Why specialist legal advice is essential when you expand your business into the UK

If you plan to set up a UK company from your overseas location, you really should consider the benefits of specialist legal advice. Launching any business in the UK could be a legal minefield, and specialist legal advice for your new business will help you avoid risks and potential problems.

How will legal advice help with my UK startup?

Specialist business solicitors provide the essential assistance to ensure the right decisions are made when launching your UK startup. The type of legal advice offered includes:

Support with the creation of your company structure

This can be particularly important if you launch your company in partnership with others. You might possibly need a partnership arrangement or shareholders’ agreement drawing up to protect the value of investments made into your new business. Your legal expert also offers support and advice relating to the best structure for your business, such as opting for a limited company, partnership or limited liability partnership (LLP), or if you should consider a UK branch.

Help to narrow down your choice of suitable business premises

This is another important way legal advisors can help with the launch of your UK company. You need to understand all the terminology in any lease agreement, so you don’t get locked into a commercial rental agreement that is wrong for your business. Types of assistance offered could include reviews of landlord rent increase and service charge requirements and the use clauses relating to the property.

Sourcing loan financing and grant solutions

Grants, finance and tax issues can all be reviewed by your specialist legal advisor, who can also help you source suitable grant or loan financing to fund your new business over the initial trading months. There are a variety of different business financing solutions in the UK and your advisor will help you narrow down your options and inform you of any potential legal implications. Your legal expert will also advise you about tax liabilities in the UK and help you make decisions on tricky payroll and HR issues.

Setting up contractual terms

Companies selling goods or services in the UK have a number of legal obligations to meet. Your advisor can assist you in setting up the contractual terms under which your business will provide goods and services and also inform of any product liability issues that could arise in your marketing or sales campaigns.

There are many more ways in which expert legal advice can help smooth the launch of your UK startup. Goodwille offers specialist legal, HR, accounting and payroll support to overseas businesses planning a UK launch. Get in touch with us for more information on how we can support your business in the UK.

3 main factors to consider when recruiting UK employees

For many UK-based businesses, taking on a new staff member can be a daunting and intricate process. With no reachable source of guidance, it will definitely feel burdensome.

Whether you are planning to launch a startup or expand your international business, employees are critical to the process. Get started on the right foot by attracting the best job seekers and avoid legal consequences due to improper recruitment practices.

Here are 3 key factors to consider when recruiting UK employees:

Know the law

UK employment laws protect both employees and employers, so it’s vital that your HR department knows and understands these laws. By keeping up to date with the legal obligations in the UK, you can easily make sure your recruitment procedure complies with the regulations. Such laws include: anti-discrimination policies, immigration laws, pre-employment checks and many more. It is also vital to know and understand the various post-employment regulations in the UK. If you don’t know the law or fail to comply, it can be detrimental and costly for your business.

Determine your employees’ pay

Always pay the correct rates. From their first day of employment, all employees have the right to be paid at least National Minimum Wage. However, their total pay will likely exceed the national wage to include pensions, travel expenses, loans and meal subsidies.

Also, paying the National Living Wage to your potential workers can help them afford a better standard of living. This is something you need to consider as it motivates employees to perform better.

How you will reach out to quality candidates

Just as vital as it is for HR to understand how job seekers are searching for roles, they must also consider the type of information they seek.

A survey conducted by Glassdoor in May 2018 revealed that online job sites are the leading job source platforms. Therefore, using top job sites facilitates the hiring process as experienced and talented candidates will be able to find and access relevant information about your company.

The study by Glassdoor also highlighted the critical pieces of information UK job seekers are looking for on a job description. These include the salary, the location of the job, and any work-life benefits.

When opening a UK office, quality should also be your top priority. To attract quality candidates, you must be able to tailor your adverts in a manner that entices job seekers and portrays your company in a positive light.

Goodwille is here to support your business with everything related to HR and employment. Check out our HR services and get in touch with us today if you need help with your UK employees!

Right to Work Checks

If you are looking to set up a company in the UK, Right to Work Checks are an essential part of taking on employees and casual workers. This post gives a brief overview of some of the main questions those entering the UK market might have about Right to Work Checks.

What is a “right to work check”?

Employers must check and ensure that any employees or workers they take on are legally allowed to work in the United Kingdom before they employ them. This is a legal requirement, and it is illegal to hire anyone, formally or informally, who is aged 16 or over and is not able to work in the UK.

