How to find the best employees

If you’re planning to set up a UK company, then hiring the right employees will be an essential part of your role. However, this can be a tricky process if you’re not experienced in doing it. Here’s our guide to some of the steps you can take to find ideal employees every single time.

Make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for

Almost every company will have hard skills in their head when they want to hire someone new. They’ll know which language they want their developers experienced in, or what sort of clients they’d like their account managers to be confident handling.

This is great, but it’s worth bearing in mind what ‘extra’ skills you’d like your ideal employee to have. Do you want your copywriters to be comfortable presenting to clients? Do you want your developers to be alright handling troubleshooting phone calls? What about travelling between offices?

It’s all very well getting the hard skills in place, but the soft skills can make more of a difference than you think, so know what you want from them, too.

Don’t be afraid to build relationships with candidates

Let’s say that you’ve hired one person over another, but in an ideal world you’d have liked both of them on your team. Well, make the effort to keep in touch with the candidates you’d like to hire in future. Even if it’s just having them on your LinkedIn, it makes a difference to keep your company in their minds.

If you do this, you’ll then be able to get hold of them easily and ask them to apply for a suitable role when one comes up. Don’t let the best candidates slip through your fingers.

Focus on what people have done, not what they say

Some candidates interview well but are mostly talk rather than performance. Always ask them to demonstrate specific situations where they’ve used the skills you’re looking for.

So, if they’ve claimed to be a problem solver, ask them to talk about problems they’ve solved. If they’ve said they’re pro-active, ask them to specifically demonstrate what they’ve done off their own back to improve themselves. The more specific the examples they can give, the better. If a candidate isn’t able to give specific examples, the chances are they’re less qualified than they say.

If you’re about to open a UK office and are looking to recruit people, contact us at Goodwille for HR advice and help. We help companies with everything related to employing people in the UK – from employment contracts, to pensions, employee benefits and questions and issues regarding employment law, and we can also assist in your recruitment process. Read more about the HR services we provide on our People Management service page.

Managing HR in the UK market

HR is an important concern for new start-up businesses and existing companies. How you manage your staff will have a significant impact on the success of your business, so it’s vital you get it right.

Although English employment law offers protection to both employers and employees, it can be complicated. Due to the complexity of the law, it’s always advisable to seek expert help when you’re hiring and managing staff.

Launching in the UK

With many companies eager to open a United Kingdom office, there is high demand for professional services. If you want to set up a UK company, there are lots to consider. While you may be operating successfully in an overseas territory, your existing framework may not be completely compatible with English employment law.

In addition to this, there are cultural and practical issues which may affect the way you do business. When transporting your company to the UK, it’s vital to recognise how these differences will affect your day-to-day operations.

By working with a network of international advisers, you can ensure that your business operations flourish across multiple jurisdictions. As well as helping you to meet your legal obligations under English law, people management specialists can assist you in a variety of other areas.

Outsourcing your HR

Depending on your company’s existing structure, you may require support from a full-scale HR department. Rather than attempting to hire numerous staff, why not outsource your needs to existing HR specialists?

As well as having an in-depth knowledge of English employment law, Goodwille HR specialists have a wealth of experience when it comes to moving business operations from one country to another. In addition to providing on-going HR support, you can gain access to independent advice regarding employee benefits.

If you’re expanding your business from overseas, you may be keen to offer secondments to existing staff once your UK office is up and running. If so, our people management advisers can ensure that the appropriate contracts are in place and that your employees are fully supported during their move.

Whether you need full HR support or people management advice, we can help. Read more about Goodwille’s HR and People Management, or contact us today to find out more about starting up in the UK.

Expanding into the UK – all you need to know when starting a business in the UK

The UK has been ranked the best location for international businesses looking to expand internationally. Starting a business in the UK as a foreigner can be challenging, but with right set of tools and knowledge, it’s a good place to go for when looking for overseas business opportunities. The global environment, ease of doing business and strong market potential are of interest for overseas companies.

When an international company sets up in the UK, there are a number of registration requirements, regulations and obligations that need to be taken into account. This article highlights the most important things to consider when expanding your business into the UK.

