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Doing Business in the UK:
6 Benefits You Need to Be Aware of

When looking at which country to expand into, there are some key things to consider. Economic stability, a talented workforce, and a business-friendly environment are just a few. The UK provides businesses with all this and more. In the 2018/2019 tax year, 672,890 start-ups were founded in the UK. The country has lots to offer to businesses wanting to expand. Over 7,500 US businesses now have operations in the UK. Some of these companies include LinkedIn, AirBnB and Amazon.
Mark Baggs

Mark Baggs
Head of Global Expansion

Why is the UK appealing to so many businesses?

London is a financial hub of the world

Some of the largest financial establishments exist in the city including the London Stock Exchange and the Bank of England. This makes it a prime location for those wanting to expand their business in the country.

The UK’s corporation tax rate is also the lowest in the G7 (which comprises the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US). The country has double taxation agreements with several countries. For US businesses, this allows freedom to trade with other countries without the worry about doubling the tax on the same income. 

Access to a large talent pool

With over 66 million people in the UK, the country opens up opportunities to reach a massive new market. It also boasts a very talented and skilled workforce, housing four of the top ten universities.

The country is home to the second highest amount of professional software developers in Europe. The total currently stands at 849,000, just behind German at 901,000. Further to this, it ranks 5th in the world for access to growth opportunities. So, when recruiting your workforce, you can be sure there will be no shortage of skilled applicants.

Government support for technology

The tech sector is one of the fasting growing sectors in the country. It’s currently valued at $1 trillion, growing significantly faster than the rest of the economy over the past two years. From artificial intelligence to IoT, and 5G solutions to cybersecurity, the industry is supported heavily by the country. With forward-leaning regulators, an accommodating climate for innovation, highly liquid funding markets and globally renowned research and development hubs, it’s no wonder it continues to accumulate such success.

Following the recent announcement in the Budget, there will be a new fast-track visa to fill the skills gap present within the sector and attract top talent. The visa is set to come with simplified bureaucracy for talent worldwide, and will look to boost fintech, as well as technology operations as a whole.

“A new visa route for specialists could be a turning point, and really accelerate growth by allowing us to welcome new talent into the sector and benefit from a diverse pool of skills.” – Wayne Johnson, CEO of Encompass.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer also confirmed the launch of a new £375m fund that will see the government invest in fast-growing UK tech start-ups.

Great ecosystem for businesses

As we’ve established, the country is well known for its business-friendly environment, nurturing start-ups and entrepreneurs.

One of the biggest benefits of doing business in the UK is its ease of doing business. According to the World Bank, the country ranks very highly compared to other countries. Ease of trading across borders and registering property are just some factors that determine the countries ranking.

There is also no shortage of VC funding for entrepreneurs looking to start a company or open an office in the country. According to the latest report by and London & Partners, the companies founded in the UK tech capital helped Europe reach record levels of tech venture capital funding in 2020. Despite the global pandemic and Brexit, London tech firms raised £7.6 billion in VC investment.

Also, despite the pandemic taking hold of the country for the majority of 2020, London produced three new impact unicorns, taking its total so far to four.

VS Investors graph

Transport links

The high speed rail link to Europe and strengthening air travel means the country is in a great position for global transport, both to Europe and worlwide. The UK also has the second largest port transport hub in Europe.

Flexible labour laws

The UK has an overall lower labour cost than many other European countries including France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany. Plus, it has more flexible labour laws compared with several European countries. These flexible laws and lower labour cost enable companies to adapt quicker. Plus it provides the benefit of lower employer social security contributions.

Estimated hourly cost graph

Source: Eurostat

Which sectors are growing in the UK?

Fintech, marketing, advertising and energy are some of the fastest growing sectors in the UK.

As the Unicorn capital of Europe, the UK sits only behind the US and China when it comes to building fast-growing global firms. With record investments in a number of sectors including AI, FinTech and clean energy, the UK is the perfect place to grow your business.

Want more information on how Gibson Watts Global can help a company like yours to expand in the UK? Contact us today.

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