How did Helsinki reach start-up stardom?

Scandinavia has held a certain chic popularity throughout the rest of Europe for a number of years now, from the Hygge craze to the Swedish and Finnish bakeries popping up around the country, it seems that the UK can’t get enough of Scandinavian culture.

As well as being ahead of the curve on baked goods, Finland have also been excelling in the start-up scene. Over the last five years, Finland has seen at least a one-billion-dollar exit from its start-ups per year, with start-ups in a wide range of fields – from tech to design and education – making their mark globally. Despite being a nation with a population of just under 5.5m, considerably less than that of even London, Finland boasts 10% of the world’s start-up exits.

An up-and-coming tech giant

While Helsinki doesn’t yet compare to the success of Stockholm in the field of technology, they’re not doing too shabbily. They’re home to a number of mobile developers who have created internationally loved mobile games including Rovio, who developed the insanely popular Angry Birds and Supercell, developers of Clash of Clans.

Helsinki also boasts a myriad of tech start-ups that, despite being far from household names just yet, are already proving their worth and ingenuity in their respective fields. Nordic JustEat equivalent Wolt has already expanded from Helsinki to Stockholm and Copenhagen in the past year, and smartphone manufacturer Jolla, founded by ex-Nokia staff – another Finnish tech giant – is making waves and raised $12m in a Series C round last year.

Why Finland?

Finland’s success within the start-up scene over the past decade can at least in part be attributed to a government which supports start-ups while also giving them freedom and independence. Finnish business policies include public support campaigns, dedicated mentor programs and a funding agency for innovation known as Tekes.

Finland is also quick to think internationally. With such a small workforce available at home, Finnish start-ups are some of the first to look outward when business takes off. Helsinki’s super successful start-ups are quick to expand into Europe and beyond, which can quickly catapult these burgeoning businesses to global success.

If you’re looking to expand your start-up business to the United Kingdom, Goodwille can help you with everything you need to get the UK company started and rolling effectively and efficiently. With years of experience helping companies with legal, HR, payroll and financial administration, our team of knowledgeable professionals can guide your UK expansion to success. Get in touch with us today for more information.

We’re recruiting – Corporate Legal Controller

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

We are currently looking for an experienced Corporate Legal Controller, preferably fluent in a Nordic language, to join our Corporate Legal team in London and provide company secretarial and legal advice and services to a range of international and UK clients. While you will primarily work with the Corporate Legal team, all our departments are integrated and you will also find yourself liaising with other departments, such as HR, Finance and Payroll departments on a regular basis, and attending frequent team, company and client meetings.

You will be responsible for
• a portfolio of existing and new clients; being the main point of contact for and managing the corporate legal services for these
• managing and supporting existing client accounts, including maintaining statutory records and registers, taking board minutes, striking off/liquidation etc.
• managing new client accounts, including company incorporation, VAT registration, opening bank accounts, insurances, data protection, health and safety etc.
• ensuring timely filings to Companies House, HMRC and other agencies
• reviewing statutory books as part of company health checks and annual statutory audit
• special client projects

We believe that applicants have good knowledge and experience of company secretarial work, and preferably experience working in an international environment and/or handling employees and operations in different countries.

In joining us, you will become part of a modern, forward-thinking and inclusive organisation, capable of offering a stimulating environment working with a diverse range of client companies and corporate legal issues.

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 or for you to hang out with colleagues.

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 vidou.motee@goodwille.com.
www.goodwille.com

Goodwille exhibiting at Welcome to the UK

On 20 February, the event Welcome to the UK will take place in Stockholm, and Goodwille are happy to announce that we will be attending and exhibiting at the event.

Welcome to the UK is the event for any individual or company looking to learn more about expanding to the UK and the business potential of the UK market. As Goodwille have over 20 years of experience helping Swedish businesses expand to and establish in the UK, we are happy to share our experiences with aspiring and growing companies, and look forward to an evening filled with interesting discussions, exchange of ideas and of course helping businesses with answering any questions about doing business in the UK.

If you wish to meet us in Stockholm and hear more about how we can help your business establish on the UK market, send an email to johanna.bjarschfollin@goodwille.com.


The event is hosted and organised by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, and the British-Swedish Chamber of Commerce. If you wish to attend the event, sign up here

20 years of helping Nordic businesses succeed in the UK

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goodwille partners with Tech Nordic Advocates

Goodwille are happy to announce the partnership between Goodwille and northern Europe’s largest, independent network of 600 tech entrepreneurs, investors, senior tech leaders, influencers and policy makers, Tech Nordic Advocates (TNA). Together, and in conjunction with partners, they will work to stimulate Nordic tech innovation and growth, replicating the success of the Tech London Advocates community.

