20 years of helping Nordic businesses succeed in the UK

Goodwille, a family owned business built on commitment to quality and service celebrates 20 years as one of the leading providers of professional business services. With a vision to make international business easier Swedish business woman Annika Goodwille founded the company in 1997 offering a unique solution – all the advice and services you need from one company with unparalleled crossborder experience.

When first launching Goodwille, companies setting up a business in the UK would turn to firms of lawyers, accountants and bankers for advice, no one kept it all together under one roof. Goodwille changed that, offering professional business services covering five key departments; Corporate Legal, Finance, People Management, Payroll and Virtual Offices. Goodwille take care of all the headaches associated with running a business, so you can focus purely on business development.

Experts in supporting companies within the four areas Retail, Tech, Medical and Manufacturing the team at Goodwille has so far helped 1800 companies startup and run successfully their businesses in the UK. From startups like iZettle and Readly to big brands like Lindex, Clas Ohlsson and Björn Borg. Today, 20 years after the founding of Goodwille, Annika’s oldest son Alexander Goodwille has taken over the business as the company’s CEO.

A company’s 20th anniversary is certainly a milestone worth celebrating. To celebrate this anniversary Goodwille are hosting two events, one in London on 14th September and in Stockholm 21st September. The Stockholm event will include a seminar for 50 of Stockholm’s hottest start-ups from leading professionals at SUP46, Northzone, Trustly and Deliberate PR.

“We are celebrating both our legacy and our future. To be in business for 20 years is extremely gratifying and humbling.” – Alexander Goodwille, CEO

“To all of our employees, customers and partners who have been part of our first 20 years a heartfelt thank you. We are looking forward to continuing our tradition of quality and excellence for the next 20 years and more.” – Alexander Goodwille, CEO

Lindex signs unique industry commitment for more sustainable cotton

Lindex is one of the first companies to sign-up to a sustainable cotton initiative led by The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit. The initiative is in line with Lindex goal that 100 per cent of the fashion company’s cotton will come from more sustainable sources by 2020, where Lindex has reached 91 per cent so far.

The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit’s cotton initiative is unique as it is the first industry commitment on sustainable cotton. Through the initiative, 13 major companies come together and commit to ensuring that 100 per cent of the cotton they use comes from more sustainable sources by 2025. By participating in the initiative, Lindex contributes to increasing demand and use of more sustainable cotton, which is essential in ensuring long term sustainability within the cotton sector as a whole.

“To achieve change on a big scale it is crucial that we work together in the industry. We are therefore proud to be part of this important global initiative. In a short amount of time we have made great progress with our cotton at Lindex, where 91 per cent comes from more sustainable sources today, and we look forward to continuing this important work”, says Ingvar Larsson, CEO at Lindex.

On May 24 Lindex participated, together with the 12 other companies, in a meeting attended by HRH The Prince of Wales for the initiative in London.

Goodwille sponsors Swedish Chamber event ‘Tech Outside the Box’

Mingling, handshakes, talks and deals – all there when Swedish Chamber patron Goodwille sponsored the annual Entrepreneurship Forum. Showcasing some of the hottest Swedish tech startups, the Tech Outside the Box event was THE event for entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, SMEs and anyone with an interest in the power of Scandinavian innovation in the UK.

Presentations by VC Northzone and Goodwille client Quinyx were followed by a tech exhibition showcasing the startups’ latest work and how they have carved out a unique niche for themselves in their respective industry by thinking outside the box.

“Goodwille focuses on helping innovative Swedish tech businesses who have a big global vision successfully tap into the UK market. When we heard about this event we just had to be part of it. With so much Swedish technology prominent in the UK already, it was great to see the next generation of Swedish tech at it’s early stage of growth.” said James Service, Marketing Executive.

To find out more about how Goodwille can help Swedish businesses successfully expand to the UK, contact marketing@goodwille.com

Goodwille Partner with Start-up Guide London

Professional service provider Goodwille share valuable information in the latest Startup Guide, London. Filled with case-studies, expert advice, insights, interviews and local tips, the Startup Guide is essential reading for anyone interested in starting up a business in London.

