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

Thames and london

The UK is ranked as one of the best locations for businesses looking to expand internationally. Starting a business in the UK can be challenging, but with the right set of tools and knowledge, it’s a great place for business opportunities. The global environment, ease of doing business and strong market potential are of particular interest for overseas companies starting up in the UK.

When setting up a company 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.

  1. Legal Structures for Market Entry
  2. Set up and Registration
  3. Opening a Bank Account
  4. Understand UK Regulations
  5. UK Taxation
  6. Complying with UK Employment Law
  7. Expand to the UK With Goodwille
  8. Useful Contacts for Your Business

business men making choices

Legal Structures for Market Entry

When setting up in the UK, there are several legal structures to choose from. The company structure most suitable to you will depend on your type of business, where you are based and whether you have employees on board or not. Below are some of the most common legal structures in the UK;

  • Limited company
  • Branch office
  • Limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • Sole trader
  • Partnership

Limited Company/Subsidiary

Limited company (LTD) is the most common form of business entity in the UK. A LTD company is a separate legal entity, owned by shareholders and managed by directors. The profits of a limited company are liable for UK corporation tax. Setting up an LTD company in the UK is a well-recognised structure that is quick and cost-effective to complete. With share capital starting at just £1, and with the risk contained within the subsidiary company, this is often the preferred route for international businesses expanding into Great Britain.

Branch

An international company may consider registering a branch office in the UK, rather than a LTD company. A branch office is not a separate legal entity from the head office company and full responsibility for the operations, debts and liabilities of the UK branch lie on the overseas parent company.

To learn more about the best option for you when expanding to the UK, check out the differences between a UK branch and a subsidiary.

Set-up and registration

A company can typically be registered with 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 will be required. Check out our comprehensive company registration services.

woman hand calculating expenses

Opening a 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 you will need to go through a money laundering process 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 six 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.

regulations represented with wooden blocks

Understand UK Regulations

The regulatory system in the UK is 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 strict regulations 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 UK law, and every company registered in the UK must have a registered address in the UK. By law, all UK companies must file their annual accounts with Companies House within nine months of the end of an accounting period. Additionally, a confirmation statement 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. Our Corporate Governance Services can help you comply with any regulations or business’ obligations in the UK.

UK Taxation

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

  • Establishing a formal taxable presence in the UK, such as a branch or Ltd company, and making a profit.
  • 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%.

It’s important to remember that an international business operating in the UK do not necessarily create a taxable presence in the UK. In order to be subject to UK corporation income taxation, an overseas business needs to be trading in the UK through a permanent establishment. Check out our comprehensive outsourced financial services and to find out more about when you may need to register an entity in the UK, please contact us.

department for work and pensions

Complying With UK Employment Law

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 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 a PAYE scheme (Pay-As-You-Earn: social costs of employment including income tax and National Insurance) and organise relevant company insurances. 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 remuneration, you must ensure the employees are paid at least 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 HR Department deals with these issues daily and are happy to help if you have any questions regarding UK employment.

uk flag over london

Expand to the UK With Goodwille

The UK market provides great opportunities for expanding your business, however, starting up a business in the UK is a challenging process full of regulations. 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 correctly from the start.

If you are a foreign-owned business looking to expand into the UK, either through setting up a UK subsidiary or employing staff in the UK, Goodwille can help you to get the inside track. We have helped businesses expand into the UK for 20 years, and are experienced in Corporate Governance, Finance, HR, Payroll and Virtual Office services in the UK. With a track record of supporting almost 2,000 businesses, 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.

Differences between German and British Work Culture

German & UK Flag

It’s not uncommon to hear Germans being highly regarded around the world for their 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.
life and work balance

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.
sick woman distracted from work

Sick Leave

There is a trend (or there used to be) within British office workers 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.

This, of course, doesn’t apply to how COVID 19 has been handled within the UK work environment.

Are You Looking to Expand Your Business From Germany to the UK?