What happens if an employer does not carry out Right to Work Checks?

Employers in the United Kingdom have a legal obligation to prevent people from working illegally. If it is discovered that an employer has hired an illegal worker, and there is no evidence of a Right to Work Check having been carried out, the employer may receive a civil fine of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker discovered.

Who needs a Right to Work Check?

Right to Work Checks should be carried out on all employees before they begin work. Carrying out Right to Work Checks on only certain groups of people may be in breach of discrimination laws. Employers should not make assumptions about a person’s right to work in the UK based on colour, nationality, ethnicity, accent or the amount of time they have been a legal resident in the UK.

If I know the candidate personally, do I still need to carry out a Right to Work Check?

Yes, regardless of whether you know the job candidate personally, you must still carry out a Right to Work Check before they commence work with you.

How do I carry out a Right to Work Check?

Carrying out a Right to Work Check is a three step process. Firstly, you must see the applicant’s original documents that prove they have a right to work in the UK. You must then check that these documents are in fact valid, and you must check the validity of the documents whilst the applicant is present. Finally, you must take clear copies of the documents, in a way which means they cannot be altered, to record the date the check was carried out.

If you’re looking to enter the UK market, contact the team at Goodwille today for more advice and tips.

What are the advantages of international expansion?

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

Untapped markets

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

Positive business climate

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

Increased exposure

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

Breathing new life into your business

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

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

Avoid these three common tech startup mistakes

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

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

Failure to specialise

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

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

Financial mismanagement

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

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

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

Employee retention

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

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

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

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.

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

The UK is ranked 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.

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 (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.

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 find out more about the best option for you when expanding to the UK, please don’t hesitate to  get in touch with Goodwille’s Legal Department. 

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.

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

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. 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 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 the UK corporation income taxation, an overseas business needs to be trading in the UK through a permanent establishment. To find out more information about when you may need to register an entity in the UK, please contact us.

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 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 Human Resource Department deals with these issues daily and are happy to help if you have any questions regarding UK employment.

To conclude

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 Legal, Finance, HR and Payroll 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.

LAUNCH IN LONDON | Speaker introduction: Alexander Goodwille – Goodwille

London is a great place to be for tech businesses – it has access to great pool of talent, capital and investors, it boosts a large tech community and it’s perfectly located in the middle of time zones. With all these possibilities available – how can businesses and entrepreneurs utilise these to the best extent possible, and what else is needed to succeed?

On 14 June, Goodwille are hosting the event Launch in London as part of London Tech Week. The event targets startups, tech businesses and entrepreneurs with aspirations to launch in London, and will provide insights and expert advice on everything you need to succeed with your tech business in London.

One of the speakers at the event is our very own CEO Alexander Goodwille. If you read our blog on a regular basis, you might already be familiar with Alexander and what we do at Goodwille, but reading the introduction below we’re sure you’ll learn something new about Alexander, the Goodwille family business and why we are hosting Launch in London during London Tech Week!

During Launch in London, Alexander will speak about:

With over twenty years (twenty one to be exact!) experience helping companies expand in the UK, Goodwille have seen many businesses succeed, and also some businesses struggle with their UK operations. Alexander will share his best tips, and the pitfalls to avoid when starting up your business in London. He will provide common mistakes that he has seen over the years and give examples of unpleasant situations you might end up in if you haven’t done your homework!

About Goodwille and why we host Launch in London during London Tech Week 2018

Goodwille help businesses succeed with their UK operation. Founded by Swedish business woman Annika Åman-Goodwille, Goodwille take care of the administration and practical issues associated with running a business in the UK, so businesses can focus on clients and growing their business! Covering five integrated department, including Corporate Legal and Compliance, Finance, People Management and HR, Payroll, and Virtual Office and Meeting Rooms, we provide a solid foundation for you to grow your business.

At Goodwille, we think that startups and entrepreneurs should focus their efforts on value creation instead of admin and trying to learn the systems and requirements to run a UK business, and Tech is one of the most represented industries in our client-base. We want to provide startups, entrepreneurs and tech businesses with not only the administrative support they need to succeed in the UK, but also to give them valuable advice on how to interact with British clients and colleagues, how to make a name of yourself on London’s big tech scene, and also where and how to look for help to maximise your potential. We hope that Launch in London will provide just this to growing businesses, British or foreign, that wish to conquer London in 2018.