Legal structures for market entry

When setting up in the UK, there are several legal structures to choose from. Depending on your type of business, where you are based and whether you have people on board or not, you may choose amongst many options available. The most common ones are listed below.

  • Limited liability company
  • Branch office
  • Limited liability partnership
  • Sole trader
  • Partnership

Limited liability companies (LTD) are the most common form of business entity in the UK. An LTD is a separate legal entity, owned by shareholders and managed by directors. The profits of a limited company are liable for corporation tax and they are distinct from any tax on the income of the persons who own or run the company. Setting up an LTD company in the UK is a well-recognised structure that is quick and cost-effective to complete. However, a UK law places a number of legal obligations and reporting requirements, which can be time-consuming and complicated.

Another usual method for foreign company is to establish a branch office. As opposed to an LTD, a branch office is not a legal entity from the head office company. However, setting up a UK branch requires Companies House registration and registration with HMRC for direct tax, VAT (Value Added Tax), PAYE (Pay-As-You-Earn) / NIC (National Insurance Contributions) as appropriate. Full responsibility for the operations, debts and liabilities of the UK branch lie on the overseas parent company.

Limited liability partnerships (LLPs) are increasingly used as a tax efficient vehicle for international companies setting up in the UK. An LLP can be formed by two or more people and need to be a lawful, commercial venture that is operating for profit. An LLP is flexible solution particularly when distributing capital and profits, and correctly structured won’t be subject to UK tax. However, a public disclosure is required and the profit can’t be retained in the same way as in LTDs.

Sole trader business is most commonly used when setting up a small business in the UK. It’s the simplest way for a person to trade alone as a self-employed individual without forming a company. Sole trader is easy to set-up and doesn’t require filing information publicly. However, the individual is personally liable for any debts the business might have.

In a partnership, you and your partner(s) personally share responsibility for the business.  Partners share the business’ profits and each partner pays tax on their share. A partner can be any ‘legal person’, such as a Limited Company. Partnerships are generally easy to form, manage and run, and partners are able to share the liabilities of the business. However, the financial risk might be high (even if the responsibility is shared) and disagreements between partners are possible. Also, partners must pay tax in the same way as sole traders by submitting a Self Assessment tax return each year.

Get in touch with Goodwille’s Legal Department to get more information on the most suitable legal structure for your business.

Set-up and registration

A newly incorporated company can be typically registered with the Companies House in 48 hours once all documents are completed. A UK company must register for corporation tax with HMRC, within three months of starting to trade. The paperwork for registration is not too extensive, however, certain statutory documents are required.

Bank account

In order to make any transactions, you’ll need to open a UK bank account for your business. Opening a bank account is a time-consuming process as banks need to go through complicated money laundering requirements to ensure your company is credible for a corporate bank account. Therefore, prepare to have time and patience for this stage, it can easily take up to three months or more to complete.

Check if your bank in the company’s home country has any operations in the UK. In some cases, this might speed up the process, as it may prove some creditworthiness for the business.

If the bank account opening process proves to be longer than excepted, Goodwille can provide a client account which can be used temporarily to make transactions while you wait for your bank account to be opened. Get in touch with our Finance Department to get more information.

Regulations

Starting a business in the UK as a foreigner is a journey full of new opportunities as well as responsibilities. The regulatory system in the UK is very open and transparent, making it easy to do business. In general, the UK aims to minimise bureaucracy and deregulate marketplaces in order to allow companies to develop and expand. However, there are very strict regulations in place that a company needs to be aware of (e.g. with regards to employment, industrial emissions, pollution monitoring and control, and waste disposal). Make sure you are aware of the regulations that directly or indirectly affect your business!

All businesses operating in the UK are subject to the UK law, and every company registered in the UK must have a registered address in the UK. For limited companies, financial transparency is required and annual audited reports must be submitted to the Registry of Britain (Companies House).

In order to keep the business legally running, a UK company must file annual financial statements with Companies House within nine months of the end of an accounting period. Also, an Annual Return must be filed with Companies House every 12 months (within 28 days of the anniversary of incorporation).

To get all the details in order and prepare for the regulatory areas, you should look for specialist advice. Contact Goodwille’s Corporate Legal Department today if you have any questions regarding regulations or your business’ obligations in the UK.