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, set up a subsidiary or register a branch, and 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.

Brexit: Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) & Border Arrangements

Free-Trade Agreements (FTA)

The UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020, losing its membership of the EU’s political institutions such as the European Parliament and European Commission. The Transition Period began immediately after Brexit day and is due to end on 31 December 2020. During this 11-month period, the UK remains in the EU customs union and single market, which means that the current rules on trade, travel and business for the UK and the EU continue to apply.

The UK and the EU are currently negotiating what the future relationship will look like, notably a comprehensive Free-Trade Agreement (FTA). Such an agreement is defined by the World Trade Organisation as an agreement between countries that removes tariffs and other restrictions on ‘substantially all’ goods traded between them.

Unfortunately, though the UK and the EU share the goal of a Free-Trade Agreement, like the EU’s agreement with Canada with no tariffs and no quotas, there are huge differences over how to reach it. Goods travelling between Britain and Northern Ireland remain a major issue. Additional disagreements include access to British fishing grounds and data protection. The EU will not allow the UK unfettered trade access as this would undermine the EU’s single market, whilst the UK will not accept requirements to align with EU rules.

Despite the Coronavirus outbreak, Boris Johnson’s government insists it will not extend the Transition Period. Although little time remains, EU-UK talks will intensify through July, August and September with the hope of securing an outlined deal by autumn where the future trade of goods and services will be outlined.

If a new trade agreement between the UK and the EU cannot be agreed in time, then the UK faces the prospect of having to trade with no deal in place.

Border Arrangements

Regardless of whether an agreement is done with the EU or not, the UK government has confirmed that border controls on imports will be introduced at the end of the Transition Period.

The UK had committed to introduce full import checks on EU goods at the border after the Transition Period, but Coronavirus has forced the UK government to rethink. Instead, border controls for EU goods imported into the UK will be three-phased, to give business affected by Coronavirus more time to prepare.

Phase 1) From January 2021: In this first stage, full custom checks will be imposed on ‘controlled’ goods, such as alcohol and tobacco, and on animals and high-risk plants. Importers of ‘standard’ goods, ranging from cloths to electronics, will need to prepare for basic customs requirements, such as keeping sufficient records of imported goods, and will have up to six months to complete customs declarations. Businesses will also need to consider how they account for VAT on imported goods.

Phase 2) From April 2021: Checks will be extended to all products of animal origin, including meat, pet food, honey and milk, with pre-notification of imports required by the authorities.

Phase 3) From July 2021: All goods will be subjected to customs declarations at the point of importation and relevant tariffs, which will be determined by the outcome of the current Brexit talks.

Here is more detailed information from the government’s website.

Checks on exports to the EU are being determined by Brussels and in response, the EU has said it will implement full checks on UK exports at the start of 2021.

How to prepare your business (if moving goods between the UK and the EU)

  • Make sure you have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. Goodwille can help you with this.
  • Look into how you want to make customs declarations and whether you need a customs agent. The government has put together a list over customs agents who can help you with this.
  • Refresh understanding of any logistics or supply chains involving UK-EU trade.
  • Set up a limited company or branch to ensure continued operation in the UK market. Goodwille can help you with this.

Data protection & Brexit

If the UK leaves the EU with a limited or no deal at the end of the transition period, you will need to take certain steps to ensure that data can continue to lawfully flow.

If you are a UK business that receives data from the EEA, you will need to take extra steps to ensure that the data can continue to flow freely and lawfully. The UK Government has stated that transfers to the EEA will note be restricted, but data coming from the EEA will need to be handled in a GDPR-compliant way. There are some tools available in the GDPR legislation which enable data transfers from the EEA to third countries, and for most businesses the use of Standard Contractual Clauses are likely to be the best way to keep data flowing to the UK.

If you are a UK business with offices, branches or other establishments in the EEA, your European activities will be covered by EU law, while UK activities will be covered by the Data Protection Act 2018.

