Changes to Childcare Vouchers

There will be changes to childcare vouchers from 4 October this year. The government’s decision to close the childcare voucher scheme was announced in March 2018, and following a 6-month extension of the scheme, as of now the Childcare Voucher scheme is due to close to new entrants on 4 October. This means you need to make sure to join a childcare voucher scheme on or before this date to offer your employees childcare vouchers as an attractive employee benefit.

Childcare vouchers

Childcare vouchers are an employee benefit offered by employers to help with approved childcare costs, for example a staff nursery. Employees can take up to £55 a week of their wages as childcare vouchers, which they don’t pay tax or National Insurance on. Per year, this adds up to around £1,000 that each parent can save on childcare costs. For businesses – offering childcare vouchers instead of offering to cover childcare costs for your employees can save the company up to £402 per year per parent.

Changes to childcare vouchers

On 4 October 2018, childcare voucher schemes will close to new applicants. This means that employers who want to offer their employees childcare vouchers as an employee benefit must join a childcare voucher scheme and have the relevant salary sacrifice arrangements in place before the first payday before this date. For employers paying their employees by the end of each month, it means that you have to join a scheme and make arrangement with your employees before you run your September payroll.

The changes only apply to new applicants, and will not have an effect on companies and employees already registered on a scheme. Employees of companies who join the childcare voucher scheme before 4 October can keep getting vouchers as long as they stay with the same employer and the employer continues to run the scheme, and they don’t take an unpaid career break of longer than a year.

Offering benefit schemes such as childcare vouchers is a way to attract employees, as it can cover living costs without incurring any tax for the employee. It can also save your business money, so it’s worth having a look at joining a childcare voucher scheme now before it is too late!

Goodwille can guide you through the changes to childcare vouchers and the effects this might have on you, your employees and your business. We can also help you with joining a childcare voucher scheme, and other employee benefit schemes, as well as give instructions on what YOU can do to put pressure on the government to keep the childcare voucher scheme.
Get in touch with us today if you want to know more.

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 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/.

Meet James Service

Our Marketing Manager James Service is more than just a Marketing Manager. Besides marketing activities and reaching out a helping hand to businesses thinking about starting up in the UK, he is involved with most aspects of the business, which he knows inside out as he has been with Goodwille all his working life.

James spared us a few moments in between speaking to foreign businesses about doing business in the UK, organising social activities for Team Goodwille and chilling in the bean bags to answer some questions about what makes Goodwille a good place to work and what it’s really like to work with a bunch of Scandis…

What do you do at Goodwille?

I’m the Marketing Manager at Goodwille and it’s my job to make sure people find us, remember us & choose us when they are searching for the thrilling topic of outsourced business services in the UK. My unofficial job here is social klubb lead, table football champion & beanbag officer. (I’ve lost the table football champion title, but I’m clinging on to the other three fulltime positions.)

What is your background and how did you end up at Goodwille?

I studied Geography at University with a focus on conservation & the natural world, and worked part-time at ‘Enlink’. Many older clients & partners will remember Enlink which was started by my oldest sister, Kate. It was meant to be a part time stopgap which I didn’t have to go for interview for. Where most people spent time having fun at university I spent mine working late and putting paperwork in numerical order. Goodwille ultimately acquired Enlink (and my soul) about seven years ago, and here I am, still clinging on without ever being interviewed. Maybe I’m doing something right, or maybe they just haven’t noticed I’m still here.

You have been with Goodwille for 11 years, what made you stay this long?

I’ve moved around a bit whilst I’ve been here, from Office Assistant, Client Support, Marketing Executive to Marketing Manager. The job gives me responsibility, the opportunity to try out my ideas and have fun. I hear about people who dread going to work, and I’m glad that’s not me <insert standard comment from colleagues saying that’s because you do nothing>. Some people think they have it tough until they change jobs, and realise the grass is rarely greener.  I’d hate to work for some stiff corporate where I have to wear polished shoes and a tie every day to work, that’s not me and that’s not Goodwille.

As a Brit working in a company strongly influenced by the Nordics, what have been the most fun/enjoyable and most difficult things to get used to?

I like Nordic people, they’re a lot friendlier than us Brits. I think Goodwille is increasingly influenced by the Nordic startup feel that many companies have, where the people are at the core of the business. I really like that. One thing I’ve found difficult though is trying to understand their love of Rye bread. I’m concerned these people don’t have Warburtons in their life, now that’s real bread….