Tax

Foreign businesses looking at overseas business opportunities in the UK will find a competitive and business-friendly tax regime. Companies need to consider their exposure to UK taxation, including corporate income tax, value-added tax (VAT) and employment taxes. Companies that are incorporated in the UK, or foreign companies with central management and control in the UK, are subject to a tax prevailing rates on their worldwide income including ordinary income and capital gains.

Companies may become subject to UK taxation in a number of ways, such as

  • Establishing a formal taxable presence in the UK (via a subsidiary company or permanent establishment).
  • Registering a company for VAT in the UK. Companies must be registered for VAT if their taxable turnover for any 12 months period is £85,000 or over. The current standard VAT rate in the UK is 20%, which is the rate used by most of the businesses.
  • Suffering UK withholding tax at 20% on interest or a royalty income received from a UK resident company.

It’s important to remember that a foreign business operating in the UK doesn’t necessarily create a taxable presence in the UK. In order to be subject to the UK corporation income taxation, an overseas business needs to be trading in the UK through a permanent establishment.

Employment

When employing people in the UK, you need to be aware of several regulations within UK employment law. To start with, make sure your employees have the right to work in the UK (that they hold a valid UK/EU passport or work permit/visa) and see if they have a NIN (National Insurance Number) for the deduction of taxes. Also, remember to follow the guidelines for UK employment contracts and provide these within 8 weeks of starting the employment.

In addition, you need to register you employees into PAYE (Pay-As-You-Earn: social costs of employment including income tax and National Insurance that you as employer needs to pay to HMRC), and organise with company insurances as appropriate. Every employer in the UK must also enrol their employees into the workplace’s pension scheme within three months after the start of the employment.

In terms of the compensation, you must ensure the employees are paid at least according to the National Minimum Wage in the UK. As the recruitment market in the UK is highly competitive, also make sure your remuneration package is attractive enough and fits into the scope of the role.

If you are recruiting in the UK, you may want to turn to specialists who can help you with all the employer regulations and responsibilities you need to consider in the UK. Goodwille’s Human Resource Department deals with these issues daily and are happy to help if you have any questions along your recruitment process. When you are a small business setting up in the UK and not having the same resources than your larger competitors, you may want to invest in professional advice to make the people management processes more effective.

To conclude

UK’s highly potential market provides great opportunities for growing your business, however starting up a business in the UK is a challenging process full of regulations and liabilities. In order to get the set-up processes and ongoing compliance right, it’s good to turn to professionals who are able to provide you with advice  and all the necessary help you need to get your business operations up and running according to UK regulations.

If you are a foreign-owned business looking to expand into the UK, Goodwille can help you to get the inside track. We have been helping Nordic businesses to expand in the UK for 20 years, and are experienced in legal, finance, HR and payroll services in the UK. With a track record of supporting almost 2,000 businesses in the UK, we have extensive experience to help you grow your business. Get in touch with us today, if you are planning to expand to the UK or have any questions regarding the UK market.


Useful contacts for your business

When expanding your business to the UK, there are many organisations you may find useful.

Networking-wise, it’s good to get know your local chamber of commerce and see if their network is worth accessing. For example, Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce and Swedish Chamber of Commerce provide good opportunities for professional networking.

Also, when developing your strategy for the new market, Department of International Trade (DIT) provides free advisory and supports companies with their UK strategy and planning.

4 important steps for setting up a business in the UK

The UK is an exciting location for foreign businesses looking to expand internationally, as it is full of opportunities and business potential. It is however important to be aware of the many rules, obligations and regulations that come with setting up a business in a new marketplace. This article will provide you with an overview of four things to consider when setting up a new business in the UK.

Step 1 – Type of trading entity
One of the first things you must decide when starting a business in the UK is which legal business structure to choose. Below are the main routes into the UK market, and depending on the type of business and your intentions for UK market, different setups will be suitable. In finding the best route to market for your business, it is a good idea to look at the legal differences between the structures as well as any tax or other implications. You may wish to seek specialist advice on the differences between these types of entities, the up and down sides of them, and which entity that suits your business and you intentions of the UK market.

