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Thousands of non-UK nationals are launching businesses in the UK to avoid red tape in their own countries, according to new research.

Start-up specialist Made Simple found that over 170,000 foreign entrepreneurs registered new businesses with Companies House in 2015, a 160% rise since 2010.

The figures support the UK's 'open for business' sentiment, which is promoted by some of the country's leading politicians and business leaders following the vote to leave the European Union.

The highest number of non-UK nationals to set up firms through Companies House came from Poland, with more than 14,000 registered by Polish people last year.

The second highest number came from the Republic of Ireland, with just under 12,500 and close behind China, with over 11,500.

The research found that many non-UK nationals choose to set up in the UK as they are hindered by red tape in their own countries, which can make the process last several months while becoming far more costly.

Last year, the UK was ranked the sixth easiest country in the world to start a business in, by the World Bank Group, while Poland came in at number 25 and China 84.

Howard Graham, CEO of Made Simple Group, said: "International entrepreneurs are choosing to set up in the UK, not only because of the extra prestige offered by registering here, but because the process is extremely straightforward and affordable to other countries.

"Registering with Companies House means that your business is locatable online, making it more transparent. The infrastructure and support available to firms registered in the UK is also far superior to what you get elsewhere in the world."