With the aim to inspire and empower entrepreneurs to be more successful at starting and growing businesses in the city the guide covers inspirational startups, accelerators, incubators, support programmes, co-working spaces, service providers, scene and important information on how to live and work as an entrepreneur in London.

With over 2,000 start-ups, 30 accelerators and 48,000 people employed in the digital economy, London is the beating heart of the European startup scene. Goodwille, offering back office solutions, has vast experiences in helping companies launch in the UK. Goodwille have supported close to two thousand international companies startup their business in the UK since 1997, making sure they are properly administered, managed and monitored. In the Startup Guide London Goodwille offers readers their best tips and tricks, a few Do’s and Don’ts and shares mistakes they often see companies slip up on.

“British business culture seems straightforward but there are a lot of nuances and red tape.” – Svend Littauer, COO, Goodwille.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has written the foreword to the guide, praising London’s fast-growing, diverse and international startup scene.

“I’m passionate about supporting digital technology and innovation, and I am committed to doing everything that I can to share the message that London is Open with the world’s brightest minds and best ideas. We will do everything possible to help our tech sector to flourish, and I hope to see many more great tech companies and entrepreneurs coming to London to start and grow their businesses.”

The Startup Guide London is the seventh city guide produced by self-publishing company Startup Everywhere. Other cites been covered is Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Lisbon, for example.

To get the Startup Guide London – Click here.

Goodwille extends network partner agreement with Norwegian UT Project

After a successful collaboration with the UT Project over the last year, Goodwille and the UT Project have decided to continue their partnership.

Since 2005 the UT Project has worked closely with corporate clients to ensure growth and international expansion. As a result, UT Companies have experienced significant growth in sales. Goodwille entered the partnership with the UT Project in 2015 and has helped companies that are seeking to enter the UK market. One example is Strategy Execution and Strategic Corporate Performance Management Software provider Corporater.

“The network partner agreement allows access to Goodwille’s support services to those with commercial interest in the UK.” – Vegard Strand and Willy G. Hernes, founders, UT Project.

With more than a decade of experience, the UT project is dedicated to increasing revenue, customer base, network and supporting member companies with their international expansion. Collectively, they are one of Mid-Norway’s largest network of technology companies and collaboratively with their partners organise conferences, seminars and other networking conventions. Amongst these is the annual UT London Conference that takes place in April.

The latest network agreement sees Goodwille offer a one-stop shop of outsourced business services to those looking to establish themselves in the UK.

“As a Network Partner, the UT Project has introduced us to relevant member companies out of which a number we will help to support in the future. The UT companies can focus on building their brand in a new environment whilst Goodwille takes the strain out of the core back-office work, enabling them to focus on their strategy entering the UK market.” – Anni Glesaaen, Goodwille.

To date, the UT Project has assisted over 65 companies expand outside of Norway, identifying opportunities and potential in new international markets. For more information on UT Project: http://www.utprosjektet.no/wp/homepage-english

EU Workers can remain in a post-Brexit UK

Brexit minister David Davis has taken steps to reassure EU workers already living in the country that they will still be welcome in a post-Brexit UK. (http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/05/eu-citizens-working-in-the-uk-can-stay-after-brexit.html)

Davis told lawmakers that EU employees would be able to remain in Britain as long as other countries provided the same conditions to British expats.

The minister, speaking to the House of Commons, said: “The prime minister is determined to protect the status of EU workers already here.”

Davis, who was appointed Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union in July, continued by saying: “Brexit isn’t about making the best of a bad job. It is about seizing the huge and exciting opportunities that will flow from a new place for Britain in the world. There will be new freedoms, new opportunities, new horizons for our country.”

This was Davis’ first statement to the Commons on how the UK will logistically handle Brexit, and the news will come as welcome reassurance to many – as according to a recent survey from the British Chambers, 41% of UK companies say EU employees living and working in Britain have expressed some concern over the status of their residency.

This follows a weekend of protests where thousands marched in London, and there were calls for the government to temporarily put the brakes on the formal process that will result in leaving the EU. However, pro-Brexit demonstrators were also in full force with a counter-protest against the possible delay.

