• Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  1. Osome Blog UK
  2. What’s the Cost of Living for a Foreign Business Owner in the UK?

What’s the Cost of Living for a Foreign Business Owner in the UK?

The UK is an attractive place to settle given its fairly high standards of living, state healthcare system, and reasonably strong economy. However, if you’re a foreign business owner considering moving to the UK to set up a company there, then there’s another major factor that you must first consider: the cost of living.

In this blog, we’ll cover the UK’s overall cost of living, examine how this compares to other nations, briefly delve into regional differences, and explore whether the cost of living is set to rise (or fall) in the near future.

The Cost Of Living In The UK

It’s pretty hard to determine a single ‘cost of living’ for the UK. Someone living in London will require far more disposable income than somebody who has decided to settle in rural Scotland, for example.

However, according to Expatisan, the average cost of living throughout the UK is as follows:

  • Single person (estimated monthly costs): £1,945
  • Family of four (estimated monthly costs): £3,482

How UK’s Cost Of Living Compares To Other Nations

The figures we listed above mean little unless we compare them to other nations around the world. This makes for fairly grim reading — the UK is more expensive than 61% of countries in Western Europe and 80% of countries globally.


It’s worth noting, however, that estimates vary on an ongoing basis. Some stats suggest that the UK is the 14th most expensive country globally, while others put it in 32nd position. While this is obviously still not great, it’s a lot better than 14th.

By means of comparison, recent figures suggest that the UK is in fact cheaper than the U.S. The impact that the UK’s cost of living will have on your pockets is all determined by where you’re coming from. If you’re coming from somewhere like Switzerland, it will seem comparatively inexpensive. But if you’re coming from Pakistan, on the other hand, then you might be in for a nasty shock.

Regional Differences

And now we get on to the elephant in the room: regional differences. If you ask someone in the UK about the cost of living, they’ll probably respond blankly with “Where?”.

London — the capital city — is by far and away the most expensive city in the UK. For instance, rent prices in London are a massive 98% higher when compared to Edinburgh (Scotland’s capital city, and the second most expensive place to live in the UK).

In fact, London is reportedly 66% more expensive than Madrid, 58% more expensive than Brussels, and 21% more expensive than Paris. On the flip side, it’s 4% cheaper than New York.

But aside from London and Edinburgh, where else could you settle in the UK — and how much would daily life set you back?

If you’re looking for a buzzy, cosmopolitan city with a cheaper living cost then Manchester and Glasgow are great bets. Alternatively, Liverpool, Sheffield, Birmingham and Cardiff are also very vibrant cities that won’t cost you a pretty penny.

How Will The Cost Of Living As A Foreign Business Owner In The Uk Change?

Of course, you might not be ready to move just yet but you’re still keen on finding out more about the UK’s cost of living. It’s been suggested that the UK’s Consumer Price Index will experience inflation of 1.5% in 2021, 1.8% in 2022, and 1.9% in 2023.

So what does that mean for you?

Well, if we take the above monthly living costs (£1,945 for a single person and £3,482 for a family of four) then these figures will increase to:

2021 2022 2023
Single Person (per month) £1,974.18 £2,009.72 £2,011.69
Family of four (per month £3,534.23 £3,587.24 £3,651.81

So the cost of living increase in the UK won’t be too drastic in the next few years, but life will indeed slowly become more and more expensive.

The Key? Where You’re Coming From

It’s clear that the UK definitely isn’t the cheapest country in the world — though it’s also not the most expensive. This means that while some foreign business owners might actually see the UK as a fairly inexpensive place to move to, the vast majority will see their cost of living rise when moving to the UK.

However, the cost of living is just one factor when deciding where to move. The UK’s political freedoms, strong social services, multicultural nature, and high standards of living mark it out as one of the world’s best places to live.


If you’re a foreign business owner who wants to find out more about how far their money could go in the UK, get in touch and have a chat with one of our expert accountants

Share this post:

Tips to run your business smarter.
Delivered to you monthly.

You'll receive a verification email you'll have to open and confirm the subscription.

You might like it

Running My Business

How the Increase In National Insurance Contribution Rates Will Impact Your Business

After making it through the pandemic, how will the new Health and Social Care Levy (HSCL) affect your bottom line? Many small businesses will feel overwhelmed. But you can take control by understanding the immediate changes and preparing for the future consequences for your business.


The Ultimate Website Design Guide for E-commerce

If you’re looking to improve your e-commerce page and improve sales, you might want to learn the fundamentals of how to design a good website.

Entrepreneur's Bootcamp

Invoice Best Practice for SMBs in the UK

In this article we’ll unpack some best practice tips to help you improve your invoicing and streamline your biz to take the pressure off your cash flow. Take a look.


A Guide for EU Companies Expanding to the UK: What You Need To Know

Things might have changed after the transitional period, but that doesn’t mean expanding to the UK is not possible. In this guide, we will show you some of the things you need to know when you are planning to expand your business to the UK

Running My Business

Should I Close My Company or Make It Dormant?

Choosing between closing your company for good and making it dormant is a huge decision to make. Before taking that step, get to know what the consequences are for each decision. We’re here to help.


Shopify Plans And Prices Analysis: Which Is The Best?

When you start an online business, you will definitely require a platform like Shopify for you to perform basic business operations. This article helps you to see which Shopify plan is best for the stage of the business you’re at.

Entrepreneur's Bootcamp

Tips To Maintain a Compliance Calendar

The repercussions of missing crucial deadlines extend beyond non-compliance and can even include hefty fines, lost revenues and opportunities, as well as decreased productivity.


How Amazon Sellers Can Better Manage Inventory To Improve Sales & Cashflow

Brand owners and sellers of all scales struggle to seek a well-balanced supply chain. Additionally, Amazon has its own inventory management rules, which makes everything even tougher.


10 Best Hosting Providers for E-commerce in 2021

If you are looking to sell online, the right e-commerce hosting provider can make all the difference. However, with a variety of options out there, choosing the best provider can be confusing.


What an Invoice for E-commerce Businesses Needs To Have

For business owners who own and run an online store, you probably already know that invoices must be sent to your customers for the services you provide or the goods you sell, as a form of purchase proof.


How New Company Owners Should Prepare Financial Statements

After you register your company, you may want to start thinking about your company’s finances such as monthly income, expenses and taxes because UK company owners need to submit their company’s annual accounts to Companies House.


What Are the KYC or Know Your Customer Checks In the UK When Opening a Company?

KYC checks are needed for the authorities to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. You might unwittingly partner up with clients who are using their business relationship with your company to launder money or facilitate other nefarious projects.

Tips to run your business smarter. Delivered to you monthly.

You'll receive a verification email you'll have to open and confirm the subscription.

We’re using cookies! What does it mean?