We sometimes hear people say that they do not need a UK based accountant for their UK operation, especially in the early days of setting up a UK business. Others have an approach that an accountant is just there to ‘fill out forms to keep the tax man happy’.
For an overseas company having a UK based accountant is much more than that. Trying to manage a UK operation from your home territory could be financially costly, if you have no experience of UK payroll – employment at will does not exist in the UK; employees have rights; the vagaries of UK value added tax (VAT), year-end filings etc.
Filling in forms correctly, and on time
Legislation is continually changing. The introduction of the Confirmation Statement, formerly an Annual Return, is a statutory looking at who the shareholders are of the UK entity, and ensuring you are compliant with the reporting requirements.
If you complete a document incorrectly then the best-case scenario is that HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) will return it to you for re-submission, this could lead to you submitting it late. If a deadline is missed for important filings such as tax returns, then you could face a fine, which could be a percentage of the tax due.
At worst, your filings could be sent to an inspector of taxes for review, who could launch an investigation into your financial affairs. Using the services of a local accountant means you can be assured that the right forms will be completed, at the right time and in the right way, to hopefully avoid such costly investigations. Provided the information is returned by clients!
Helping you to grow your business
By acting as company secretary and registered office (legal office, not business) to most of our clients, this ensures that we have your legal authority to liaise with the government departments, sign job offer letters (if you wish), enter into legal contracts, talk to banks etc in local time, not USA pacific time or Australian, and only as instructed by our clients.
This role is often referred to by many professionals as “a Trusted Advisor”. This function often works together with the authorised bank signatory which we are happy to support our clients with. For some clients setting up in the UK, establishing a bank account can take around two months – in some instances much longer (particularly where there are trusts in the ownership structure) . Once we have completed the obligatory anti-money laundering and know your client checks, we can open a designated client trust account for our clients to utilise until their own account is operational.
A good accountant works with you to ensure your business succeeds. They want to ensure they are paralleled with your objectives for the UK, and help you grow – successfully. An accountant’s advice and input can be as valuable, perhaps if not more so, than the administration and form completion that is required for the UK company.
As part of our international network of recognised accountants and lawyers, we can introduce you to other professionals, both in the UK and elsewhere, you need to take your business to the next stages of the growth cycle.
Saving valuable time
The decision has been made for you to establish a UK business, whether because you already have clients, or potential clients. Depending on the size of the UK entity, your local team spending time working on your accounts is time that could be better spent by working on your business, to generate more income and grow your operation. Our clients come to us for a one-stop solution, and we are happy to oblige – support for your UK operation, by UK personnel.