  • Limited company (private or public)
  • Branch office
  • Partnership
  • Sole trader
  • Distributor or agent

You can register your company online, but it is important to make sure you get all the bits and pieces right, and that you are aware of any reporting and filing requirements for the business. If you are unfamiliar with UK business, Companies House and statutory filings, we strongly recommend you seek professional advice and help. Goodwille’s Corporate Legal Department deal with these issues daily, and can advice and support you when setting up the business.

Step 2 – Bank account

In order to make any transactions, you will need to open a UK bank account for your business. Opening a bank account is a lengthy process as banks are required to go through long money laundering requirements to open a corporate bank account, so ensure that you allow time and patience for this. If you have a bank account for your business in your home country, check with your bank to see if they have operations in the UK which in some cases can speed up the process, as it proves some degree of creditworthiness for the business.

If the bank account opening process proves to be longer than anticipated and you need to urgently make transactions, Goodwille can provide a client account that you can temporarily use for transactions while you wait for your account to be opened. Get in touch with our Finance Department for more information.

Step 3 – VAT or not
You may also look to register your company for value-added tax, VAT in the UK. Companies must be registered for VAT if their taxable turnover for any 12 months period is £85,000 or over. The £85,000 threshold has been agreed to remain for at least two years from 1 April 2018.

The current standard VAT rate in the UK is 20%, which is the rate most businesses will charge. Some goods and services are reduced to a 5% rate and some are exempt from VAT so make sure you know which rates that applies to your business!

Step 4 – Employment
Now that the company, bank account and VAT is sorted, you need to employ people to get the money rolling and the business moving forward. When employing people in the UK for the first time, there are several things you need to bear in mind – whether you are bringing employees from your foreign company or employing in the UK.

  • One basic thing that people may take for granted but that shouldn’t be neglected is that you need to make sure that people you employ are eligible to work in the UK. Make sure they have a UK or EU passport, or that they have a work permit/visa!
  • All workers are covered by the law of the jurisdiction in which they work, meaning that your UK employees will be subject to UK employment law. This means it’s important to make sure that your employment contracts are based on and compliant with UK employment law. The contracts should cover and set out the employee’s duties, responsibilities, rights and employment conditions.
  • You need to register your employees for PAYE (Pay-As-You-Earn, social costs of employment including income tax and National Insurance that you as an employer needs to pay to HMRC) and organise with necessary company insurances.
  • Make sure you offer your employees a pay that is at least National Minimum Wage, and that you offer sufficient benefits to their responsibilities and scope of work. There are benchmarks for salary levels and benefits depending on industry, experience etc. that can be good to use as guidelines to make sure your remuneration package is attractive and reasonable and that you don’t offer “too much” or “too little”.
  • There is a requirement to enrol your employees on a workplace pension scheme. This is called auto-enrolment and as an employer, you must automatically enrol all your employees on a pension scheme three (3) months after the start of their employment. Employees must actively opt-out of the pension scheme if they don’t wish to receive a workplace pension.

We offer HR and People Management support, and can help you sort everything employee-related – from employment contracts to benefits, pension and payroll. Get in touch with our People Management Department if you have any questions.

In summary

All these things might seem straight forward when outlined here, but the truth is – it’s not always as easy as it seems. There are rules, laws and regulations you need to be aware of and make sure you follow to avoid a hefty fine, or even worse – being taken to court.

Goodwille have 20 years of experience helping foreign businesses in the UK, and can support you with everything you need to get your business started. With a track record of helping nearly 2,000 businesses in the UK, we have all the experience and resources you need to succeed with your expansion.

Get in touch with us today if you have any questions about doing business in the UK or if you want more information on the support we can provide to your business.

Hiring UK Employees: What is considered a disability in equality legislation?

If you are thinking of entering the UK market, it is likely you will have some questions about hiring employees in the UK. All employees in the UK are protected by the Equality Act 2010. The act protects those with a disability from suffering detrimental treatment in the recruitment process, and in the course of their employment, as a result of their disability. However, not all disabilities are obvious and so it is important for employers to understand what amounts to a disability under the law, to ensure you are compliant with your obligations under the Equality Act 2010. This post looks at some of the things you might not be aware of in relation to employees with a disability.