Goodwille is in good company with the Department for International Trade (previously UKTI), Swedish Chamber of Commerce, London & Partners, among others. Becoming a partner of TNA was a natural step for Goodwille following their increased presence in the Nordic tech scene over recent years. Nordic, high-growth, VC backed companies are often looking to expand to international markets at an early stage, with London, the beating heart of the European startup scene often their number one choice. London based service provider Goodwille continue to facilitate a large number of Nordic tech companies expansion into the UK.

Being a partner of Tech Nordic Advocates provides access to many successful startup hubs such as Swedish SUP46, Finnish Maria 0-1 and Danish Camp. The result of this is an extensive Nordic spanning network and knowledge-base, beneficial for all Goodwille’s clients.

Tech Nordic Advocates’ mission is to support the growth of Nordic and Baltic tech companies, with strong support for startups, by facilitating access to a pan-Nordic/Baltic market of capital, talent, mentors and partners, as well as stimulating collaboration across the Nordic and Baltic countries and tech ecosystem and championing the Nordics and Baltics as a global tech and startup hub internationally.

“We are delighted to be working with Tech Nordic Advocates programme to help stimulate opportunities and remove roadblocks hindering the Nordic tech sector’s growth in the UK. Their network both in the UK and across the Nordics is fantastic, they are well known in the startup community and we are excited to develop this partnership with them.” James Service. Marketing Executive, Goodwille.

Goodwille is on a mission to identify Nordic start-up stars ready to take over the world

British professional service provider Goodwille introduced Instagram hashtag #startupthursdays to identify the most promising Nordic start-up stars at an early stage of growth, exposing them to the UK, one of Europe’s most attractive markets.

Scandinavia has become a ‘Unicorn Factory’ over recent years, many of whom have successfully changed planet earth. You might not realise that some of the world’s biggest video games, streaming sites and FinTech companies hail from the cold of Scandinavia – but they do.

“We believe these ambitious start-ups deserve early exposure and attention, and we would like to be a part of making the UK market aware of these awesome young companies.”  – James Service, Marketing Executive, Goodwille.

The growing Instagram hashtag #startupthursdays was founded in 2015 and has since featured a new and promising Nordic start-up every week. Goodwille, with the majority of its client base from Scandinavia, saw that the Nordic start-ups performed very well on the UK market but as a new company often struggled to gain exposure in the UK.

“By recognising and celebrating these ambitious Scandi start-ups we wish to give them a kickstart in the UK. Not all of the featured companies exist in the UK but they are all companies we believe have potential for future international expansion.” – James Service.

The fields the featured start-ups are active in is not limited but the general tendency is FinTech or app development, but the list also includes companies in the biotech, service and electrical sector. Feel free to contact Goodwille if you know of a Nordic start-up that deserves exposure to the UK market.

Follow Instagram account @Goodwillegroup to stay updated about the latest, and hottest Northern start-up stars.

Press Contact & Media Inquiries for Goodwille

Lovisa Sekund: lovisa.sekund@goodwille.com

Business Inquiries for Goodwille

James Service: james.service@goodwille.com

3 key ways UK businesses differ from Nordic businesses

Every country has its own way of supporting business development, but there are some big differences between UK operations and those in the Nordic community.

Tax and VAT

The UK fiscal tax year ends on 31st March (and 5th April for individuals), whereas Nordic countries use the calendar year with flexibility for companies to use alternative dates if they’d prefer. At 20%, standard VAT in the UK is much lower than that of the Nordics’ 24-25%, though obviously there are concessions on certain goods.

UK Corporation Tax is currently set at 20%, whereas Denmark (22%), Norway (25%) and Sweden (22%) all pay higher rates; only Iceland and Finland match UK levels. Make sure you have access to good quality financial services to understand the intricacies of UK law, and keep on top of your accountancy needs.

Maternity and paternity leave for employees

The UK asks that a new mother takes at least two weeks’ leave after giving birth (and more in factory environments). However, a mother’s leave can last up to 52 weeks, with 26 considered ‘Ordinary’ and the rest as ‘Additional’. According to the OECD, the average UK maternity payment rate is 31.3% of the mother’s normal earnings; all Nordic countries offer a higher percentage of earnings as maternity pay, and in Norway that figure is 98.7%.

The Nordics typically have a high uptake of paternal leave, whereas many new fathers in the UK don’t have a shared parental leave or paternal leave option. Considerations like these will affect your HR strategy.

Hierarchy and business manner

Many businesses in Denmark, Norway and Finland have a flat management hierarchy, where any employee – no matter how junior – can raise concerns with very senior staff, a bit like Goodwille. In contrast, most UK businesses have a taller hierarchy with less interaction between CEOs and general employees.

Furthermore, UK business relies on plenty of written communication; corporate deals rarely rely on verbal agreement alone. However, verbal agreements are legally binding in countries like Iceland and Sweden.

Bear these factors in mind when you’re expanding your company and you’ll be well equipped for the future.