UK open for business
July 31st, 2019
Open All Seasons
The sun never stops shining. Businesses that have expanded to the UK will be familiar with the local unpredictable weather. They will also understand that, though you can’t always see it, the sun rises every day. Whether obscured by Atlantic cloud or London fog, the sun still exists – burning just as bright.
The UK and Brexit continue to make headlines around the world. Often the stories are somewhat negative. However, behind the media clouds of doom, gloom, farce and confusion, the heat and light remain the same. For the second year running, the UK has topped the Forbes’ Best Countries for Business rankings.
The rankings are compiled by rating nations on 15 different factors, including property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, red tape, risk and investor protection. “As terms of the country’s exit from the European Union are mapped out, Britain’s future is murky. Yet the foundation of its business climate remains attractive” say Forbes, who report that The U.K. is the only country among the top 30 (out of 161 countries ranked) on all 15 metrics.
UK Business Foundations
Strong foundations are an essential requirement for a US corporation seeking a European location to expand to, and the UK’s business foundations bridge the Brexit divide. Speaking in Brussels, Brexiteer and prospective Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that the country is
“perfectly positioned as Europe’s global hub for finance, tech, culture and science. Brexit won’t change that, in fact it represents a fantastic opportunity for London and for the UK to trade openly not just with our European friends and partners, but with the world.”
Despite their differences, it’s a sentiment shared by Brexit opponent and Johnson’s successor as London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who told the Financial Times: “It’s not simply a state of mind or an attitude — it’s what we are: open for talent, for business, for investment.”
One of these key foundations is the UK’s position as the gateway to the world. Expanding to the UK and paves the way for wider growth, utilising the existing links to Europe and Asia. For any business looking to establish a global brand, twin bases in the US and UK provide excellent positioning for worldwide expansion.
It’s hard to underestimate London’s significance as the world’s leading financial centre. The world’s fifth largest economy has also largely endured the uncertainties of a pending Brexit, remained stable and continued to grow. Corporation tax rates are the joint lowest in G20 and double taxation agreements exist between the UK and several other destinations, allowing US to trade freely with other countries without being taxed twice on the same income.
Similarities in language and law offer distinct advantages to US businesses looking to set up in the UK. The open attitude to a wide range of businesses is another draw, but especially the welcome provided to entrepreneurs and tech companies. Whilst many sectors remain London-centric, the UK tech boom has been a nationwide phenomenon. To date, the UK has created 72 tech companies worth $1 billion, substantially higher than any other country in Europe. There has also been a record $4.8 billion in venture capital investment in tech companies over the first five months of 2019.
Elephant in the Shop
The uncertain future that Brexit may bring is an issue that cannot be ignored. However, it is one that the Briars Group can successfully manage. Our PeopleLogik service allows businesses to set up an interim base in the UK and enjoy all the current advantages until deciding on more permanent operation once the dust settles.
Depending on the ultimate destination of the Brexit journey, a PeopleLogik backed toe-hold can be formalised and fully established or speedily wrapped up as required. Until that decision needs to be taken, PeopleLogik provides a simple, compliant and low-risk PEO service that allows business to make the most of the UK’s privileged position. For the time being, the ‘nation of shopkeepers’ is very much open for business, whatever the weather.
For more information about PeopleLogik, contact Briars Group.
Want to know how to set up a business in the UK? Learn here.