Locate your business in the UK

Real estate and utilities in the UK

You are likely to need business premises for your UK operations.

Property options

You may choose to buy or rent depending on your needs.

Buying a property can bring you the flexibility to manage and repair the building as well as being able to decide when you move. Read more about buying business premises.

Renting ties up less capital. It can also give you flexibility, allowing you to relocate more easily if your business needs change. Read more about renting business premises.

Planning permission

You will need planning permission from your local authority to:

  • build new premises
  • add an extension or change existing premises
  • change the external appearance of the premises
  • change a building's use

You will need to follow building regulations if you are carrying out major building work.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty must be paid when there are:

  • transactions on the transfer of land or interests in land
  • grants or assignments of leases
  • transfers of chargeable securities, eg shares in companies

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) applies when you buy a property in the UK. Currently, for non-residential property SDLT is payable for purchases of freehold premises costing over £150,000. The SDLT payable for leased premises depends on the premium paid and the rents due under the lease. Read more about stamp taxes.


The UK offers competitive utility services with a wide choice of providers.

The gas and electricity, water and telecommunications industries are regulated by the following bodies: