Webinar Recap: UK as a Hub for Global Business Expansion

The webinar "Trading With the UK", held on 13 June 2024, offered a comprehensive guide for Slovenian companies looking to expand their business to the UK, focusing on the strategic advantages and detailed steps in establishing and maintaining a business presence in the UK market.

Key speakers and highlights

Vaishali Patel, Second Political Secretary, British Embassy in Ljubljana highlighted the trade relations between Slovenia and the UK, noting that the total trade at the end of 2023 was £1.30 billion, a 1.3 % increase from 2022. She emphasized the ambition to further increase these levels by making trade processes smoother and opening up new business opportunities. Patel also stressed the benefits of accessing global markets through the UK, such as the US and Commonwealth Nations.

Patel also discussed the new Border Target Operating Model introduced this year, applicable to all imports into Great Britain, including those from the EU. This model employs a risk-based approach, with recent changes requiring medium-risk products to undergo identity and physical checks to protect UK biosecurity. The UK is also developing digital borders to simplify trade, utilizing technology and data for maintaining the flow and security of goods, including digital certificates and a single trade window.

For those interested in setting up a business in the UK, Patel recommended visiting gov.uk/set-up-limited-company for step-by-step guidance, and gov.uk/check-uk-visa for visa requirements.

Meghan Osborne, Tax Senior Manager at Carpenter Box presented a step-by-step guide to setting up a business in the UK:

  1. choose a legal structure (limited company or limited liability partnership),
  2. form the legal entity,
  3. set up a registered office,
  4. open a bank account,
  5. establish an accounting system.

Osborne also discussed various scenarios of typical arrangements in the UK, such as employees moving to the UK, overseas companies setting up branches, and groups establishing UK companies. She noted that local suppliers are likely to offer better trading and credit terms to UK-based companies. Additionally, she highlighted that the main corporation tax rate in the UK is currently 25 % and explained the details of withholding tax on interest, royalties, and dividends.

Andrew Neuman, Tax Director at Carpenter Box elaborated on the ongoing UK compliance requirements, which include filing corporation tax returns, VAT returns, and statutory accounts. He mentioned the annual confirmation statement that enhances transparency and outlined payroll and pension scheme requirements for UK employees.

Neuman emphasized the UK's position as the fourth-largest exporter of services globally and its free trade agreements with countries like Australia and New Zealand, offering unique benefits for companies expanding internationally from the UK.

Thomas Mobee, VAT Director at Carpenter Box addressed VAT registration, noting that any entity making taxable supplies in the UK is eligible to register for VAT but may be exempt if certain conditions are met.

The webinar was organised in partnership with SPIRIT Slovenia, Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, and A Tax International.

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