Goodwille can support your business in many of the areas mentioned above, including setting up a Limited Company or a UK branch, help applying for an EORI number, as well as advice you on any HR and staff related questions. Contact us for more information on how we can support your business in preparing for Brexit. 

Sources and more information:

Go virtual – how a virtual office can support the success of your UK business

International expansion is the goal of many businesses and while launching your business in a new marketplace is very exciting, it’s critical that you spend your time doing the things that bring value to your business. For companies, and startups in particular, the most important resources you have to play with for the new market launch is time and money. A virtual office solution is one of the many ways in which you can reduce your costs, and save yourself time, so you can’t afford NOT to consider it when you are starting a UK business.

What is a virtual office?

A virtual office is a cost-effective solution for creating a UK presence without renting a physical office space and employing office staff. It provides all the benefits of your own office space, but for a fraction of the cost. You might disregard these tasks as trivial, but they really can eat your time and be a distraction from the activities you should be focusing on to grow your business.

Virtual office solutions can cover a range of different services. Some of the most common virtual office services include:

  • Telephone answering
  • Post handling
  • Customer support
  • Meeting room hire

How can a virtual office support the success of you UK business?

A virtual office brings several benefits and could increase the chances of your success in the UK market. Here are some of the main reasons our clients choose to use a virtual office solution to ensure their UK business thrives.

Focus on your core strength

A virtual office gives small businesses that are entering the UK market access to the support functions needed to run the business operations without having to employ someone to do it. When you establish in a new market and only have a few employees you need them to add direct value, at all times, and contribute to growing the business. A virtual office is a great solution to maximise your resources before the business warrants creating a permanent job for tasks like answering the phone and other administrative tasks.

Flexibility

Finding the perfect office takes time, especially in London where office rents are exceptionally high. Jump too soon and you might find yourself caught up with an expensive lease that is not fit for your longer-term growth plan. And even if the goal is of course a successful UK expansion, unforeseen situations can occur that might result in that you want to exit the market.

It’s just simply not worth risking the cost and investment for an office when you just start out in a market, as your key to a successful market launch is flexibility. A virtual office gives you just that – flexibility, while at the same time offering all the benefits and processes needed to give you a head start on the UK market.

A good impression

But a virtual office also offers another very important advantage for companies operating in UK– it gives the impression of an established and more serious presence in the UK. Business is all about relationships and a UK phone number and address gives you credibility as a business as it shows commitment to the market.

A UK presence sends an important message to potential clients and suppliers. Just think for yourself –would you rather do business with a company that is in the same country, or someone who is elsewhere in the world (and likely a different time zone).

So is a Virtual Office only for companies launching on the UK market?

Not necessarily! Businesses of any size and at any stage of growth can reap the benefits from using a virtual office solution. It all depends on your business’ needs and what services you require. Virtual office services provide the flexibility to grow with your business while always maintaining a high level of professionalism, so it’s an excellent solution also for scaling businesses. By outsourcing your non-core business activities, you give yourself more time to focus on growing your business, regardless if you are just starting out or if you are more established on the UK market.

So as you can see, a virtual office solution gives you both a better chance at impressing potential clients, as well as more time and money on your hands. If you are just starting up in the UK and want your UK business to get a head start without involving too much risk and capital, or if you are a more established business that want to streamline your operations and maximise resources, then a virtual office is definitely something you should consider.

Goodwille’s Virtual Office service, available in both London & Warwick, provides you with a selection of services to suit your needs at any stage of your business’ growth. Read more about our Virtual Office services here or contact our Front of House Manager Evy Rune to find out how we can help create a UK presence for your business.

Differences in business culture in London, Berlin and Oslo

London, Berlin and Oslo – three European capital cities all considered to be great places for business. One might think that if you are successful in one of the cities, you can plug and play your strategy if you plan to expand to a new market. It’s Northern Europe after all! However, in some aspects the business culture and how business is conducted differ significantly between the cities. Below are just two of the aspects that work differently in London, Berlin and Oslo.