What amounts to a disability under the law? 

Under the Equality Act, a disability is described as being a mental or physical impairment which has a “substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”. Employers do not need to establish what the cause of the impairment is, or even categorise the impairment as physical or mental. Many disabilities cause both physical and mental impairment. Similarly, disabilities do not need to be apparent for the applicant or employee to qualify for protection under the Equality Act.

However, a disability must be long-term to qualify the candidate for such protection. Long-term is defined as lasting for one year or more, and likely to last the rest of the person’s life, or to reoccur. A disability does not have to be continually present to qualify, and may change in severity periodically.

There are exceptions for certain people on having to show a substantial and long-term effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. This applies specifically to those who have cancer, HIV, or multiple sclerosis. The Equality Act details that a person with any of these conditions is considered to have a disability from the day they are diagnosed. Furthermore, where a consultant ophthalmologist has certified a person as blind, severely sight-impaired, or partially sighted, the Equality Act defines that person as being disabled.

As you can see, discrimination and equality law can be complex, so it is always best to seek advice and assistance on matters that affect you. At Goodwille, we have several specialists with extensive HR experience who can advice you on equality legislation and any other issues or questions you may have regarding employees in the UK. Get in touch with us today for more information.

Does discrimination employment law apply to recruitment in the UK?

If you are considering setting up a UK company, you might have some questions about UK law and recruitment. Whilst you might have some grasp of your legal obligations after you have taken on employees, it can be difficult to navigate what is required before the employment relationship is established. This post looks at some things recruiters should consider when setting up a UK company.

What is considered discrimination in recruitment? 

If you set up a company in the UK, your business has a responsibility to make sure that no unlawful discrimination takes place during the recruitment process. Unlawful discrimination means negative treatment of a candidate on the grounds of disability, age, gender reassignment, maternity and/or pregnancy, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief and sex or sexual orientation.

Can I refuse to give an interview on the grounds of a protected characteristic? 

No. Although the candidate may have simply given a CV or contacted you about the job, it is unlawful not to consider them for the job simply on the grounds of one of the protected characteristics listed above. You may, of course, refuse candidates with a protected characteristics if they are not suitable for the job, for example, if they do not have the qualifications or skills required.

Can I ask questions about a protected characteristic in an interview? 

Generally, you may not ask about protected characteristics in an interview. For example, you may not ask whether a candidate is married, has children or whether they plan to have children. You may, however, ask about a health condition or disability where there are job requirements that cannot be met by the candidate unless you make reasonable adjustment to the workplace or working practices, you are taking positive steps to recruit someone with a disability, or where you need to find out if the candidate needs assistance to attend another stage of the selection process.

What can I do if I am unsure? 

Goodwille has assisted hundreds of companies all over the world in understanding the law and recruitment practices of the countries we operate in. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

We’re recruiting – HR Advisor

THIS VACANCY IS NOW FILLED. CHECK OUT OUR CURRENT VACANCIES HERE.

Goodwille is a forward-thinking, ambitious company dedicated to providing foreign businesses with the kind of professional services required to establish themselves and flourish in the UK. These include Corporate Legal, Finance, People Management, Payroll & Virtual Offices.

We are looking for a HR Advisor to provide our extensive international client base with a full spectrum of high quality and compliant UK employment law. Within your role you will be responsible for:

  • Delivering HR advice to clients directly and through colleagues
  • Acting as the HR advisor to some of Europe’s most exciting start-ups
  • Drafting & reviewing HR documentation and agreements
  • Covering HR issues including employee relations, organisation design, policies, procedures, implementation of contracts, benefits, benchmarking, recruitment & training solutions.
  • Ensuring quality standards & SLA’s are met
  • Supporting departments with adhoc requests

The applicant should be experienced working as part of a HR department, either as part of an inhouse team or outsourced advisor. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of, and involved in developing and expanding the offering of Goodwilles newest department.

