Why startups are flocking to Oslo

Oslo is fast becoming the place to be for tech startups, rivalling the more traditional Silicon Valley area as somewhere to make money and develop new products.

Once a city known for its maritime industry and rich oil reserves, Oslo is keeping up with the digital world by pushing innovation in cutting-edge tech. Indeed, according to last year’s State of the City report for Oslo, Norway’s capital saw an impressive 160% rise in startup investments in 2017, representing the largest rise in Scandinavia bar Sweden.

A move away from oil to eco-friendly tech

Oslo’s focused efforts on tech have in part been prompted by competition in the oil market. Low oil prices in Venezuela and the Middle East have had a significant effect on the sale of Norway’s primary export. In an effort to retain the country’s spot as the eighth wealthiest country in the world and to assuage the effects of climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels, Norwegian leaders are turning to green tech.

This fits in with Norway’s recent commitment to sustainability. Currently, it is one of the only countries in the world to have introduced a carbon emissions tax, with the government offering a subsidy of 25% for fuel-efficient vehicles. In this way, Oslo is the perfect place for startups looking to make money while retaining their green credentials and helping to fight the ever-encroaching problem of climate change.

Socially-minded – the next big thing in the startup world

The question of how a startup will benefit society in general – as well as the customers it directly serves – is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for entrepreneurs everywhere. According to the State of City report, around 15% of tech investments in Norway in 2016 were tailored towards sustainability, demonstrating the attractiveness of green credentials to socially-minded investors.

A move away from Silicon Valley

Whether deciding to opt for Oslo or not, it is generally becoming accepted that Silicon Valley is no longer the mecca that it once was for tech entrepreneurs. Since 2014, the number of so-called ‘unicorns’ (startups valued at over $1bn) in the area has declined by almost 50%, with more popping up in Asia and Europe, particularly Nordic countries.

If you are looking at expanding your startup beyond your home market, you should talk to Goodwille. We have spent the past 20 years helping overseas businesses expand to the UK and have a large network of partners that can support international expansion to the UK and elsewhere in the world. Get in touch with us today for more information about how we can help your startup succeed in international markets.

Nordic Startup Awards announces Goodwille as a strategic UK partner

Press release 3 October 2018.

Clever Nordic businesses have spent the past five years battling it out to be crowned the Nordic Startup Awards, Startup of the Year. The Nordic Startup Awards maps, connects, promotes and celebrates the Nordic startup ecosystem, across all five countries, internally in the region as well as to the rest of the world.

NSAwards are excited to announce Goodwille as their strategic UK based Nordic Partner. Goodwille, whose roots are firmly tied to the Nordic countries have helped hundreds of tech businesses, including regional & national finalists of the Nordic Startup Awards, enter the UK market.

Kim Balle, Co-Founder & CEO of the Nordic Startup Awards says “It’s exciting to have Goodwille onboard as a Nordic Partner. Goodwille have an unrivalled track record of helping Nordic businesses with their expansion to the UK, and their experience will prove invaluable to our entrants and finalists”.

Nordic businesses often look to the UK when expanding outside of the region for the first time, and Goodwille have shared their vast experiences at London Tech Week, Oslo Innovation Week & later this year, SLUSH.

James Service, Marketing Manager of Goodwille says “We’ve been working closely with the Nordic startup scene for over two decades. This partnerships with the Nordic Startup Awards cements our position as the market leader in helping businesses from the Nordic region with their expansion to the UK.”

Over 2,500 companies were nominated for the Nordic Startup Awards in 2018, and the regional finalists received tens of thousands of nominations from across the Nordic countries.

With the five regional finals drawing to a close, the regional winners will battle it out at The Grand Finale in Copenhagen on the 30th October to win one of thirteen awards, including Founder of the Year, Best Accelerator or Incubator & Startup of the Year.

