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Ease of Doing Business in

United Kingdom

United Kingdom Download Profile (1759.2KB, pdf)
Region OECD high income
Income Category High income
Population 65,138,232
GNI Per Capita (US$) 43,340
City covered London

190

1

DB 2017 Rank

1

100

DB 2017 DTF (% points)

  • local_library
  • group
Topics DB 2017 Rank DB 2016 Rank info_outline Change in Rank DB 2017 DTF (% points) info_outline DB 2016 DTF (% points) info_outline Change in DTF (% points) info_outline
Overall 7 6 down
1
82.74 82.73 down
0.01
Starting a Business 16 13 down
3
94.58 94.57 up
0.01
Dealing with Construction Permits 17 16 down
1
80.34 80.29 up
0.05
Getting Electricity 17 15 down
2
89.12 89.12
-
Registering Property 47 46 down
1
74.11 74.50 down
0.39
Getting Credit 20 19 down
1
75.00 75.00
-
Protecting Minority Investors 6 5 down
1
78.33 78.33
-
Paying Taxes 10 11 up
1
90.74 90.37 up
0.37
Trading across Borders 28 28
-
93.76 93.76
-
Enforcing Contracts 31 30 down
1
69.36 69.36
-
Resolving Insolvency 13 13
-
82.04 82.04
-

DB 2017 Rank:

47

DB 2016 Rank:

46

Change in Rank:

down1

DB 2017 DTF (% points):

74.11

DB 2016 DTF (% points):

74.50

Change in DTF (% points):

down0.39

STANDARD PROPERTY TRANSFER
Property value GBP 1,404,520
City London
Indicator United Kingdom OECD high income
Procedures (number) info_outline 6 4.7
Time (days) info_outline 21.5 22.4
Cost (% of property value) info_outline 4.8 4.2
Quality of the land administration index (0-30) info_outline 24 22.7
  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Standard enquiries of the seller delivered to the buyer's solicitor with a title pack

    Agency: Solicitors of the parties

    Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSE) are used by solicitors to find out details that cannot be inferred from the searches, eg. who is in actual occupation, how long the property has been used for its present use. Most solicitors use the commercial property standard enquiries prepared by members of the London Property Support Lawyers Group and endorsed by the British Property Federation. Depending on the enquiries raised, the seller's solicitor would typically spend 1-3 billable hours to prepare the enquiries taking his client's instructions. It would probably take the buyer's solicitor 30 minutes to 1 hour to review the replies. If there was no particular urgency, this part of the process would typically be started at the same time as the searches are requested, and would be completed in around 1 week after the results of all the searches are received.

    1-4 weeks (simultaneous with Procedure 2) GBP 3,500 - GBP 10,000
    * 2

    Conduct searches on the property

    Agency: Search portal

    The buyer's solicitor will review the registered title to the property. It is the responsibility of the buyer's conveyancer to confirm to the buyer that it will be acquiring good and marketable title to the property.

    As part of the due diligence to determine whether the title is good and marketable, the purchaser's solicitor will conduct the following searches:
    1. Investigation of the title: to know whether the land is registered at the Land Registry and know what interests affect this land and if there are any limitations. If the land is unregistered, the solicitor would have to look at the deeds and correspondence between the persons that appear on those deeds. This will be decreasingly the case as registration is now compulsory.
    2. Conveyancing searches, which would include:
    • Local Authority Search
    • Planning history (eg. permissions)
    • Desktop environmental search (to determine any environmental issues, such as flooding or contamination)
    • Public highway search
    • Chancel repair liability search (in this case the solicitor does not search the property itself, but the area in which the property is. If the area turns out to be affected by the liability to contribute to chancel repairs, then the property has to be insured against any future chancel repair claims. The amount of the insurance depends on the value of the property)
    • Other searches depending on the area, eg. coal mine shaft search or underground search (these issues affect the value of the property)
    3. Seller company search: to see the articles of association and what powers the representatives have

    For a property in London, solicitors usually request most of these searches through a search portal. These search portals are the one stop shop for most searches, and solicitors need a user name to access them. The search portals will pass on to the solicitor the information that they acquire from the relevant authorities.

    In total, these searches are usually 300 to 1000 pounds, depending on the number of searches requested, the amount that each local authority charges, and whether the solicitor requests the standard searches or is adding additional questions, which increase the cost. The results of the searches take from one day to 2-3 weeks to come back, depending on the search. The local authority search is the lengthiest one.

    Once satisfied with the results of the searches, the information provided in the standard enquiries and the title pack, the buyer's solicitor will prepare a report for the buyer on the title and other matters affecting the property.

