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.

Goodwille hosts Launch in London during London Tech Week 2018

Join us on 14 June for Launch in London – London Tech Week’s hottest event for any business establishing in the UK!

Hosted by Goodwille at Level39, one of the world’s most well renowned and connected tech hubs, Launch in London will provide you with everything you need to succeed with your business in London. Get inside tips on the Do’s and Don’ts when starting up in the UK, how to navigate Brexit, the British business culture and how to grow your network with the right people while overlooking London’s skyline.

This is THE event for startups, entrepreneurs and businesses looking to establish in London, as well as for mentors and advisors helping tech businesses succeed on London’s tech scene.

SPEAKERS
Alexander Goodwille, CEO of Goodwille will share the best tips, and the pitfalls to avoid when starting up in the UK.

Mark Leaver, Creative Industries Specialist of DIT – Department for International Trade will discuss why despite Brexit, the UK is still very much open for business and why you should start your business in London during 2018.

Joanna Dodd, Director of Rochester PR will share helpful insights on marketing, PR & how to get connected with the right people in the UK.

Joanna Smit, Owner of SMIT Training will help you understand the British people and culture and provide you with the intercultural skills you need to make your transition in to the UK market.

The seminars will be followed by a Q&A session, drinks, canapes & networking (plus opportunities for panoramic photographs of London!).

EVENTS DETAILS
Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Free entry

REGISTER FOR THE EVENT HERE


If you have any questions about the event, get in touch with our Marketing Manager James Service on james.service@goodwille.com or 020 7795 8100.

Top reasons why the UK is the best place to grow your business

There are several reasons why the UK is the #1 destination for European companies expanding beyond their home market. These are the top reasons why the UK is a good place for doing business and why it should be the next stop on your growth journey.

Business-friendly environment
It is easy to start a UK company, laws and regulations very much encourage doing business, and the tax levels are much lower compared to many other countries. This creates a foundation for your business to succeed without too much bureaucracy and administration from your end so you can focus on growing the business!

Language
As everyone learns English in school these days, you will never face communications issues when doing business in the UK! Being able to communicate with anyone helps in case you ever face difficulties or have questions. And Brits are a very friendly bunch and always keen to help out!

Culture and diversity
The UK is a diverse country when it comes to nationalities and cultures. The diversity is one of the key strengths of the UK that have contributed to the breadth of businesses and opportunities. Coming from outside Britain is definitely an advantage, and playing on your cultural heritage can enhance your brand.

Market size
The UK market is big, but not TOO big. Both B2B and B2C companies, regardless of industry, have all possibilities to thrive. Being one of the main hubs for finance, startups, fashion and manufacturing worldwide, there’s definitely opportunity for your business to succeed without getting lost in the big crowd.

Any questions on the opportunities for your business to succeed in the UK? Goodwille can help make the international move smooth and give you a kick-start on the UK market, get in touch with us today!

3 top tips for expanding your startup to the UK

Although the UK is certainly a land of great opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs, there are a number of important considerations to note for anyone with aspirations to set up a UK company.

Pitching your products and services

No matter how many times you’ve successfully sold your products and services in your home country, when you enter the marketplace in a new location your pitch needs to be tailored to meet local standards. In some cases, a few minor tweaks to your content or format may be all that’s required. However, in some cases, a total overhaul might be necessary to reach your target market.

When researching your new market, be sure to look at potential changes to your pitching early so that you are well-prepared and not taken by surprise by cultural differences.

Build on previous successes

If your product or service has been successful at home, there’s no reason to think that it won’t achieve similar or even greater heights following your overseas expansion. In fact, the more success you have had at ‘home’, the more likely you are to succeed in a new location.

Be sure to capitalise on your successful track record as it will make your UK pitch much stronger.

Choose the right HQ

The location that you choose for your new UK expansion headquarters is very important to your success. There are a number of factors to consider, including whether your business is sales or product driven. You must also research potential talent pools, since recruiting the right staff will be essential to the success of your new venture.

Ease of communication by road, rail and air are also very important aspects of your location to consider, especially if you are intending to commute regularly from your current home base abroad. Logistics are also very important if you have a product to distribute, and locating your business somewhere central to the main motorway network may also be something that is important from both a practical and costings perspective.

In summary

If you are looking to expand your business to the UK, it is essential that you conduct expansive and appropriate research prior to making the move. Goodwille have been helping businesses relocate internationally for many years. Why not contact our helpful team today to find out how we could help make your expansion go smoothly.