Press Contacts

Kim Balle, Co-Founder & CEO, Nordic Startup Awards
kim@globalstartupawards.com

James Service, Marketing Manager, Goodwille
james.service@goodwille.com

Oslo Innovation Week 2018

Oslo Innovation Week is getting closer and so is our event The world is ready for Norwegian tech (but are you ready fore the world?)! Join us at Oslo House of Innovation on 25 September for all the tips and advice you need to take your tech business to the next level! We have a great lineup of speakers covering everything tech startups need to know to conquer the world – from hiring for scale-up and winning PR tricks, to raising investment and getting up to speed quickly in new markets. And speaking of speakers, we have some great news to share!

We are happy and excited to announce that we have added Alliance Venture to the list of speakers at the event! Being the leading early stage investor in Norway, Alliance Ventures bring insights on what’s cooking on the Norwegian tech scene, opportunity in international markets (and where to go) and what to think about when raising investment for your startup. A great addition to the mix of advice on how to make a Norwegian startup an international success that startups attending the event can expect!

Tickets are free for tech businesses but you need to sign up to attend. Click HERE to get to the event sign up.

About the event

The event targets Norwegian Tech businesses that are ready to expand  to international markets. It will be an interactive seminar with speakers responsible for helping some of Norway’s fastest growing tech businesses tap in to & scale up in international markets, providing you with all the insights you need to take the big leap. We will also hear the success story of a Norwegian startup and advice from someone who has done the full journey and succeeded.

The seminar is followed by a networking session where you will get the chance to mingle with the speakers, like-minded entrepreneurs, people and businesses that have already made the journey, as well as experts that can advice you on what to think about when taking your businesses onto the international arena. We will also offer 1-2-1 sessions with all speakers for those interested!

Speakers

360 Leaders – Learn about the importance of building the right company culture and getting the right people when going from startup to scaleup and expanding into new areas. 360 Leaders is a market-leading executive search firm that provides leadership talent to the world’s most innovative tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, iZettle and Schibsted Media Group.

Alliance Venture – Scaling your business and expanding to new markets can be costly. Venture Capital firm Alliance Venture is the leading early stage investor in Norway that invest in tech companies with global potential and work with them to expand internationally. They will talk about the exciting tech scene in Norway and how to leverage that in international markets, what they as investors see as the hottest tech right now and what they look for in companies they invest in.

Deliberate PR – As a small, Nordic business ready to take on the world, you need to showcase to potential investors, strategic partners, employees, and users what makes you unique and scalable. Deliberate PR helps Nordic startups make the news with creative strategies and clever news themes. They will speak about how you can use news to your advantage and show examples of how they have created PR campaigns that helped Nordic startups succeed around the world.

No Isolation – With the help of Deliberate PR, Norwegian startup No Isolation made a huge buzz in the media as part of their UK launch campaign. They will share their amazing story and the decision to expand internationally early on, and provide both inspiration and advice on expanding abroad from Norway.

Goodwille & Escalon – The co-hosts of the event! Together we’ve helped businesses from Norway expand into the UK & US markets for decades. We will share our insights and tips on how to get to market quickly, and the opportunities in the UK and US markets for Norwegian businesses.

Events details
Date: Tuesday 25 September 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Oslo House of Innovation (OHOI), 4th floor, Skippergata 22, 0154 Sentrum, Oslo, Norway
Tickets: Grab your ticket HERE!

About Oslo Innovation Week

Oslo Innovation Week is an annual happening inviting people from all around the world to Norway’s capital city for conferences, talks, pitching, workshops and networking with like-minded, change-driven corporates, entrepreneurs, startups and organisations. 2018’s edition in the 13th Oslo Innovation Week around, this year held between 24-28 September. Oslo Innovation Week is owned by the City of Oslo and Innovation Norway, with Oslo Business Region as project manager. Check out the full programme for OIW 2018 on oiw.no/.

What are the advantages of international expansion?

The benefits of expanding operations into overseas markets are not reserved only for large corporations. Small businesses can tap into them as well, as long as the necessary planning is in place and a patient approach is taken. Particular attention will need to be paid to cultural differences that could necessitate alterations to the ways you do business, but the benefits are there to be seized. Here are some of the key advantages of international expansion.