Employment

In London, most of the employment is based on a permanent and pensionable format. Employees’ health and safety, insurance, pension and statutory deductions are borne directly by the employer.

However, in Berlin, the trend of freelance and agency workers has taken hold. Many companies prefer this sort of arrangement as opposed to full-time employees. Germany has a strict policy on employee welfare and labour laws to safeguard the working environment, workplace safety and regulations.

Oslo, as Norway is not part of the EU, has its own governing structure on labour regulations. Their culture and Jante law is the reference point of most business decisions. Norwegian are also thorough in their prior research, pre-prep and screening of potential employees. Once you get into the system, your future is safeguarded with laws protecting from arbitrary firing and dismissal.

Contractual Agreements

In London, when it comes to drawing agreements, it is considered prudent to have everything in black and white with lengthy contracts and contractual processes that safeguard the welfare of both parties in the business and working environment.

Comparatively, in Berlin, “a short contract is a good contract” as long as it covers the legal bases and the parties involved are well aware of the consequences of a breached contract and the laws that abide.

In Oslo, however, their general culture has a big influence on how they conduct business. They take time to go through the documents, do in-depth research and checks before making business decisions or having ink on paper.

Goodwille help businesses mainly from the Nordic and Germanic regions with expanding to the UK. Our extensive knowledge of working in the intersection of these cultures makes us a great partner when launching on the UK market. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you in the UK!

Three things to consider before joining the UK market

If your business has been successful in your home country and your services and products have also received some interest from UK consumers, congratulations! However, before setting up an office in a foreign country, ensure you consider all aspects. Here are three questions to ask yourself before entering the UK market.

What are your objectives and why the UK?

Goal setting and having clear objectives must be a priority for every business to be successful, but especially when entering a new market. You will need to know how your business is currently operating and ask yourself some key questions:

• What are my long-term and short-term goals?
• How does my business compare to others in the UK market?
• What are my business’ current profit margins?

Next, you need to ask yourself how the UK helps you achieve these. The final decision to open a UK office should hinge on how well it meets the key objectives of your overall business plan and not on specific factors in isolation such as tax, employment conditions and legal aspects.

Of course, while achieving business objectives is paramount, you also need to consider where in the UK would best meet your needs. While London may seem the obvious choice, other major cities such as Manchester, Aberdeen and Cambridge might pose specific benefits for your business’ skills niche or industry.

What type of entity do you need?

Deciding what business entity you will operate under is not to be taken lightly as it can have implications both in the short term and the long term, particularly with regards legal aspects such as paying tax, sharing out profits, making company decisions and liabilities.

The three most common ways foreign investors set up a UK company include:

I. Registering as a UK establishment – commonly referred to as a UK branch

II. Incorporating a UK subsidiary, where the most common is a private limited company

III. Incorporating a limited liability partnership

Finding the most suitable business entity may require expert help, and seeking advice from an expert can be very useful. An adviser with experience of helping companies setup in the UK can help you make the decision by asking all the relevant questions. Before you make the decision of the type of business entity, we recommend considering the below aspects with your adviser;

• The business’ nature and likelihood of prosperity in the UK
• The period you expect to be in the UK
• The challenges that you might face in establishing your business in the UK
• Administrative costs and disclosure requirements
• Tax implications

What legal implications will you face?

Next, you will have to deal with the legal side of things. The business entity you have chosen will determine your duties and responsibilities. In either case, you will have to register your business with Companies House and with HMRC, the UK tax Authority. In addition to this you will also have to factor in the necessary time for completing all the required registrations and paperwork before you can legally start trading in the UK.

Once you have considered the above and decided to enter the UK market, you will be in a position to enjoy the many benefits that the UK has to offer, including good infrastructure, specialist skills bases, a healthy business environment and a diverse yet skilled workforce. If you need advice on how to set up a UK company, you should speak to the experts at Goodwille. We can advice on the most suitable business entity to your business and your legal responsibilities in the UK. Read more about our Corporate Legal services or contact us today for more information.

