Audit, Tax & Advisory for Inward Investors
UK: Open for business? The reality of inward investment in the UK
While foreign direct investment (FDI) makes a significant contribution to the UK economy, the last 18 months have been a challenging time for inward investors. The end of the Brexit transition period and the Covid-19 crisis, coupled with a spiralling cost of living and rising inflation are contributing to the complexities that investors considering the UK must take into consideration. The 2020/21 Government Investment Report revealed that FDI decreased by 35% in 2020, at odds with the Government’s message that the UK is a land of economic opportunity and innovation.
Navigating the maze of UK investments requires an experienced partner. For over one hundred years, HW Fisher has been helping successful investors to become established in the UK. As a top 30 accountancy firm based in London, our expert team works closely with inward investors in diverse sectors around the globe to unpick the complexities of UK investment and deliver a bespoke solution to match our clients’ needs.
With experience spanning across multiple sectors and industries, our team of global expansion experts guide individuals and companies through the maze of setting up businesses and navigating investments in the UK. Our extensive range of clients include internationally renowned restaurant groups looking to open branches in the UK where we advised on the most tax-efficient corporate structure, to individuals who were tax resident in Asia looking to purchase property in the UK. We have also assisted technology companies with investors based in India looking for advice on the UK tax aspects of fundraising and R&D and have provided social security advice for globally mobile employees and their employers, ensuring that the correct taxes are paid in the respective jurisdictions.
We are members of the Leading Edge Alliance, a global network of prestigious accountancy firms which gives us access to the best local advice around the world. Andrew Rich, our Managing Partner, sits on the Board of the LEA and our partners regularly travel to established and emerging markets, with a strong track record for advising businesses throughout Europe, the Middle East, the US and Asia.
HW Fisher calls on the government to do more to make the UK attractive to investors
Investment in Research and Development (R&D) incentives for both small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) continue to be enhanced, but no significant generous commitment is made to reassure businesses.
The pound continues to be weak, with mixed consequences for potential investors. Those playing the long game may identify strong long term investment potential in the UK as a result of recent forex movements. On the other hand, recent volatility and differing opinions between the Government and the Bank of England have not reassured businesses, ultimately risking Britain being left behind.
Leaving the EU has significantly altered the VAT status of supplies made between the UK and EU counterparties. These changes make the UK ripe for further financial services investment and with careful structuring in certain areas, it is potentially possible to recover a percentage of VAT incurred on operating costs except for traditional businesses that buy, make and sell products. The Government must consider policies that benefit all industries to ensure that the country as a whole is not left behind.
A recent Skills Taskforce for Great Britain report found that countries that successfully brought in FDI boasted workforces with a sophisticated range of skills to attract investors. With other countries using well-trained workers as a way to attract investment, the UK Government must adopt a similar approach rather than basing its appeal on cheap labour.
Encouraging employers to invest more heavily in their staff through introducing an enhanced tax relief for employer, spending on training and education could be one option to demonstrate that building and maintaining a skilled workforce is a priority in the UK.
With the global economy in flux and the Government’s plan for incentivising inward investors unclear, more so than ever before, it is essential that businesses and individuals considering expansion into the UK have an experienced partner they can rely on.
The key to our success at HW Fisher is our accessibility, our open communication with clients and our personal, yet professional, partner-led service.
For further advice and assistance please contact:
020 7993 4255