Untapped markets

Your company may offer services or products that are not available in some parts of the world, where demand is consequently very high. If you expand your operation into markets such as these, you can attract a hungry new customer base with minimum threat of immediate competition. You may even find the nation’s government sweetens the pot with incentives for expanding into their territory, because you’ll help boost their economy and create jobs.

Positive business climate

Other countries may offer superior economic conditions to your own. Recessions or restrictive policies from governments make it hard to turn a profit, and expansion into an area not affected by these things can offer a prosperous alternative. In essence, a new nation could offer a more ‘business-friendly’ economic climate, with advantages like lower taxes or less stringent environmental regulations.

Increased exposure

International expansion increases a business’s exposure, helping to create a global footprint. This can lead to greater brand recognition across the world, and potentially facilitate further expansion in the future. This can also help you gain more respect from customers and businesses in your domestic market as they’re more likely to view you as a major player in your industry.

Breathing new life into your business

It is not only a thriving business that can grow through international expansion; entering overseas markets can help rejuvenate a struggling enterprise. If you are operating in a saturated domestic market, or your market share is shrinking, you may find new outlets for your services or products in a different country. If you depend on certain resources or demands that are in short supply in your home country, you may be able to find exactly what you need overseas.

Goodwille have helped overseas businesses expand into the UK for over 20 years. We have experience helping business with everything from setting up a UK company and ensuring compliance with UK employment law, to help with introducing you to our expensive and international network and bridging any business culture gap. If you want to know more about how we can help your business expand internationally; to the UK or elsewhere, contact us at Goodwille and we’ll tell you more.

Avoid these three common tech startup mistakes

As you try to set up a UK company, you’re going to want to do everything you can to make sure you avoid falling into the same traps that so many other new businesses make. Statistics vary, but it’s a commonly known fact that starting a new business is a risky thing to do.

With that in mind, you want to make sure that you’re able to learn from the mistakes that in certain cases have cost others their businesses. These are three highly common, yet often fatal, mistakes that are made.

Failure to specialise

What exactly does your business do? Is it IT support, computer networking or video production? If that’s not a question you can answer quickly and concisely then you have some work to do. The marketplace is crowded and customer attention is precious, so you need to make sure you have a concise offer to attract potential clients.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you offer more general services you’ll appeal to more customers, but the truth is that if you want to avoid your business collapsing in on itself you need to offer a specialised service and be seen to know exactly what you’re doing. Find the one thing or the one area where your product or service outperforms all competition – that’s where there’s room and opportunity for you to succeed!

Financial mismanagement

From day one you’re going to need to keep a very close eye on your business financial records to ensure you’re always aware of how healthy your finances are. You don’t need to be an accountancy prodigy, but you do need to pay close attention.

If this isn’t something you can do, then it’s really worth the investment to outsource it to a specialist who will be able to provide you with accurate reports and advice, allowing you to make informed business decisions.

As an entrepreneur, you might we used to do things yourself and outsourcing may not appeal to you but the truth is that outsourcing all tasks that are not within your business’s core will free up more of your time to do what is valuable to the business and your customers.

Employee retention

Building a successful startup will take blood, sweat, tear, time and devotion and it’s nothing you can or want to do on your own. You need a team that work together, that share the same vision and dream of creating a successful business. The recruitment process to find your team can be a costly one, both in terms of time and resources, so when you make the decision to hire someone you need to ensure that you’re going to be able to make a return on the investment you make in them.

If you fail to provide opportunities for employee engagement and progression, you could end up with a “revolving door” policy, which will make finding the right people difficult. Make sure you offer your teammates a good remuneration package, room to grow and that you engage everyone in the success.

Goodwille work to support startup and business getting started in the UK with all non-core support functions you need to succeed on the UK market, so you can focus on your core business and creating value to your clients and employees. We can help you with corporate legal issues and ensuring legal compliance, everything finance-related, HR and people management including payroll and also a virtual office service for your UK base. Get in touch with us today for more information on how we can help your startup succeed.

The World is Ready for Norwegian Tech (but are you ready for the world?)

