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.

Updates to the EU Settlement Scheme

Following the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May, and with the race for a new Prime Minister and leader of the Tory Party already in full-swing, the level of uncertainty in the Brexit process has definitely increased and muddied potential outcomes. Nevertheless, the UK is still due to leave the EU on, or before, 31 October 2019 as agreed with the EU in April. This has led to a shift in the timetable of the Brexit process and some deadlines for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

In January 2019, we published our guide to the EUSS; a flowchart looking at 3 primary questions concerning EU citizens’ rights in the UK post-Brexit UK. There have since been some notable changes to the EUSS flowchart, such as the UK government opening the EUSS to the public at no cost in April as promised, the possibility for iPhone users to also use the Home Office App later this year to upload passport information, the UK government noting that EEA country citizens would also be able to apply for EUSS, are but a few changes of noteworthy importance. There is more information in our flowchart, which is accessible on the link below.

We understand the uncertainty surrounding the fate of all EU citizens in the UK in a post-Brexit Britain, and our guide aims to shed some light on the changes to the rights of residency for EU and EEA citizens in the UK. Our flowchart will forward you to relevant sites and offer professional guidance concerning any aspects of the relevant law, and hopefully, provide you with a piece of mind regarding your rights to remain in the UK post-Brexit.

Access our guide to the EU Settlement Scheme here.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your rights to reside and do business in and with the United Kingdom after Brexit.

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!

Brexit – where are we now?

On 11th April, European Union leaders granted the United Kingdom a six-month extension to Brexit to 31st October this year. Effectively, this means that the UK now either must hold European elections on 23rd May or leave on 1st June without a deal. According to Theresa May, the aim is still for the UK to leave the EU as soon as possible, and Brexit should ideally take place well before the deadline in October.

Currently, there are various factors which could result in a No Deal Brexit. As mentioned, if the UK does not participate in the EU elections, this will effectively result in the UK leaving on 1st June this year – an outcome we believe to be unlikely at this point. Another possibility is if Theresa May’s deal fails to go through Parliament, which, in return, will mean that the UK will be leaving on 31st October. Lastly, there is the possibility that the decision to leave without a deal is made by Theresa May if she remains Prime Minister. In the event of an unsuccessful leadership contest – which will be the result if she does not manage to win the confidence vote – Theresa May will resign and it will consequently be up to the new Prime Minister to continue the Brexit negotiations going forward.

Goodwille continues to follow the development of Brexit closely. Amongst other things, we have been working on growing our network to include experts within the field of import and export, and are still working closely with North Star Law on the question of immigration. Furthermore, we ensure to attend several events focusing on Brexit, the latest being our CEO, Alexander Goodwille, attending the Export Gala (Tullgala in Swedish) in Gothenburg on 23rd May.


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.

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

New Tax Rates 2019/2020

The new UK tax year starts on 6 April 2019. This means that any changes to the tax system and tax rates will come into effect on this date.

We have compiled all tax rates for 2019/2020 into a Tax Table for your convenience. The Tax Table includes tax rates relevant to both individuals and companies, including updated rates on corporation tax and workplace pension.

Make sure you pay the right amount of tax – download the Tax Table for 2019/2020 HERE.

 

 

Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital (MTD) came into effect on 1st April 2019. MTD is part of the UK Government’s recent efforts to ensure companies and individuals keep on top of their contributions. The introduction of MTD means that all VAT registered businesses (with taxable turnover above the current threshold, currently £85,000) from now on are required to use an HMRC approved software to keep their tax records digitally. This affects all businesses that trade in the UK, including international organisations that may process accounts within their home countries.

Companies operating from nations such as Sweden, Finland or Norway, but trading within the UK need to follow the UK Government’s guidelines closely to ensure they comply to avoid any penalties. The best way to achieve that is to outsource the book-keeping process to experts like us at Goodwille.

Goodwille specialises in helping non-UK businesses to expand into the local market. Their team can assist with many or all back-office tasks to ensure entrepreneurs and business owners are free to focus on the more important elements of their expansions. For more than 20 years, Goodwille has helped hundreds of international businesses open UK offices, launch UK subsidiaries, and deal with their ongoing compliance.