How telephone answering services can improve client retention

When you open a new UK office, it’s clearly desirable to seek new prospects and clients, but it’s also extremely important to look after the customers you already have. But how can you guarantee a quick response to your clients’ calls throughout the working day when you are busy with meetings? And what about dealing with overseas customers or those in a totally different time zone? That’s where a good telephone answering service can help you.

Speaking with a real person

No matter how much information you provide for your clients on your website and regardless of how efficient you are at answering emails, people still prefer to speak directly to a human being when they have a query. A lack of response to their phone calls or merely getting through to a voicemail service or automatic message is a sure way of alienating, frustrating, and potentially losing those important existing customers.

A good live telephone answering service means that your existing customers can be confident of always getting through to a real person, 24/7. However, for a really good customer service experience to be provided, it’s important that your answering service staff have access to existing customer information and an understanding of likely queries relating to invoices etc. that may arise.

Why good customer service is so important for your existing clients

Obviously, customers who place regular orders for your goods or services are important when it comes to your monthly revenue. However, retaining them is also vital if your business is to thrive and grow.

Think about it; a poor customer service experience suffered by one client is likely to be passed on to their business contacts by way of a negative recommendation. Those people may then feed back this information to their own associates and suppliers, who in turn may do the same. Add to this the likes of Twitter, Facebook and the myriad other social media sites and forums used by businesses and you can see just how rapidly and extensively your business reputation could be damaged.

A well-informed, efficient live answering service could turn the above scenario completely on its head. Happy customers will tell their associates, and your business’ good reputation for looking after its clients will spread out like ripples across a pond. Because of this, you may find that new clients actually come to you, thus saving you the expense and hassle of extensive marketing campaigns, whilst your business continues to grow and thrive.

In conclusion

Employing a good live answering service is a sure way of keeping your existing clients happy and indirectly boosting your marketing activity and generating business for your new UK office. Can your business really afford not to have one? Goodwille offers telephone answering services as part of our Virtual Office service offering. Read more about how we can support your business in the UK and contact us today for more information.

UK Investment Support Directory

Goodwille is one of the best service providers to support inward investment to the UK!

Department for International Trade (DIT) launched the UK Investment Support Directory in May 2019, to help overseas businesses with finding the right support when setting up or expanding in the UK. We are honoured to announce that Goodwille is one of the UK specialist firms listed in the Directory as experts in helping foreign businesses establish on the UK market!

About the UK Investment Support Directory

The UK Investment Support Directory is a collection of companies with skills and experience in helping overseas businesses establish or expand in the UK. The Directory includes service providers carefully selected by DIT based on their experience and expertise in the UK marketplace.

The aim of the Directory is to provide a link between foreign businesses and local experts; it helps overseas businesses to find the most appropriate local support by listing UK service providers by industry and experience, all in one place. If you need specialist advice within a specific sector or with specific language skills, the Directory makes it easy for you to find British businesses with just the expertise and experience you are looking for!

Goodwille is in a good position to assist foreign businesses with navigating the UK market. We have over 20 years of experience helping businesses mainly from the Nordics to set up an run successful UK operations. With clients ranging from tech startups to retail chains, we are well equipped to support businesses in any sector.

On our Business Profile Page you can read more about the services we provide for overseas companies thinking about expanding to the UK, as well as some examples of companies we have helped to achieve UK success.

The full UK Investment Support Directory is accessible on DIT’s website.

Are you looking to set up or expand your business in the UK? Contact Goodwille today to hear more about how we have helped over 1,800 businesses set up and run a successful UK operation. We are happy to share our experience and help businesses from abroad off to a flying start in the UK!

The three leadership P’s that will help you set up a UK company

When you set up a UK company, you’ll want it to be successful. But the odds are against you. Five out ten of new businesses fail within their first couple of years. If you want to avoid that you need three things: a good product, great marketing and strong leadership.

