Common Misconceptions about Purchasing a Buy-to-Let Property under a UK Limited Company Structure

by
Chris Frame

GetGround specialises in setting up and running UK Limited companies to purchase Buy-to-Let properties in the UK. All our companies have high quality legal documents and are designed to be tax efficient, as well as work effectively with mortgage lenders. My team and I speak regularly both to clients and our growing partner network to explain the advantages of a Limited company structure, and how GetGround can facilitate setting this up quickly and easily. Recently, we’ve noticed a few common misconceptions in the market, and we’d like to provide some clarity on these points. 

Stamp Duty and Land Tax (SDLT) costs are higher for a Limited company purchase.

GetGround serves clients who are purchasing investment property for the purpose of letting to third party tenants, and in this case, the SDLT remains equal to that of personal ownership. This is true for both UK and non-UK residents; there is no additional cost. This is also true if you are a First Time Buyer (FTB) in the UK and plan to let the property. The relief offered by the UK Government from 2017 to FTBs is only applicable if the intention of the purchaser(s) is to occupy the property as his or her only or primary residence.

It is a time-consuming and expensive process to establish and run a UK Limited company.

GetGround is making the benefits of a Limited company structure far more accessible to all investors. With the GetGround platform, investors can set up a UK Limited company online in fewer than 30 minutes from wherever they are located. This includes registration with Companies House; structuring the Company; production of all associated legal documents; and opening a UK payment account for your financial transactions. We manage everything related to the administration of that Limited company including accountancy; tax filing; auditing; and company secretarial services. We also act as the registered office address. GetGround provides this comprehensive management service for £240 per year (+VAT), which is approximately 8 to 10 times cheaper than traditional alternatives.

Obtaining financing is challenging for a UK Limited company structure.

As specialists in the creation of UK Limited companies for property acquisition, we have developed an excellent network of partners. We have strong relationships with many respected independent mortgage brokers and lenders. There were more than 30,000 Buy-to-Let purchases made in 2019 using a company structure, leading many lenders to develop and improve their operations in this specific area. We have access to more than 25 different lenders and upwards of 400 different mortgage products, providing investors with increasingly competitive rates and flexible criteria.

It is harder to sell a Limited company-owned property.

For property owned in a company, there is increased optionality when it comes time to sell. Sellers can choose to either sell the shares in the company or the property itself, whichever suits them best and maximises their returns.

GetGround is increasing the transparency around holding assets within a Limited company structure. Our commitment to this transparency is one of the key reasons why the UK Government, via HM Land Registry, has invested in GetGround. The companies we create can not undertake any activity other than the purchase and ownership of UK Buy-to-Let property. We operate on a one Limited company per property basis, which creates both financial benefits and increased trust within that entity. All companies have a complete and clear track record; all original legal documents will be held securely on our platform; there will be no other shared liabilities; and all financial activity is clearly documented. Therefore, any future buyer will have complete visibility into the ownership history giving them full clarity and confidence in the purchase.

Chris Frame
(VP Growth and Business Development)
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