Are you ready to take your Norwegian business to international markets? As part of Oslo Innovation Week 2018, Goodwille and our friends at Escalon Services are co-hosting the event The World is Ready for Norwegian Tech (but are you ready for the world). Join us on 25 September and learn all about what it takes to expand your businesses abroad – from raising investment and making the right decisions, to raising your profile, building a sustainable and productive work culture, as well as all the do’s and don’ts from experts and other Norwegian startups that have succeeded in taking their business from Norway onto international markets.

About the event

The event targets Norwegian Tech businesses that (think they) are ready to leave koselig behind and expand their business to international markets. It will be an interactive seminar with speakers responsible for helping some of Norway’s fastest growing tech businesses tap in to & scale up in international markets, providing you with all the insights you need to take the big leap. We will also hear the success story of a Norwegian startup and advice from someone who has done the full journey and succeeded.

The seminar is followed by a networking session where you will get the chance to mingle with the speakers, like-minded entrepreneurs, people and businesses that have already made the journey, as well as experts that can advice you on what to think about when taking your businesses onto the international arena. We will also offer 1-2-1 sessions with all speakers for those interested!

Speakers

360 Leaders – Learn about the importance of building the right company culture and getting the right people when going from startup to scaleup and expanding into new areas. 360 Leaders is a market-leading executive search firm that provides leadership talent to the world’s most innovative tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, iZettle and Schibsted Media Group.

Deliberate PR – As a small, Nordic business ready to take on the world, you need to showcase to potential investors, strategic partners, employees, and users what makes you unique and scalable. Deliberate PR helps Nordic startups and concept make the news with creative strategies and clever news themes. They will speak about how you can use news to your advantage and show examples of how they have created PR campaigns that helped Nordic startups succeed around the world.

No Isolation – With the help of Deliberate PR, Norwegian startup No Isolation made a huge buzz in the media as part of their UK launch campaign. They will share their amazing story and the decision to expand internationally early on, and provide both inspiration and advice on expanding abroad from Norway.

Goodwille & Escalon – The co-hosts of the event! Together we’ve helped businesses from Norway expand into the UK & US markets for decades. We will share our insights and tips to get to market quickly, and the opportunities in the UK and US markets for Norwegian businesses.

Events details
Date: Tuesday 25 September 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Oslo House of Innovation (OHOI), 4th floor, Skippergata 22, 0154 Sentrum, Oslo, Norway
Tickets: Grab your ticket HERE!

About Oslo Innovation Week

Oslo Innovation Week is an annual happening inviting people from all around the world to Norway’s capital city for conferences, talks, pitching, workshops and networking with like-minded, change-driven corporates, entrepreneurs, startups and organisations. 2018’s edition in the 13th Oslo Innovation Week around, this year held between 24-28 September. Oslo Innovation Week is owned by the City of Oslo and Innovation Norway, with Oslo Business Region as project manager. Check out the full programme for OIW 2018 on oiw.no/.

Planning an overseas startup in the UK? Check out these tips!

The UK is a fantastic location for international startups and international expansion. Some of the reasons for this are:

– the rate of corporation tax in the UK is one of the lowest of all the G20 countries
– it’s quick and easy to register a new company in just 48 hours
– the labour force in the UK is the second largest in Europe
– the government provides support for entrepreneurs and startups

UK government support for entrepreneurs and startups

The Global Entrepreneur Programme run by the Department for International Trade can assist overseas entrepreneurs with launching startups and technology businesses in their early stages. Support is also available for startups looking to relocate their company to the UK.

All support is free of charge, and includes:

– advice and help developing business plans
– help with relocating to the UK
– investor introductions
– guidance on international growth
– mentoring from existing entrepreneurs
– assistance once the business is up and running

Qualifying for the Global Entrepreneur Programme

Applicants for the Global Entrepreneur Programme should be:

– existing overseas technology business or overseas entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the UK
– planning to set up the global headquarters of the business in the UK

Entrepreneurs can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to launch their business in the UK and will need to be in receipt of a minimum funding level of £50,000 from approved organisations. The Department for International Trade provides information on a variety of Seed Competitions which can help provide support and endorsement for Tier 1 Visa entry, and you can find more information on this on their website.

