industry contributed over £28.4 billion pounds to the UK economy in 2019. The industry’s impact on the economy is strong, with currently over 33,000 people employed. Travel and Tourism is the fastest-growing sector in the country and currently accounts for 11.9% of all jobs in the country, which is ahead of both financial services (8.9%), and banking (3.4%).
  5. Energy: It is one of the largest industries in the United Kingdom, indirectly employing approx. 450,000 people, with almost half of them being located in Scotland. Experts are expecting a substantial increase within the next few years.
  6. Manufacturing: The manufacturing industry has carried a lot of importance to the health of the economy since the first industrial revolution. It currently employs about 2.7 million people and accounts for about 45% of total exports, which totals around £275 billion.
  7. Media: The media industry in the UK includes film, music, and entertainment, which is worth over 68 billion pounds. The sector also employs over 2 million people, most of which are located outside of London.
  8. Fashion: This sector has experienced struggles over the last few years, but it is now experiencing steady growth. Currently, it is employing 55,000 and contributes over £32 billion a year, according to the British Fashion Council.
  9. Food and Drink: This includes the overall agri-food sector, such as wholesale, manufacturing, and retail. This sector accounts for over 400,000 direct jobs, over £29.5 billion in manufacturing, as well as £30 billion in retailing.

Labour Contracts Law

In the UK, an employment contract is not required to be concluded in writing, but the law does oblige the employer to provide the employee with a written statement that includes specific information regarding the terms of their employment:

  • Personal/contact information about both parties
  • Job title of the employee
  • The date of the commencement of the employment relationship
  • Salary and payment intervals
  • The place of work and the registered address of the business
  • The hours of work and information about working patterns
  • Holiday, sick pay, and other paid leave entitlements
  • Notice period and probationary period provisions
  • Disciplinary and grievance policies
  • Training entitlements

Compliance Highlights

Tax and Labour Authorities in the UK

HM Revenue and Customs – this department handles all tax and national insurance systems in the UK.

Social Security Advisory Committee – an advisory non-departmental public body, which is sponsored by the Department of Work and Pensions. It provides impartial advice on social security and other related matters.

The Health and Safety Executive – is the UK’s national regulator for the health and safety of the workplace.

The Pensions Advisory Service – is an executive non-departmental public body which offers information and guidance to the public on personal, company and state pensions.

Laws that Regulate Labour Relationships

UK employment law is regulated by national legislation and collective agreements, all of which have great significance to the individual contracts between the employer and employee. Thus, companies and employers must be aware of the laws and agreements


For more information, download our free guide or get in touch with our consultants here