Despite the political turmoil of the last 12 months, the UK is still an attractive place to do business and many commentators point out that Brexit will offer even greater advantages for doing business in the UK. One thing is certain though, since the 2008 banking crisis, whatever their political perspectives, successive UK Governments have worked hard to market ‘UK PLC’ and to keep its position as Europe’s number one investment destination.
These efforts coupled with various fiscal reforms have led to the UK being ranked as the 7th easiest country in the world in which to do business. (The World Bank: http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings)
The UK very much welcomes Investors and Entrepreneurs – with its geographical position paired with its reputation for fostering a professional business culture, the UK continues to attract a diverse collection of market sectors including ongoing financial services, research and development, innovation, technology and now boasts the fastest growing tech scene in Europe.
There are a number of competitive advantages for investors in the UK, which include, but are not limited to:
- A mobile and highly skilled workforce;
- Flexible labour laws so organisations can employ staff in a way to suit the business needs;
- Most competitive labour costs in Western Europe helped by low employer social security contributions;
- A transparent regulatory system making it easy to do business;
- At just 20% the UK has the joint lowest corporation tax in the G20 (the world’s largest 20 economies);
- Double taxation treaties with most other countries;
- Excellent infrastructure and transport links with the rest of the world; and
- A central time zone position ideally placed between the markets of the East and West.
Post-Brexit could offer further advantages to businesses as more work visas may be granted to experienced specialists from outside of the EU. This may be of particular pertinence to the expanding tech industry as they seek to attract experts from India, China and other South East Asian countries.
Another advantage is the weaker pound, which whilst not popular with everyone, certainly offers up a boost for exports.
There is no doubt that the UK is an attractive place to start a business and overseas entrepreneurs with a high growth potential proposition can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. To do this applicants need to have received funding of at least £50,000 from an approved organisation, or hold at least £200,000 in funding from yourself or a third party. This could be a venture capitalist firm, the UK Government or through a Department of Industry and Trade seed competition. For more information on seed competitions visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/entrepreneurs-setting-up-in-the-uk/entrepreneurs-setting-up-in-the-uk#endorsement-for-an-entrepreneur-visa
With so many advantages, setting up a business in the UK is still to be encouraged but whilst it is true that there is a genuine drive to ensure the UK has a simple and easy to understand legal environment, investors and entrepreneurs still need to be kept abreast of the regulatory requirements relating to their investment and these can differ from business to business.
So, if you are ready to start your venture in the UK, our professional team of specialists at Baxters International can advise you further, offering specific advice to suit your particular circumstances.