Setting up a business in the UK

Starting up a new business or expanding an existing tech business in the UK is an exciting venture for all entrepreneurs. But there are a number of legal requirements and procedures that need to be followed when starting up a company in the UK. It’s particularly important that you research employment law and financial regulations carefully before launching your company.

Goodwille provides a wide range of services to UK startups and can help smooth the way for any overseas expansion or business startup. Get in touch with us today for more information on how we can help you start up in the UK.

Differences between German and British Work Culture

It’s not uncommon to hear Germans being highly regarded around the world for their supposed workplace and office efficiency. British stereotypes, however, remain based in caution and class structured hierarchies. Despite knowing that stereotypes never truly match up to the reality, it is true that German workers are more productive than the rest of their European neighbours, while still taking more sick days and holidays, especially in comparison to British workers.

A better work-life balance?

One of the reasons that this may be the case is supposedly due to Germany’s better understanding of a work-life balance. By truly finding that sweet spot between work and play, Germans can be far more productive within the office, while also unwinding and relaxing more efficiently.

Lots of references to this balance can be found in German vernacular. ‘Brückentage’, or ‘bridge days’, is a common German adage which means to take time off around bank holidays, where most workers will take an extra day or two off work in order to refuel, preparing themselves mentally for the work ahead. Another common German expression is ‘Erst die Arbeit, dann das Vergnügen!’, meaning ‘first work, then pleasure’. While there are similar phrases within English, they are not often heard, and even more uncommonly stuck to. As such, there seems to be an ingrained culture within Germany of working first and then focusing on relaxing, all while understanding that taking time to recharge will help you be more productive in the future.

Sickness

There is a trend within British office works to come to work, even when they are ill, and to downplay any sickness in front of management. While this does lead to more time in the office, it has serious negative effects on productivity and creates the risk of illnesses passing between colleagues. However, in Germany, there is a strong feeling that if you are sick you should stay at home – ‘Wenn man krank ist ist man krank’, translating as ‘when you are sick, you are sick’.

Not only does this mentality protect other office works, but it also allows the individual to rest and recover properly, meaning they are fit for work and more productive in a shorter space of time.

Understanding the differences between office and business cultures is crucial in whether an international expansion is successful or not. At Goodwille, we pride ourselves on helping new companies establish themselves in the UK market, offering advice and services to ensure that your business flourishes in the United Kingdom. For more information about how we can help you, get in touch with us today.

Why do startups fail in the first few years?

Surveys show that up to 50% of UK startups fail within five years of commencing in business. Typically startups fail because they run out of cash, but the reasons for this are more complex. The abilities of the entrepreneur or management team could be one factor leading to cash flow failure, other reasons include faulty business plans, slow growth or failure to expand in the correct manner, and entering the market at the wrong time.

Some reasons for the failure of startups

The entrepreneur, or business owner, is most critical to the success of any startup and will be the driving force for the business in its early days. So, it’s important for all entrepreneurs to understand just where their strengths lie and what weaknesses they possess, this way they can run the business by playing in line with their abilities.

The strength of the business operational team is the next more important factor in the success of any startup. Having a strong management team can help improve business plans and ideas, as once the company is up and running the abilities of team members will assist in honing operations and levels of success.

Original products or ideas are absolutely no guarantee of success in business; strong implementation is the key. Many of the best entrepreneurs actually start up their business utilising ideas and business models already in the marketplace. They just make small changes and improvements to streamline the business model and make it more successful.

What is vitally important, though, for any startup is that existing demand for products or services is in place. Many startups fail due to lack of demand, so researching the marketplace and consumer demand is essential prior to starting up in business.

Access to the market can also be a stumbling block for new businesses. This is a particular issue for B2B startups if their business relies upon a lengthy tendering procedure in order to obtain orders. Startups planning to sell to larger corporations and organisations could also fail within the first couple of years due to long sales pipelines, which can be anything up to two years.

Finally, sufficient financing to ensure healthy cash flow during the first couple of years is essential for any new business.

If you’re based overseas and planning a UK startup in any sector of business, get in touch with Goodwille for information about the professional business services we provide to startups.

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.