Reporting to the HR Manager you will be expected to confidently provide HR advice independently, whilst covering for the HR Manager as required. Although an international language is not mandatory, being able to speak a Nordic language would be beneficial. In joining us, you will become part of a close-knit and growing HR team, and part of a modern, forward-thinking and inclusive organisation, capable of offering a stimulating environment for you to work in.

This is your chance to join #teamgoodwille – check us out on Instagram. When you join Goodwille you get access to a whole range of employee benefits, all designed to ensure an enjoyable work/life balance. Some benefits for all employees include:

  • Office fruit every week
  • Employee perks, rewards & benefits including discounts on supermarkets (Sainsburys, Tesco etc) high street stores (Topshop, John Lewis etc) & gyms.
  • Complimentary phone insurance, as we know how important it is to stay connected
  • Access to the well-being & lifestyle platform, including eating advice, exercise routines and yoga videos
  • Generous social budget, for team lunches, parties or for you to hang out with colleagues.
  • Yoga (London only by colleague)

Job type: Permanent, full time
Location: Kensington, West London
Salary: Depending on experience/skill set

If you like the sound of this vacancy and all the features and benefits you get by being part of a team like Goodwille, then please contact jacqui.brown@goodwille.com
www.goodwille.com

Meet Jacqui Brown

Jacqui Brown is a Senior HR Advisor here at Goodwille, who is working on supporting and growing our HR department. For the past six years
Goodwille have provided in-house specialist HR advice and support services to UK businesses, and foreign businesses looking to expand into the UK. Jacqui previously worked in the HR department of a large Financial Services & International Management consultancy – we thought it would be good for you to know her better.

Jacqui spared us 60 seconds, so we could find out what’s hot and what’s not, whilst getting some interview advice from a sector specialist:

1) Any advice from a previous boss that sticks with you?
Never walk out of a door that you know you can’t walk back through again.

2) What did you want to be when you grew up?
Hmm, when I was very young (pre discovering I had two left feet), I wanted to be a dancer. I had a good imagination!

3) Tell us a fact about you!
I played the role of Oliver in a school play – the part of a little boy when I was 17……

4) Something someone said in an interview that’s made you cringe?
Nothing in particular that stands out, aside from whenever the terms ‘reaching out’ are used…that is always cringe worthy. I find it more irritating when someone has not done their research, they give a blanket statement that they think the company looks really ‘good’ or ‘interesting’, yet cannot tell you anything about what they know when asked. It is uncomfortable for both the interviewer and interviewee when the applicant cannot think of an answer to a question. Also ranting about a previous company and how horrific it is can also be a little uncomfortable!

5) Your favourite all time film?
It very much depends on my mood….tricky one! I’ll say my favourite film today is Amelie.

6) Something that you hate
Butter and margarine (and parsnips)!

7) What is an absolute not to do in an interview?
• Don’t fail to prepare! Know about the Company – LinkedIn, Company websites etc are great sources of information, think about how your experience links.
• Don’t dress inappropriately, dress in relation to the Industry of the Company you are meeting
• Don’t stress too much, this can lead to poor communication skills (both failure to speak and on the flipside, over communicating (rambling))! Try to enjoy the meeting, remember you want to make a positive impression on the person you are meeting.
• Don’t answer your phone/handle your phone during the interview. Pop it safely in your bag or pocket (on silent)!
• Don’t bad mouth your past colleagues/Company
• Don’t omit to listen to the question – make sure you are answering the correct question!

8) Finally, Rock or Pop?
Rock


The HR department at Goodwille can act as a fully outsourced HR function, making sure you are up-to-date with best practice HR. Our knowledge and experience, particularly in helping overseas companies understand the complications of UK employment law, has been crucial to businesses setting up here. Our services include:

• Drawing up contracts of employment / appraisals / reviews
• Reference checking / training
• Salary benchmarking and benefits advice
• Payroll and expenses administration
• Legislation in multiple jurisdictions
• UK secondment agreements and applications
• UK PAYE and National Insurance compliance
• Pensions and benefits schemes
• Administration of corporate and personal taxation
• Liaising with tax authorities / Annual declarations
• Car leasing, mobile phone contracts and any other support you need

Please contact us to talk about any current arrangements which you have in place which will be affected – Anni or Jacqui in our HR Team: hr.support@goodwille.com