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

Setting up a UK company: How many shares should the company issue?

Setting up a private company limited by shares is one of the most common ways to start a business or expand a business into the UK. However, the law relating to shares in the UK and share capital can be complicated, so it is important to understand your options when it comes to initial share issue. The right number of shares initially issued to shareholders will depend on your specific circumstances, and this post looks at some of the main things you may wish to consider when deciding how many shares are right for your circumstances.

What is the purpose of initial share issue? 

The purpose of issuing shares at the beginning of the company, is to raise capital. For example, if three people wish to start a company, investing £10,000 each at the outset, the simplest way for this to be represented is for the company to issue £30,000 shares at £1 each. However, this is not the only method of raising money for the company.

Alternatively, the company may issue only 3 shares at £1 each, and the company founders can lend the £10,000 each to the company. Under each of these circumstances, each shareholder owns one third of the company, and they will have the same voting rights and powers within the company. For many businesses, both methods are suitable. But, there are certain legal, practical and taxation issues which may make one method preferable over the other.

When the £30,000 is locked into the company as share capital, it is more difficult to get this money back out of the company in comparison to when the company is given a loan. Where a company is loaned the money from the shareholders, the money may be repaid at any time. Furthermore, if the company becomes insolvent, the shareholders may claim the money lent as creditors in any insolvency proceedings. However, share capital is important when the company is seeking finance from lenders, investors and other business contacts. In particular, banks wish to see that share capital is ‘locked in’ to the company, and that it has substance.

There are many things to consider in relation to share issue when setting up a UK company. To get it right and make sure you do the best for the specific circumstances of your company, get in touch with our experts today for advice.

A tale of three cities: setting up outside London

London is the UK’s natural magnet for new business, attracting more than 800 foreign direct investment projects every year – more than 3 times any other region. But with sky-high rents and inflated wages threatening to diminish the capital’s appeal as a destination, we look at three alternative options that deliver more bang per buck.

Bristol

Located on England’s south-west coast, Bristol had long been Britain’s second wealthiest city as one of England’s largest trading ports. In recent decades, the 8th largest city in the UK has swapped tea for terrabytes, being recognised as the UK’s most advanced ‘smart city’, a leader in providing 5G connectivity and utilising big data to improve public services . It is now a powerhouse in the creative industries and also boasts a large aerospace sector. The city was named the Sunday Times best in which to live in both 2014 and 2017, and it was named winner of the Green Capital Award by the EU in 2015.

Cambridge

Home of the world famous University, Cambridge has a bookish reputation and old-world charm, but behind the academic image is a serious business hotspot to rival technology hubs in the US. ‘Silicon Fen’, as the area has become known, is home to some of Europe’s most exciting technology startups and established companies like ARM Holdings and Dante – turning over more than £35bn between them all. Fuelled by some of the world’s top graduates, excellent links to London, and collaboration between businesses and the University, companies in Fen have seen an annual growth regularly top 7.5%.

Edinburgh

Scotland’s capital is world famous as a cultural hub, home to some of the most famous comedy, music and drama festivals, but since the 1980s it has also developed a strong tech sector. As one point of the Scottish ‘tech triangle’ along with Dundee and Glasgow, the city is home to a number of high-tech companies in sectors from semi-conductors to video games. As an added bonus, Edinburgh has the cheapest office space of any major UK city, an eighth the price of London – clocking in at just £66.1 per square foot .


If you need any help with your expansion plans in the UK, or you want to open a UK office, talk to Goodwille today.

Brexit and how to set up an office in London

If you have chosen to open a subsidiary office in London then you are going to be at the heart of the world’s leading financial centre. What happens in London affects international business and commerce; in fact, it influences the whole global economy. However, if it was straightforward to open a UK office in London, there would be far more international companies opening a business in the UK!

How does Brexit affect a London office?

We can’t go far without mentioning Brexit. The UK is currently engaged in what could be around two years worth of negotiations to exit the EU – and predictions on how this will pan out vary enormously. This has led to a note of caution in London – and some overseas businesses are making moves to relocate elsewhere in Europe to be more central to EU benefits and fluidity.