Key Points:

  1. Record keeping – International and homegrown businesses can no longer keep manual financial records for VAT. Starting from 1st April 2019, companies must use a compliant approved accounting system that connects to HMRC through an API.
  2. VAT submissions – While returns must be submitted to HMRC via approved digital software, there is going to be a soft landing period during the first 12-months, during which companies can still copy and paste data between software. However, this will change on 1st April 2020.
  3. Brexit – Making Tax Digital for VAT comes into force at the same time the UK plans to leave the EU. There are concerns that businesses dealing with VAT transactions between the UK and EU will become affected, and so it is vital that all companies keep on top of their understanding of any changes brought into force to ensure their systems comply. The best way of doing that is to outsource.

Outsourcing:

It is expected that most businesses will need to keep their corporation tax records digitally using specialist approved software by 2020. This means that now is the best time to put an outsourcing solution in place to ensure a smooth transition.

The aim of Making Tax Digital is to bring the tax system into the modern age and help businesses to save time and money. However, organisations based outside the UK could encounter the opposite outcome if they don’t remain ahead of the game and select an outsourcing partner like Goodwille as soon as possible.

For more information about the many ways in which specialists like those at Goodwille can remove some of the strain from the situation and ensure your business can thrive in the new Making Tax Digital landscape, visit www.goodwille.com today. Companies that fail to comply with MTD requirements could face fines or worse in the UK, hence it’s vital not to delay this move.

Outsourcing presents the opportunity for businesses to remain focused on their growth and expansion goals rather than watching alterations to the tax system. So, take the first step today!

Good Connections – Goodwille’s Partner Network Guide

We have built a strong partner network over the past 20 years. Our partner network consists of a broad range of businesses, specialists and advisers that share our mission to make business as smooth and enjoyable as possible, in the UK and beyond.

By joining Goodwille, you get access to our larger network who are supporting our existing clients outside of the services that Goodwille can provide you with. Our network partners are companies and experts that we know well and recommend for services related to setting up and growing your UK business.

To help our clients navigate our network, we have compiled a list of partners in a Partner Network Guide. The simple aim is to make it easier for our clients to find someone with the answers to their questions. Whether you need specialist legal advice, office space, or help with marketing or recruitment, you can be sure someone in our network can help you!

Already strong in the UK and looking at expanding to other markets? We have partners in our network that can help you! If you like the way Goodwille works with helping businesses in the UK and are looking for something similar for your continued international expansion – look no further! We have service providers we recommend that can help you in other European markets & the USA.

So whenever you are faced with a question about the UK market or international expansion – come to us! We are always happy to recommend or introduce you to any of our network partners that we know can help you. That’s what Good Connections are all about, and that’s why our network is such an integral part of our business.

Get your copy of Goodwille’s Partner Network Guide

Want to receive a copy of our Partner Network Guide?
Fill in the form below and we’ll send you a copy!



The best UK Market Entry Advice in 2019

The UK is a great place for business! Successful growing businesses from abroad often look to the UK when planning an international expansion; it’s a business-friendly environment with a strong talent pool and good access to capital. Where else could be a better place to grow your international business?

However, entering a new market require some planning and also, sometimes, some expert advice and support. Our friends at Rochester PR Group, a London-based PR agency specialised in market entry PR, have compiled the best UK Market Entry tips from leading market entry experts in the 2019 edition of their UK Market Entry Advice booklet.

With more than 20 years’ experience helping foreign businesses enter the UK market, Goodwille was asked to contribute with our best advice on how to succeed in the UK. These are the top Do’s and Don’ts that our CEO Alexander Goodwille thinks businesses should consider when launching in the UK;

Do

Focus on what is important to you, delegate everything else. Take specialist advice, especially in areas where you have no expertise or which are not core to your business growth.

Research your market and your competition. Find a niche and build from there.

Network. Tap into anywhere you can to get help – nothing works better than a personal introduction.

Don’t

Don’t make assumptions. What works at home may not work in the UK.

Don’t rush. Plan and budget – but if it’s new technology you need to be first to market.

Don’t underestimate how important it is to get agreements right, especially employee and supplier contracts.

Want more advice on how to maximise your chances of success when setting up a business in the UK? Download your copy of the 2019 edition of the Market Entry Advice Booklet here.

Goodwille has over 20 years’ experience helping businesses from abroad establish in the UK. Our services are designed to manage the practical aspect of setting up and running a UK operation, so you can focus on your core business! If you are considering the UK for your next international move, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you.