    1-3 weeks (simultaneous with Procedure 1) GBP 300 to GBP 1000
    3

    Drafting of contracts and exchange of contracts once agreed

    Agency: Lawyer's office

    Property transactions are conducted by licensed conveyancers or solicitors. However, in the case of commercial properties, these transactions are usually conducted by solicitors. The seller's solicitor will prepare a draft of the contract and submit it to the purchaser's solicitor once approved by his/her client. The purchaser's solicitor will review the draft and suggest any suitable amendments. Once the two parties agree on the contract, contracts are exchanged. The solicitors acting for the buyer and seller can meet to exchange contracts, but that is rare. The exchange is usually done over the telephone in accordance with a specific formula for exchanging contracts over the phone. The most common is formula B where each solicitor holds a 'part' contract signed by his client. The solicitors agree over the phone specific terms of the contract (e.g., the amount of the deposit, completion date, etc.) and record the time of exchange and other details. Each solicitor sends their client's part contract to the other solicitor in the post that day. The buyer's solicitor will also send a check for the deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price).

    1 day (simultaneous with Procedure 4) included in Procedure 1
    * 4

    Pre-completion search with priority requested at the Land Registry

    Agency: Land Registry

    The buyer's solicitor raises pre-completion enquiries of the seller's solicitor known as 'requisitions on title' and a 'pre-completion search with priority' in order to block any movements on the property until completion of the property transfer.

    Less than a day (online procedure), simultaneous with Procedure 3 GBP 3 if lodged electronically; GBP 7 if lodged in paper
    5

    Complete and lodge a Land Transaction Return and pay the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) (available on-line)

    Agency: HM Revenue & Customs

    The buyer's solicitor would usually prepare the Land Transaction Return for the approval of the buyer (as SDLT is a self-assessment tax) prior to completion. For every land transaction the purchaser must complete, sign and send the land transaction return to be received by HM Revenue & Customs before the end of 30 days following the effective date of the transaction. The return includes a self-assessment of the stamp duty land tax chargeable on the transaction returned. The completed Land Transaction Return must be sent by post to the Revenue's Rapid Data Capture center in Netherton (near Liverpool) or submitted electronically. When the Return is submitted, the correct amount of SDLT must also be paid either by cheque, through the CHAPS automated payment system or via direct bank transfer. Once the Return has been processed by the Revenue the Revenue will issue a Land Transaction Return Certificate. If the Return has been submitted electronically, the Certificate is typically received within two hours. If the Return has been submitted in the post, the Certificate is typically received within one month. The issue of a Land Transaction Return Certificate merely evidences that a Return has been filed at the Revenue; issuance of a Certificate does not necessarily mean that the information contained within the Return and/or amount of SDLT paid is correct. The Certificate must be sent to the Land Registry when an application for registration of the transfer is made. If the buyer acquires the property with financing, any legal charge created by it (if it is a company) must be registered at Companies House within 21 days of its creation, failing which the charge is void against a liquidator or another creditor of the company.

    Less than a day (online procedure) Up to GBP 150,000: 0%
    GBP 150,001 to GBP 250,000: 2%
    GBP 250,001+: 5%
    And GBP 13.
    6

    The transfer and any legal charges are registered at the Land Registry

    Agency: Land Registry

    The buyer's solicitor drafts a Transfer Deed and sends it to the seller's solicitor for approval. Once approved, it is signed by the parties. The Transfer deed makes the transfer of the property to the buyer effective on completion.

    Parties register the transfer deed (and any legal charges) at the Land Registry by submitting the appropriate documents and paying the Land Registry's fees. A cheque made payable to "Land Registry" must accompany the application for registration to the correct office of the Land Registry (unless there was a prior authorized agreement with the Registry to pay by direct debit)
    On completion of the registration the Land Registry will send to the buyer's solicitor a title information document.

    The documentation shall include:
    - Completed Land Registry form AP1
    - Original and certified copy of transfer deed
    - Land transaction certificate
    - Original and certified copy mortgage if the buyer acquires the property with financing

    The law requires conveyancers, from 10 November 2008, when they submit an application to register the interest of their client in a property, to provide details of the conveyancers who acted for all other parties involved in the transaction. If any involved person (including a company) is not represented by a conveyancer, the person lodging the application must either confirm that they are satisfied that sufficient steps have been taken to verify the identity of the unrepresented person or otherwise lodge evidence of the unrepresented person's identity. If confirmation of identity is required for an application, but is not provided, the Land Registry will reject the application. Identification requirements extend to buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, borrowers and lenders.

    Land registry information available at www.landregistry.gov.uk.

    Less than a day (online), 7 days (paper-based) GBP 455

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 24.0
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 8.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Her Majesty's Land Registry
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Fully digital 2.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? Yes 1.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Fully digital 2.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? Yes 1.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Different databases but linked 1.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? Yes 1.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 5.0
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/land-registry
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fees-land-registry-guides
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? Yes 1.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? Yes 0.5
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015: 177,140
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 0.5
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fees-land-registry-guides
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? Yes 0.5
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 4.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? Yes 2.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 7.0
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? Yes 0.5
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Registrar; Lawyer.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Registrar; Lawyer.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? No 0.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? Land Registration division of the Property Chamber, First-tier Tribunal
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Less than a year 3.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? Yes 0.5
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015: 795
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) 0.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0