Research has shown that poor leadership is one of the defining factors behind business failure. So here are three leadership traits you’ll need when you open a UK office for your new business to thrive (and survive!).

Passion

Whether you’re talking to customers, employees or suppliers, you’ll need passion to build your new business. Those who are passionate are more likely to convince others of the message they are passing on.

This can be vital in recruiting for your new startup, as you want new hires to believe in your product and sell it. Passion will also help you sell to new customers.

Persistence

Not everything you want to achieve will happen at the first ask. In fact, it may take time to collect sales and build contacts for your new UK company. If you give up early you’ll never succeed and that’s why you’ve got to keep going.

Persistence can be challenging when you’ve suffered a few set backs. If you are finding it hard to keep motivated, try making goals smaller. When you achieve smaller goals you’ll feel good about the work and this can boost your morale.

Patience

When you set up a new UK business you’ll have to be patient. You can’t expect the business to be successful straight away. Most businesses take time to start making a profit, especially if you’ve taken out substantial loans to finance your new venture.

Therefore, expect to take at least one or two years before you can start making your new UK business a success. That doesn’t mean that your small business can’t provide you with an income, but it will take time for your efforts to be rewarded with a significant return.

Time for your leadership to show

When you set up a UK business you’ll need strong leadership traits to make it a success. The more of the three traits you show above, the more successful you’ll be, and the faster that success will come.

If you want help to set up a UK business, then contact us at Goodwille. Businesses from across Europe, the US and the rest of the world have entrusted our expertise and experience in the UK market to start their UK operations. Now it is your turn.

Britain will always be open for business: Alexander’s 5 tips to secure UK success

This is an advertorial by Goodwille, originally posted in The Link Magazine April 2019 issued by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK. Read the magazine here.

Goodwille, a Patron of the Swedish Chamber, have been helping Swedish businesses with their expansion to the UK for over 20 years. Alexander Goodwille, who recently celebrated his second year as CEO, shares his top 5 tips to give you the best chance at UK success.

1. Pitching your products and services

No matter how many times you’ve successfully sold your products and services in your home country, your pitch needs to be tailored to meet local standards when you enter a new market. 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 the UK 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.

2. Build on previous successes

If your product or service has been successful in Sweden, there’s no reason to think that it will not achieve similar or even greater heights following your UK expansion. In fact, the more success you have had at ‘home’, the more likely you are to succeed in a new location. Remember that the UK market is highly competitive, so be sure to capitalise on your successful track record as it will make your UK pitch much stronger.

3. Choose the right location

The location that you choose for your new UK office 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 travel by road, rail and air are also important aspects of your location to consider, especially if you are intending to commute regularly from Sweden. Logistics are also 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.

There are often government grants available, designed to attract businesses to certain regions, so it can be worth looking at cities other than London.

4. Make sure you’re ready, not just wanting

International expansion is a noble goal, but you can’t hope to succeed unless your business is sorted at the local level. It’s not just about ensuring you have the funds to cover expansion either. Growing your business into new markets will take a lot of your time and focus. Unresolved problems in your local marketplace will inevitably interrupt your dedication and expansion plans. If the problems are serious, it could even hamper the success of your expansion, so make sure you have a firm footing before you leap.

5. Do your research & ask for help

It’s beyond important that you invest as much time as possible to understand your intended marketplace. It sounds obvious, but the expansion process can be easily stalled by unexpected issues.

Learn how the UK market operates and what it requires. Not only will it make your entry as seamless as possible, it will also give you the best possible chance to achieve success in the long run. Consider every aspect of your operation from supply, through delivery, and into customer aftercare.

Make sure you spend enough time in the UK and get to know the new market properly. Do not underestimate the importance of local partners, like Goodwille, that can guide you through local regulations and introduce you to the right people!

To find out more about how Goodwille can support you with your UK expansion, or existing UK operation, please contact me directly on alexander.goodwille@goodwille.com

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