Best and worst thing about your job?

I love the variety my job offers, the people I get to work with, the team spirit and fun that we all have along the way. I love winning new business for Goodwille. Nothing gives me a greater sense of achievement than when a company joins us off the back of the teams marketing activities. The worst thing about the job is probably organising events. They always go well, but I can’t relax and enjoy them. I spend so much time running through every micro detail in my head beforehand. That’s stress I don’t need in my life.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you!

I read the Daily Mail every day and I take what I read as gospel. Their love of fake news isn’t helping anyone, but it’s fun and more interesting than the broadsheets even if it’s not real. I’m sorry!  On a separate note I can be a bit obsessive. I find a new hobby, buy all the gear and then I’m bored of it a month later – I’m talking fishing, walking, scuba diving, stamp collecting. I think I’m old before my time. My current obsession is growing my own vegetables, lets see how long the fad lasts.

Will you be around at Goodwille for another 11 years?

Who knows what the future holds, but I’ll be part of the furniture by then. It’s scary to think it’s been my entire working life so far. With the direction the company is going, and the ideas and mentality new blood is bringing to the company I hope I am. That said, the dream was to be working with turtles in Costa Rica. I’m sure that step in my career is just around the corner, should the works lottery syndicate ever actually come off.

Describe yourself in 3 words!

Last one standing.

 

7 quick questions – did working at Goodwille affect your Britishness?

Victoria sponge or kanelbullar?
Victoria Sponge..

Go hiking or go to the pub?
I’d probably say go hiking, and then go to the pub after.

Sauna the Finnish way or Afternoon tea?
I’ve heard weird things about them Finnish sauna’s, I’m taking the afternoon tea.

Bangers & mash or wurst & sauerkraut?
Bangers & mash, I’m British!

Invite people over for a home-cooked meal or eat out at a restaurant?
Invite people over! I like entertaining. I’m the always the organiser and host.

Crisps or pick & mix?
Pick & Mix, sweet stuff over savoury all day long.

Salty liquorice – Yay or Nay?
Yay, for sure.

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.

Good Effort: Team Goodwille run the British 10K for charity

Sunday 15 July 2018 was incredibly warm, with a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius before the clock had even struck 10am. But despite the heat and the fact that there were no clouds in sight, nothing could stop Team Goodwille from running the British 10K in Westminster to raise money for UNIQUE – a charity with the mission to inform and support anyone affected by rare chromosome and gene disorders.

Yes it was warm, yes the run was a bit more sweaty than most 10K’s, and YES they still all finished with great results! Definitely a Good Effort by all runners, not only from #teamgoodwille, but everyone participating in the run. The atmosphere during the run was amazing, and it was fantastic to see that most runners were running for charities and to support Good Causes.

Running for charity has become a tradition at Goodwille, and our employees partake in several races every year to raise money and awareness for different causes we care about. This year we chose to support Unique, and we hope that by raising awareness of rare chromosome and gene disorders and donating all the money raised from running the British 10K to UNIQUE, we can make a difference to individuals and families in the UK.

There is still time to help us make a difference and donate to our cause. All donations and contributions, however large or small, make a real and lasting difference.

DONATE HERE.


About UNIQUE
Unique provides much needed help and information to those caring for a family member with a rare chromosome disorder. These lifelong disorders affect 1 in 200 live-born babies and those affected are often sick and severely disabled, unable to walk or talk. For more information see www.rarechromo.org

We’re recruiting – Office Assistant

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 an Office Assistant who thrives on providing great customer service to join our Front of House team in London. Within your role you will be responsible for:

  • Meeting & Greeting visitors
  • Post handling & telephone answering
  • Meeting room bookings
  • Supporting a busy reception area
  • Support clients with administrative tasks
  • Working with onboarding new clients
  • Liaising with suppliers
  • Order Handling & Sales Processing
  • Supporting departments with adhoc requests

The applicant should be computer literate, have an strong understanding of the Microsoft Office suite (Outlook, Word & Excel) and experience working within an administration/reception role. You should be passionate about providing great customer service and be able to confidently work independently to ensure the smooth running of the reception area. In joining us, you will become 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 (Sainsbury’s, 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 and for you to hang out with colleagues.

Job type: Permanent, full time
Location: 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 james.service@goodwille.com
www.goodwille.com

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.

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.

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.