On Monday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May threw another potential spanner in the works by stating Britain would not be adopting the points-based immigration system previously advocated by many campaigning for Brexit. The system was similar to Canada’s Federal Skilled Workers programme, which awards points to potential skilled workers based on education, skills, age and other factors.

As Brexit speculation continues, everyone is set to look towards the House of Lords tomorrow, where evidence will be reviewed on the potential impact Brexit will have on the financial services industry – which will greatly affect the state of the British economy as a whole.

Brexit and Germany – two months on

Before the historic vote to leave the European Union, the noises coming from the German government about smooth, continued British access to the Single Market weren’t encouraging.

Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, ruled out a Swiss or Norwegian style model of access for the UK. “That wouldn’t work… It would require the country to abide by the rules of a club from which it currently wants to withdraw… In is in. Out is out”, he told Der Spiegel two weeks before the referendum.

Two months after the vote, has the landscape changed for German companies wishing to sell and/or expand into the UK?

A few weeks after the British people made their decision, both governments were making positive statements in public and in private. Even in these very early days, there’s a lot of comfort that German companies can take from these discussions if they have been planning expansion into the UK.

Speaking on 16th August, Michael Roth, the German minister of state, said that the UK could achieve a “special status” as long as it started negotiations on withdrawal at the beginning of 2017.

Germany has its own general election next year. How Brexit is handled is an important issue for many Germans as many of their companies rely on the British export market for turnover and profit.

On 25th August, the IFO Economic Institute’s monthly survey of 7,000 German companies recorded a fall to its lowest level since the Eurozone debt crisis in 2012. Klaus Wohlrabe, IFO economist, told Euronews that the “worst hit … companies … have a close trading relationship with the United Kingdom, like the chemicals industry and automobile sector.”

This pessimistic report came a week after Opel cut working hours at its German plants because of fears of falling UK export sales.

The odd outlying statement aside, most economists and analysts expect German politicians to do everything to ensure its companies have access to British markets and to signal that intention to voters and the markets.

From a British perspective, Theresa May, the new prime minister, wants to protect and support British financial services firms’ “passport” into the EU. Britain has appointed a team of three Brexit-supporting ministers to negotiate favourable trade deals with the EU and the rest of the world. Germany is an important trading and defence partner to the UK via its NATO membership.

Two months on, despite the change in Britain’s status with the EU, it seems that Britain and Germany will want business to continue on as usual.

Goodwille is a leading partner in helping overseas companies establish themselves in the United Kingdom. We help not only with the set-up but everything that you need to comply with governmental regulations – including legal, accounting, financial and outsourcing services. Please get in touch and ask about our experience in helping German companies find a foothold in the UK.

Brexit: why expanding your business into the UK might be a smart move

The knee-jerk reaction to the UK leaving the EU is to perhaps avoid doing business in Britain, however the smarter organisations are thinking ahead, being brave and setting up businesses in the UK – and it looks like they’re set to reap the rewards.

One major point to note is that the UK hasn’t left the EU yet. Once the government triggers Article 50, it still has a full two years to negotiate withdrawal. This gives a fantastic window of opportunity for businesses to set up and grow their market while the country is still in transition.

Here are some of the advantages of expanding to the UK right now:

Recruitment

Many companies, such as those in the tech scene, might benefit from more selective immigration requirements available to a post-Brexit UK. More work visas can be granted to experienced specialists from areas other than the EU, such as India and China.

Currency

A weaker pound will lower export costs from the UK. This could help EU-based companies lower their production costs and so be more competitive. The UK is also still right next door to Europe, so having cheap production close by also offers huge advantages.

Regulation

The UK is now free to establish its own regulations in sectors such as tax, finance and legal, tailored to its own needs. Agreements can be varied on a country by country basis, so a deal with Sweden may differ from a deal with Germany. This could increase competition which in turn provides great opportunity for growth.

Flexibility

A UK not tied to the European Union can react quickly to global events and market shifts. This could be very advantageous to smart, agile organisations with lofty ambitions.

Opportunity

The UK is also dealing with some internal questions over its own union. Should Scotland break away but remain in the EU, there will be a huge benefit to accessing the EU via Scotland, while simultaneously taking advantages of non-EU freedoms in England or Wales.