About Alexander

Alexander is the Computer Engineer that after 10 years in Investment Banking in March 2017 stepped up as CEO for the family business that his mother had founded 20 years earlier. He has a deep passion for all things tech and entrepreneurial, and he loves seeing people grow and succeed. Growing up in the UK with a Swedish mother and Scottish father and having seen the Goodwille business grow from the first client to nearly 2,000 companies helped to date, he has seen and experienced several culture clashes between cultures that are seemingly similar, but maybe more importantly – he has seen many foreign companies succeed in the UK.

LAUNCH IN LONDON – EVENTS DETAILS

Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Tickets: This event is fully booked, email hello@goodwille.com to be put on the waiting list

LAUNCH IN LONDON | Speaker introduction: Joanna Smit – Smit Training

London is a great place to be for tech businesses – it has access to great pool of talent, capital and investors, it boosts a large tech community and it’s perfectly located in the middle of time zones. With all these possibilities available – how can businesses and entrepreneurs utilise these to the best extent possible, and what else is needed to succeed?

On 14 June, Goodwille are hosting the event Launch in London as part of London Tech Week. The event targets startups, tech businesses and entrepreneurs with aspirations to launch in London, and will provide insights and expert advice on everything you need to succeed with your tech business in London.

One of the speakers at the event is Joanna Smit, Founder and Business Culture Consultant at Smit Training. Get to know Joanna a bit better and learn what she will bring to the discussion at Launch in London!

During Launch in London, Joanna will speak about:

The importance of (business) culture to succeed when entering a new market! Joanna will help you understand the British people and give insights on how to work effectively with them – both how to collaborate with the Brits in your team and how to sell to British clients. Her talk will give your new business the best chance of success as you will be equipped with all the intercultural skills you need to make your transition in to the UK market .

About Smit Training

Doing business in a new country brings exciting new opportunities but also certain challenges, such as overcoming language barriers or adapting to a different work culture. Smit Training trains multi-national organisations on how to work effectively with the Brits. Training courses include: leading British teams effectively, working with British colleagues or selling to British clients. Smit Training’s clients include senior managers and sales teams of multi-national organisations, international chambers of commerce, and international business schools.

About Joanna

The Founder of Smit Training, Joanna Smit, draws on nearly 10 years experience in international sales & investment banking with both the public and private sector across various countries, including the UK. Joanna has lived and worked in 6 countries and speaks several languages fluently.

Website: www.smit-training.com

LAUNCH IN LONDON – EVENTS DETAILS

Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Tickets: Grab your free ticket HERE!

LAUNCH IN LONDON | Speaker introduction: Mark Leaver – DIT

London is a great place to be for tech businesses – it has access to great pool of talent, capital and investors, it boosts a large tech community and it’s perfectly located in the middle of time zones. With all these possibilities available – how can businesses and entrepreneurs utilise these to the best extent possible, and what else is needed to succeed?

On 14 June, Goodwille are hosting the event Launch in London as part of London Tech Week. The event targets startups, tech businesses and entrepreneurs with aspirations to launch in London, and will provide insights and expert advice on everything you need to succeed with your tech business in London.

One of the speakers at the event is Mark Leaver, Creative Industries Specialist and Adviser for UK Department for International Trade, DIT. Get to know Mark a bit better and learn what he will bring to the discussion at Launch in London!

About Mark

Mark works with the Department for International Trade as a specialist adviser on the creative and digital media industries, assisting and advising international businesses to make investments and grow their presence in the UK and guiding DIT thinking on the creative technology landscape.

During Launch in London, Mark will speak about:

Starting off by introducing DIT and how they can help foreign businesses in the UK, Mark will talk about opportunity in the UK for inward investment; specific sector growth, focusing on the creative and technology sectors; Brexit (the inevitable topic!) and why despite Brexit, the UK is still very much open for business; and the accelerators and programmes available to help accelerate your business in the UK.

About Department for International Trade

Department for International Trade, DIT, is an international economic department of the UK government, operating to secure UK and global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment, championing free trade. The responsibilities of the Department include bringing together policy, promotion and financial expertise to break down barriers to trade and investment and promoting British trade and investment across the world. This includes helping foreign businesses locate in the UK, as well as helping UK businesses expand overseas.

Website: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-international-trade

LAUNCH IN LONDON – EVENTS DETAILS

Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Tickets: Grab your free ticket HERE!