That’s not to say it’s a mass exodus. It does mean that with the right know-how, you can negotiate on office space and accommodation as the period of uncertainty is keeping prices at least stable. Keep in mind too, that changes in procedures and laws in the coming years will probably make it harder to recruit staff from outside of the UK. On the flip side, the investment in education and training for the indigenous workforce will get even stronger.

London is a cosmopolitan city and any cultural differences you face could be ironed out using the myriad of specific agencies and country-centric support organisations available. This is a city that has the unrivalled power to connect people. But it also has complex laws for new business start-ups in London, including anyone opening a satellite office in the UK.

Even leasing office space can be time-consuming and potentially risky without local assistance. For example, it’s not uncommon to be tied into a seven-year lease for London office space – which brings with it certain registration obligations.

As office space in London is expensive, one of the starting points is to cut your footprint to as narrow a margin as possible. Explore options for self-storage for files and materials, shared office space and virtual offices in London, for example.

If you want a successful business move to London or to open a subsidiary company in the UK’s heartland, then investing in insider knowledge and contacts will ensure a far smoother transition. Goodwille has help over 1,800 companies successfully expand their businesses in the UK. Contact us to make your move a positive one, and to get your London office running smoothly from day one.


This update is for general guidance only. Specific legal advice should be obtained in all cases. This material is the copyright of Goodwille Limited (unless otherwise stipulated) and is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written consent.

How to Choose a Name When You Set Up a UK Company

You may already have a name in mind for your business, or you might just be coming up with ideas. Regardless of the stage your company is at, if you plan to set up a UK company, there are a few legal requirements you should be aware of when choosing a business name.

What should I call my business?

First and foremost, you should choose a name that is going to be useful to you and let your customers know what it is that you do. You should also try and make the name memorable and easy to spell so that customers can easily find you online.

However, the law dictates that you must make sure your company name is distinct from other companies in the same line of business as you. This means your company name must not mislead customers into believing that they are dealing with another business. If you do this, you could find yourself accused of ‘passing off’ – a breach of the law which could have significant consequences for your business. You must also ensure you are not infringing any trading names or registered trademarks.

Our advisors will be able to assist you in checking that your company name is distinct from other registered businesses by checking the Companies House index of companies and the Trade Marks Registry. When you are thinking about company names it can also be useful to check whether the domain name you would like is in use by another business.

Honest business naming

When it comes to choosing your new business name, there are some restrictions on the use of certain words in company names in the UK. These are known as ‘sensitive words’ and include terms such as ‘international’ and using professional terms like ‘architect’ or ‘lawyer’ where you are not adequately qualified.

Using your own name

Perhaps you work freelance and would like to trade under your own name? This should not be a problem and you can choose to trade under your own name or a business name. A partnership may also trade under the names of all the partners or a business name.

However, if you choose to trade under a business name instead of your own name, you are under an obligation to disclose ownership and the official address of your business on any company stationery, on your website, on your premises and when anyone makes an enquiry.

For more advice on choosing a name when you set up a UK company, contact us at Goodwille. We help businesses with the many legal and financial aspects of setting up a business to ensure the process is as seamless as possible.

What is an agent for service and why do I need one?

If you are thinking about setting up a company in the UK, one of the main things to consider is how your company will work legally, given that parties to your transactions may be based in numerous countries throughout the world. Cross-border transactions involving your UK company will most likely be governed by UK law, and an agent for service may be required or used by another company where one of the parties to the transaction does not have a physical presence in the UK. Having a basic understanding of the role of an agent for service, sometimes known as a process agent, will help you save time and money when dealing with cross-border transactions.

What is an agent for service?

In order to begin court proceedings in the UK, court papers must be served on the person who is party to the dispute. However, where the party on which you wish to serve papers does not have a physical presence in the UK, the process for serving these papers on the individual can be difficult. The papers would need to be served abroad, which can be a lengthy and often futile process. However, it is common practice for parties to a contract to insist on an agent for service clause, requiring parties to appoint an agent in the UK to accept service on behalf of the individual or company with no presence in the UK. The clause will state that service of the papers on this agent will constitute proper service for the purpose of court proceedings.

Do I need an agent for service?

Having an agent for service may be a non-negotiable term for many businesses you transact with, and is a vital element of cross-border transactions. Loans, credit facilities, leasing and other types of funding may require your business to have an agent for service. An agent may also act in a wider capacity for the company, processing more general business documents. If you are thinking of setting up a business in the UK, contact us today to find out more about the benefits of an agent for service.