It really is worth considering setting up a business in the UK, even though there are so many unanswered questions. Fortune favours the brave so they say, and at Goodwille we can make it much easier by giving you expert legal and financial advice to help you focus on the business benefits of setting up in the UK.

How will Brexit affect EU expats living and working in the UK?

The recent Brexit result has sent shockwaves all over Europe, and under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the UK has two years to leave the EU. There has been particular concern among EU expats currently living and working in Britain, and those who intend to move to, work in and set up a business in the UK in future. Will EU expats have to move out of Britain? Will new restrictions be imposed for those moving to the UK? Although nothing concrete has been set in place as of yet, speculation has been rife.

Before the vote

Citizens of any state that is a member of the EU are presently free to live and work anywhere in the bloc. Before the vote, leave supporters maintained that EU citizens already lawfully residing in the UK would not be affected by the result; however, remain campaigners said that EU citizens would lose their ‘automatic right’ to work in the UK, and more restrictions are likely to be implemented that will make working in Britain more difficult [http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/what-does-brexit-mean-for-eu-citizens-in-britain-and-brits-in-europe]. This stark contrast in claims created a lot of confusion in the run up to the vote, and everyone is still unsure about what will happen next.

Expert expat predictions

Experts have predicted that workers will probably not be able to move as freely through Europe as is currently the case. Nevertheless, changes will happen gradually as a new system takes time to establish itself [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/will-brexit-mean-i-can-no-longer-work-in-britain/]. A new trading relationship will also need to be created with the EU.

Furthermore, it is thought that although EU citizens already residing in the UK are unlikely to be affected, there may be new administrative procedures put in place, such as visas or work permits, for those who don’t already live and work in Britain. An Australian or US-style points system may also be implemented.

The personal finances of EU expats living in Britain will also be affected. The fall in sterling and instability of the pound means that any money expats send to families living overseas will not be worth as much as it was [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36606847].

It remains to be seen how EU expats living, working and setting up business in the UK will be affected in light of the Brexit vote. If you are in the process of setting up a business in Britain, Goodwille can provide you with expert legal and financial advice to help you to navigate UK laws and customs. Contact us now for more information.

BREXIT – We’re here to help

After a heated political campaign, voters in the United Kingdom decided by a slim margin, on June 23, to exit the European Union, leading to a change in government. Now that a new prime minister has taken over, the next big question looms: How will the UK and EU negotiate their split?

New Prime Minister Theresa May said “Brexit means Brexit” – but what does that actually mean? Nobody will know exactly what it means until negotiations are completed in 2019, and even after that there will be surprises.

We know what people voted against, but it’s far from clear what they voted for. Solving Brexit conundrum will take time and, Brexit doesn’t even have to happen. There is a belief that the Article 50 exit clause will be triggered at some point over the next six months.This belief may be misplaced, as it is in the UK’s interest, from a negotiating perspective, to delay the triggering for as long as possible. Every day seems to bring about a new, seemingly unforeseen, angle to the decision. There will be short-term and long-term economic implications of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

Taavet Hinrikus, CEO and Co-founder of TransferWise, a London-based cross-border payments startup, said, “Nothing’s changed yet but everything’s changed. This is likely to affect regulation and the movement of talent: two massive issues for business.”

The concern over immigration from the EU to the UK was one of the major campaign issues of the ‘Leave’ camp in the Brexit referendum. Companies which employ citizens from other EU Member States will be concerned about any change to the freedom of movement of EU nationals.

Following Britain’s vote to leave the EU, one major area of focus has been the potential effect on trade. Negotiating such deals is a complicated, time-consuming business. Few countries will want to sign any deal with UK until they know the precise nature of our post-Brexit relationship with the EU. If the UK loses Single Market access, UK firms and EU firms won’t be able to passport financial services businesses, products and services in and out of London, which is likely to have a significant impact on London’s current position as a leading international financial centre.

The questions are many and the confusion widespread. At Goodwille we will be here to guide you as information is announced, as well as help answering any questions about what a potential Brexit could entail for companies and professionals. If you need to get in contact with us regarding this, please email us on marketing@goodwille.com or call +44 (0)20 7795 8100.